Remarks at Organizational Meeting of the Special Committee on Decolonization New York
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
It is an honor, in my capacity as President pro tempore, to open the 2017 session of the Special Committee. As this is the first time I address this body, let me express from the outset my sincere commitment to the decolonization agenda, one of the defining mandates of the United Nations.
Allow me a very emotional, personal comment. I am Portuguese. I was born and I lived my youth during the Salazar dictatorship. The Salazar dictatorship oppressed my country, and simultaneously oppressed the countries and the peoples – our sister peoples – in Africa and in Asia with a completely absurd colonial policy that Salazar intended to make last forever, forcing a bloody and terrible war to the peoples of Angola and Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. That has created a strong bond between the Portuguese democrats and many of my friends and comrades at the time have been arrested, have been tortured or living in exile, and the liberation movements in Angola, in Mozambique and in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.
Smurfs like eating big Smurfberry pies and singing happy songs, but it’s only fun when everyone in Smurf Village has enough to eat and has no worries. So when the Smurfs heard that the United Nations has a big plan to protect all people and the planet, they had to be a part of it. With their boundless energy and positive attitude, the Smurfs are a great choice to help the United Nations celebrate this year’s International Day of Happiness on 20 March by promoting the Sustainable Development Goals. The Goals aim to protect people and our planet so we can all live the happiest lives possible.
The Secretary-General deeply regrets the adoption of the so called “Regularisation bill” on 6 February by the Knesset. This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel. It reportedly provides immunity to settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank that were built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
The Secretary-General insists on the need to avoid any actions that would derail the two-state solution. All core issues should be resolved between the parties through direct negotiations on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and mutual agreements. The United Nations stands ready to support this process.
New York, 7 February 2017
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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”.
Photo: The historic signing ceremony for the establishment of the new Bougainville Referendum Commission, at the Prime Minister’s Office, Manasupe House Waigani, Port Moresby.
Port Moresby, 24 January 2017 – The historic signing ceremony for the establishment of the new Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) was held on 24th of January 2017 at the Prime Minister’s Office, Manasupe House Waigani, Port Moresby.
Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) signed between the Government of PNG and Leaders of Bougainville in 2001, the peace partners agreed to have a referendum on the political future of Bougainville by 2020. This signing paves the way for the independent institution to plan, prepare and execute the electoral event. At the ceremony, the milestone documents signed were the Agreement and the Administration Arrangement for the establishment of the BRC.
BANGKOK (ESCAP News) — Ministers from countries party to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) met during the Fourth APTA Ministerial Council today to conclude negotiations that will more than double the number of products under preferential tariff treatment in order to expand trade and boost growth in the region. The Fourth APTA Ministerial Council was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which acts as secretariat for the Agreement.
10 January 2017 – Delivering his first formal briefing to the Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the need for new, strengthened efforts to build and sustain peace ranging from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustainable development.