UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman on UNHabitat

The Secretary-General welcomes the report of the High Level Independent Panel to Assess and Enhance the Effectiveness of UNHabitat, which was drafted in response to General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/256. The Secretary-General thanks the Panel members for their robust, evidence-based assessment of the agency.

The Secretary-General appreciates the recommendations put forth by the Panel on better ways to address urbanization, a global mega-trend that is putting pressure on communities, infrastructure and the environment, and on how UNHabitat and the UN system can reform to become fit for purpose in cities.

The Secretary-General finds many of the recommendations in line with his own proposals for the reform of the UN Development System, particularly the establishment of “UN Urban,” aimed at fostering more collaborative work by UN agencies in the revamped UN Country Teams, and the alignment of UNHabitat’s regional offices with the new policy integration functions of the Regional Economic Commissions.

He also acknowledges the recommendations for changes to UNHabitat’s governance, and agrees that the agency must be equipped with a flexible, efficient structure that delivers for the most vulnerable residents of the world’s cities. He recognizes the challenges with universal membership as well as the importance of articulating a definitive normative and operational mandate for the organisation, and looks forward to further discussions with member states about this recommendation.

The Secretary-General considers rapid urbanization and its links with poverty, inequality, public health, migration, climate change and natural disasters to be one of the most pressing concerns of the United Nations. He therefore appreciates the strong relationship between the assessment of UNHabitat and the overall reform of the UN Development System. He thanks the High-Level Panel for its compelling ideas, and looks forward to further discussions with Member States on ambitious reforms that will help the human family to meet the urban tests of our time.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 03 August 2017

Media Advisory – Discrimination against women: First mission ever to Samoa by a UN human rights expert group

APIA / GENEVA (3 August 2017) – A United Nations human rights expert group will carry out a fact-finding visit to Samoa from 8 to 18 August to assess the progress made towards eliminating discrimination against women and the protection and promotion of women’s rights in the country.

“We are particularly interested in legislative and policy reforms undertaken in recent years and the impact on the enjoyment of human rights of women in Samoa,” said human rights expert Kamala Chandrakirana, who currently heads UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice.

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Adopting new resolution, UN Security Council moves to thwart terrorists’ access to weapons

The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons, particularly small arms and light weapons, the “destabilizing accumulation and misuse” of which the 15-member body said “continue to pose threats to international peace and security and cause significant loss of life.” More

Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Secretary-General condemns the launch of another ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 28 July.

This is again a manifest violation of Security Council resolutions. The DPRK leadership must comply fully with its international obligations and work together with the international community to resolve the outstanding issues on the Korean Peninsula.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to respond to the Republic of Korea’s proposals to reopen communication channels, particularly military-to-military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 28 July 2017

The UNIC/Canberra Institute of Technology Photography Competition

Wednesday 26 July, Canberra. UNIC Canberra had the privilege of organising the official launch of the joint UNIC/CIT Photography competition, a program which is also supported by CIT, the CSIRO, the National Gallery of Australia and the Guardian Australia Newspaper.

This is the eighth year of the Competition and we were pleased to see the contenders’ enthusiasm only growing as the years go on.

This year’s theme is the Together Campaign, a global initiative that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and to strengthen the social bond between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants. It encourages refugees and migrants, and the communities that have benefited from their inclusion to share their stories, and to use their voices to make the world a better place.

Photo ( L-R) Ms Fiona Dace-Lynn, CIT, Ms Lydia Downe, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, UNIC Canberra, Mr Julian Stevenson, CIT

Diversity is Strength – UNESCO Representative Discusses Migration

Ms Nisha Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States discusses various aspects of migration including the observation that migration is closely connected to well-being, to historical developments and if we look at the most diverse societies today you will find that their diversity, their strength to their economic well-being , their social well-being comes from migration processes from the past.

This interview is part of a series that UNIC is undertaking as part of the UN Global ‘Together, Respect Safety and Dignity For All’ campaign.

 

The UN Secretary-General on Nigeria

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the suicide attacks on 24 July in the two camps for internally displaced persons near Maiduguri, Borno State, in Nigeria. These terrorist acts are targeting people who had already fled their homes as a result of Boko Haram violence.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of Nigeria for the loss of life. He wishes a quick recovery to those injured and calls for those responsible for this heinous act to be swiftly brought to justice. He reiterates the United Nations support to the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism in full observance of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 25 July 2017