Multilateralism: The only path to address the world’s troubles, signals Guterres

As the world’s problems grow, multilateralism represents to best path to meet the challenges that lie ahead, said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday, launching his annual report.

The Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization for 2018, also tracks the progress made over the last year in maintaining peace and security, protecting human rights, and promoting sustainable development.

“I started my tenure calling for 2017 to be a year of peace, yet peace remains elusive,” said the UN chief in the report’s introduction, noting that since January last year “conflicts have deepened, with grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law; inequality has risen, intolerance has spread, discrimination against women remains entrenched and the impacts of climate change continue to accelerate.” More

International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Conversation: Indigenous Rights Advocacy – With Dr Jackie Huggins First Nations Leader

To mark International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, we spoke to Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Dr Jackie Huggins is a Bidjara (Central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru(North Queensland) woman and a tireless advocate for human rights.

In this interview Dr Huggins talks about her speech to the UN Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues; working within and with the various UN mechanisms, working as a key Indigenous Elder in Australia and her advice to Indigenous women based on many years of advocacy. Click on Link below.

The Secretary-General


9 August 2018

Indigenous peoples have a profound spiritual connection to their lands and resources. Yet, increasingly, indigenous persons are migrating within their countries and across international borders. The reasons are complex and varied. Some are subject to displacement or relocation without their free, prior and informed consent. Others are escaping violence and conflict or the ravages of climate change and environmental degradation. Many migrate in search of better prospects and employment for themselves and their families.

Migration is an opportunity, but it also carries inherent risks. Many indigenous migrants find themselves living in unsafe and insanitary conditions in urban areas. Indigenous women and girls experience disproportionately high rates of trafficking and other forms of violence. Indigenous youth are faced with complex questions regarding their identity and values.

In some countries, indigenous peoples’ territories are divided by international borders. Cooperation across these borders is important to safeguard their identity, occupations and traditional practices.

Later this year, Member States are expected to adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This will establish an international framework for regional and global cooperation. It will provide a platform to maximize the benefits of migration and support vulnerable migrant groups, including indigenous peoples. It is essential that the rights and identities of indigenous peoples are protected.

On this annual observance, let us commit to fully realizing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the rights to self-determination and to traditional lands, territories and resources. And, wherever they live, let us ensure that indigenous peoples enjoy recognition for their contributions and the opportunity to thrive and prosper in peace on a healthy planet.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries.

August 9 is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.

Each year this day is celebrated around the world. A commemorative event is also organized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by the Indigenous Peoples and Development Branch – Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which brings together indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society, academia and the general public.

Join us in spreading the United Nations’ message on the protection and promotion of their rights and in commemorating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples!

UN University Makes it Fun for Us to Explore the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Explorer is a great tool launched by the United Nations University (UNU) for the global community. It is easy to use and it is free.

We spoke with Dr David Malone Rector of the UNU today while he was visiting Canberra.

He explained about the site, the ideas behind its creation, how we can use it for the benefit of local and international communities and the importance of free easy to access, well researched information .

Access the Explore site here 


Sustainable Development Presentation At Griffith University Queensland

UNIC Canberra was invited to talk to students affiliated with the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University.

The Director gave an overview of the 2030 Agenda, why it is so important that we all engage with it and how the Sustainable Development Goals will help us to a better world.

Speaking about how the Goals can be implemented, he stressed the need for local engagement and action and the role that educational facilities and teachers can play in building awareness and inspiring action. The UN Association of Australia (UNAA) Queensland branch President and past President also spoke about their Association’s educational programmes.

Visiting Telopea Park School Canberra

On 26 July 2018, the UNIC Director gave a UN4U presentation to 140 year 9 students at Telopea Park School.

He discussed the formation of the United Nations and its objectives and then the Sustainable Development Goals and the overall Sustainable Development Agenda.

The Director also explained in more detail  how the UN  was working to implement goals 2, 5, 7, 11 and 12 in the region as the students were studying these goals specifically.

One project example the Director gave was the ‘Markets for Change’ program which has been implemented in a number of Pacific Islands to help achieve Goal 5, gender equality.

Each student was given a SDG goal card and they were asked to stand up if they thought their card also related to Goal 5. After some discussion, all the students stood up to demonstrate how all goals were interconnected.

Keynote Address to Sustainable Development Summit

Senior librarians from the Pacific region met in a one day summit to discuss how they could help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The session was introduced by the UNIC Canberra Director, Christopher Woodthorpe, who in his keynote gave an overview of the  Sustainable Development Agenda and why it is so important for the future of the planet and how libraries could assist in reaching the Goals.

With speakers from a number of Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia as well as others attending from a number of Asian states there was a strong regional focus.

The summit ended with a universal commitment to  immediately start advocating and building awareness through the  national, state and city library systems.

UNESCO Gives Sustainable Development A Boost; Designates 24 New Biosphere Reserves

Protecting mangroves, tropical rainforests and other biodiversity hotspots, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) bumped up its World Network of Biosphere Reserves by 24 new sites on Wednesday, which means that 686 unique natural sites in total are being preserved globally. More

ANU International Relations Society Careers Fair

Students’ desire to work in the international field is as strong as ever if the crowds at the International Relations careers fair were anything to go by.

Despite it being the first day back after Winter recess, over 250 students packed the auditorium to hear about international career opportunities at the United Nations, UNHCR, as well as NGOs and government departments.  While the session was a quick-fire presentation by each organization, students then had the opportunity to follow up on their many questions at the various career stalls set up outside the auditorium.

While it was hard to move and handouts disappeared, students were able to ask firsthand about what sorts of positions were available in the UN system and what their best paths were to attain them.  As the Young Professional Programme (YPP) for entry recruitment into the UN was still open, many students had questions on how they could apply.  This despite the fact that Australia was not on the list of countries to take the exam this year.  It was inspiring to see so many students keen to make a difference in the world and to be part of a bigger purpose in service of humanity.