Emotions were running high as Aminata Conteh-Biger, CEO of the Aminata Maternal Foundation and the keynote speaker, recounted her abduction by rebels in Sierra Leone and her subsequent time as a sex slave to one of the combatants.
Eventually released, and then resettled in Australia by UNHCR, she told how she has been able to give back to her home country through her maternal care foundation. It was inspiring to all to hear from someone whose life exemplifies the significant contributions made to society by the African diaspora and peoples of African descent, recognition of which was the theme of the International Day.
UNIC Canberra joined the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and descendants at a moving yet inspirational ceremony in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Australia has a strong connection to the Holocaust as it has more survivors per capita than any other country and many of them were in attendance to listen to a wide range of speakers spanning the generations.
The attendees were also able to appreciate the exhibit “The State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” which was on display in the auditorium.
In his introduction, Professor Gus Lehrer, President of the Museum, stressed the importance of the preservation of memory and education and how we must not just recall the events, but also the experiences they caused. Noting how the horrors of those days led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he announced the Museum would be creating a new section which would deal with the issue of the Holocaust and Human Rights.
There followed a solemn lighting of candles by survivors present, followed by Olga Horak, OAM who eloquently gave her testimony, describing her experience in the camps as “the bottom of hell, where the only music was that of intolerable heartache and sorrow and … living was worse than dying”.
On 1 December, in collaboration with the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the Council of Arab Ambassadors, UNIC Canberra held a reception at the Albert Hall in Canberra.
The celebration also featured traditional fashion show, a Palestinian cultural corner, and a photography exhibition looking at nearly seven decades of UNRWA delivering education services to Palestine refugee children in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank.
In a small town in New South Wales there is a small stone school surrounded by 100 year old elm trees. The students of Murringo Primary School and UNIC Canberra spent a happy day discussing, interviewing and filming thoughts on the Sustainable Development Goals – this is the result.
The Global Sustainable Transport Conference will bring together key stakeholders from Governments, UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to engage in a dialogue that emphasizes the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. All modes of transport—road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime – will be addressed.
(Canberra, 15 December) In celebration of International Migrants Day and as part of the United Nations’ Global Together, Respect Safety and Dignity for All – campaign, UNIC Canberra together with the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR presented a public screening of the new Australian documentary Constance On the Edge followed by a lively panel discussion.
One family. Two wars. Three countries. What does it take to forge a new life far from home? Filmed over 10 years, Constance on the Edge is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. The powerful and emotive film closed to loud applause, with many in the audience visibly moved by the very personal stories that unfolded in the film.
(L-R) Ms.Natacha Yacoub, Deputy UNHCR Canberra, Mr.Joseph Appiah, Chief Of Mission IOM Australia
In September 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals were introduced to the world – and since then the UN and Partners have been working towards their success – including outreach to children, institutions and other partners globally. This is a short clip of outreach activities implemented by our UN offices globally expertly edited by Project Everyone. Enjoy!
The UN General Assembly will host a high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach on Monday 19 September 2016 at the UNHQ in New York.
The large forced displacement of populations is now a global crisis that requires a collective effort by the international community, led by world leaders. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on everyone to work together to define a clear path forward guided by international refugee law, human rights and humanitarian law.
Ms Karen AbuZayd, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Summit gave a briefing to Diplomats via webex at our office last week – listen to Ms Karen AbuZaydremarks.