United Nations Information Centre for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
REMARKS ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE 28 November 2018 [as delivered]
More than forty years ago, the General Assembly established an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people to remind us of our collective, unfinished task of resolving the question of Palestine.
Over the decades, this has become one of the most intractable challenges for the international community, and we know only too well the tragic results.
Demolitions, illegal continued settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive measures will not bring peace.
The same goes for violence and incitement, and similarly, unilateral steps will not resolve final status issues or the conflict.
Violence against women and girls is not only a fundamental human rights issue but also a “moral affront” against them and a “mark of shame” on all societies, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said, calling greater action by everyone around the world to root out the scourge. More
Friday’s historic conviction by a United Nations-backed international tribunal of two former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia on genocide charges has been welcomed by the UN Special Adviser on the issue.
In a statement, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, described the conviction by a UN-backed international tribunal in Cambodia as “a good day for justice”, adding that “it demonstrates that justice will prevail, and that impunity should never be accepted for genocide and other atrocity crimes.”
UN humanitarian agency the World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for access to a key storage facility in the port of Hudaydah, which is now under the control of a Saudi-led military coalition that supports the internationally recognized Government. More
Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Wildfires in the United States
The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage that resulted from the wildfires in California in the United States. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of the United States.
The Secretary-General stands in solidarity with the Government of the United States.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for Secretary-General
From conflict and economic downturn to disease and climate change, global problems require “more than ever” a strengthening of international cooperation, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told world leaders at the Paris Peace Forum on Sunday, commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War. More
On the 7 November an Asia Pacific delegation from UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) addressed a diplomatic briefing hosted by UNIC Canberra at our office.
Ms Anne Colquhoun, UN OCHA Head of Office for the Pacific Islands gave a comprehensive briefing on work in the Pacific region some of which is emergency response preparedness.
Part of this work she said included sector partnerships and coordination – working on packages that included emergency response architecture legislation and national management systems.
Although working throughout the Pacific particular emphasis she said was working within the south pacific region because of the area’s high disaster prone characteristics.
She also highlighted OCHA’s work with Pacific partners to ensure that vulnerable people of the region are included in all disaster management plans; people with disabilities, women and children, the aged and people with different sexual or gender identities.
She also noted other current priorities which included preparing for the cyclone season in the coming months.
UNIC Canberra celebrated UN Day at the Museum of Australian Democracy in partnership with the Museum, UNHCR, IOM and the UN Association of Australia.
The event which included a ceremonial flag raising by the Australia Defence Force and Australian Federal Police was themed on Human Rights in recognizing the Declaration’s 70th anniversary. Central to this was the opening of an exhibition of quilts by the Museum, where contributors from all over the world had stitched the words of each article of the Declaration into uniquely illustrated panels.
In speaking, the originator and co-creator of the project, the youth craftivist and artist, Tal Fitzpatrick described the enthusiasm with which quilters took up the call to promote the Declaration through their art. The importance of the Declaration and acknowledgement of the UN’s vital role in the world were also echoed in speeches by federal and local government officials.
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 70th Year we speak to Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs on the importance of human rights defenders and how the UDHR can influence national legislation.
U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S U N I E S THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE FOR WORLD TSUNAMI AWARENESS DAY 5 November 2018
Tsunamis are rare but devastating. I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October. More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced.
As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster. Reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.
Over the past two decades, tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 per cent of economic losses from disasters, setting back development gains, especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
World Tsunami Awareness Day is an opportunity to emphasize again the importance of disaster prevention and preparedness, including early warning, public education, science to better understand and predict tsunamis, and development that takes account of risk in seismic zones and exposed coastal areas.