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Secretary General’s UN Day message

The United Nations is the product of hope.

The hope — and resolve — following the Second World War to move beyond global conflict to global cooperation.

Today, our organization is being tested like never before.

But the United Nations was made for moments like this.

Now, more than ever, we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in every corner of the world.

By giving peace a chance and ending conflicts that jeopardize lives, futures and global progress.

By working to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, and rescue the Sustainable Development Goals.

By safeguarding our planet, including by breaking our addiction to fossil fuels and kickstarting the renewable energy revolution.

And by finally balancing the scales of opportunity and freedom for women and girls and ensure human rights for all.

As we mark UN Day, let us renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity.

New York

24 October 2022

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MEDIA ADVISORY – UN torture prevention body to visit Australia for the first time

GENEVA (13 October 2022) – The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) will visit Australia from 16 to 27 October to advise and assist the State party in meeting its international commitments to prevent torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

“Our main objective is to assess how the authorities have implemented their obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), including those initiatives about maintaining, designing and setting up one or more visiting bodies to form the National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture in the country,” said Aisha Shujune Muhammad, Head of the Delegation.

“We will also assess the treatment of people deprived of their liberty, and examine the existing protection measures against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” she added.

This is the SPT’s first visit to Australia. The Subcommittee was originally scheduled to visit the country in April 2020, the mission was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More

Iran: 40 people killed in protests over past week – OHCHR

More than 40 people have been killed in Iran during the past week, including two teenagers, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday.

The development came amid ongoing nationwide protests sparked by the death in custody of Jina Mahsa Amini. 

The 22-year-old from Iran’s Kurdistan region was arrested by Iran’s so-called “morality police” on 13 September for not wearing her hijab properly.

According to OHCHR, thousands have been detained throughout the country for joining peaceful protests.  More

DPRK missile launch ‘latest in a series of alarming activities’ – UN political chief

Updating the Security Council on Monday, the head of UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) recalled that last Friday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) test-fired what it described as a new-type of intercontinental ballistic missile.

Citing the DPRK’s official news agency and various government sources, Rosemary DiCarlo told ambassadors that at around 10:15 am local time, the so-called Hwasong-17 missile flew a distance of 1,000 km at an altitude of approximately 6,100 km.

“It is reportedly the first successful test of the DPRK’s largest and most powerful missile, capable of reaching all of North America”, she stated. More

COP27 Closes With Deal on Loss and Damage

After days of intense negotiations that stretched into early Sunday morning in Sharm el-Sheikh, countries at the latest UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, reached agreement on an outcome that established a funding mechanism to compensate vulnerable nations for ‘loss and damage’ from climate-induced disasters. More

State of Climate in South-West Pacific highlights increasing threat of climate change

Sea surface temperatures and ocean heat in parts of the South-West Pacific are increasing at more than three times the global average and harming vital ecosystems, whilst sea level rise poses an existential threat to low-lying islands and their people, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The State of the Climate in the South-West Pacific 2021 shows how weather-related disasters are undermining socio-economic development, and threatening health, food and water security. It provides a snapshot of climate indicators like temperatures, sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification and extreme weather, alongside risks and impacts. More

‘Stand and deliver’, urges UN Secretary-General as divides threaten COP27 negotiations ahead of deadline

COP27 is scheduled to wrap up in 24 hours but countries remain divided on several significant issues including ‘loss and damage’, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday, urging parties to rise to the urgency of the moment and agree on real solutions to solve the greatest challenge facing humanity.  

“There is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies. This is no time for finger-pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” António Guterres told journalists at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Conference Centre.

The UN chief urged countries to deliver the kind of meaningful action that people, and the planet, so desperately need. “The world is watching and has a simple message: stand and deliver,” he underscored. More

Keep the 1.5°C goal alive, experts and civil society urge on ‘Energy Day’ at COP27

The troubling expansion of oil, gas and coal projects, despite science telling us that fossil fuels must stay in the ground to avert the worst impacts of climate change, was the critical issue at the centre of ‘Energy Day’ discussions at COP27 on Tuesday, with many experts fearing that the goal of curbing global warming to 1.5 could be in danger.

The energy sector, responsible for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse emissions, is mainly powered by fossil fuels. While this brings electricity and transport to most of the world, it is accompanied by deep pain and loss to vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

According to the International Renewable Agency (IRENA), only 29 per cent of global electricity generation currently comes from renewables, and carbon emissions continue an upward trend. More

UN chief highlights crucial role of G20 in resolving global crises

With the global population now at eight billion and growing, action or inaction by the world’s largest economies, the G20, will be critical to determine if everyone gets to live on a peaceful and healthy planet, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday. 

Speaking on the eve of the G20 Summit there, the UN chief appealed for the bloc to support his initiatives to address climate change, sustainable development, the worldwide food and energy crises, and digital transformation.

The Summit is taking place at “the most pivotal, precarious moment in generations”, he told journalists. More

COP27: Week two opens with focus on water, women and more negotiations on ‘loss and damage’

On ‘Women and Water’ Day at COP27, the power of women as key drivers of climate solutions, and the crucial impact that the climate crisis is having on our water supply took centre stage in Sharm el-Sheikh. Meanwhile, the negotiations on the conference outcome continued, with UN officials calling for ‘building bridges’ to deliver on the important issue of loss and damage.

Nothing about us, without us,” UNICEF advocate Ayshka Najib told UN News on Monday while she was painting one of the collaborative colourful artworks displayed throughout the conference’s dedicated youth pavilion depicting the role of women in climate action.

For the young climate activist, women and young girls in all their diversity have been leading the climate movement for centuries, so they should not be shut out. More

General Assembly adopts resolution on Russian reparations for Ukraine

The UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution that calls for Russia to pay war reparations to Ukraine, as ambassadors met to resume their emergency special session devoted to the conflict. 

Nearly 50 nations co-sponsored the resolution on establishing an international mechanism for compensation for damage, loss and injury, as well as a register to document evidence and claims.

The General Assembly is the UN’s most representative body, comprising all 193 Member States. Ninety-four countries voted in favour of the resolution, and 14 against, while 73 abstained. The vote took place in the morning, and countries returned in the afternoon to explain their decisions. More

Young people reconsidering parenthood due to climate change, UNICEF poll reveals

Climate change is forcing nearly half of young Africans to rethink their plans to have children someday, a global poll conducted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed, underlining their uncertainty about the future of a planet in crisis. 

The results were published on Wednesday at the COP27 climate conference taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.  Some 243,512 young people from 163 countries participated in the UNICEF U-Report poll, over July and August of this year.

UNICEF urged world leaders to take immediate action to protect children from the climate emergency, not only through rapidly reducing the emissions that cause global warming, but also by adapting the critical social services their young citizens rely on.

The agency stressed that adaptation measures, such as creating water systems that stand up to flooding and drought, will save lives. More