Author Archives: Julia Dean

2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize call for nominations

The 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize will be given out at the United Nations in New York on Human Right Day, 10 December. Nominations are open until 6 April 2018

This year’s award will coincide with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The prize to recognize individuals or organization for outstanding achievements in the field of human rights is given out every five years. More

Four Countries On Track To Graduate From UN List Of Least Developed Countries

Bhutan, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe and the Solomon Islands have increased national earning power and improved access to health care and education, making them eligible to exit the group of least developed countries (LDCs).

“This is an historic occasion,” said Jose Antonio Ocampo, chair of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), noting that only five countries have graduated since the UN established the LDC category in 1971.

LDCs are assessed using three criteria: health and education targets; economic vulnerability and gross national income per capita. More

Syrian Crisis – United Nations Response

United Nations Department of Public Information Syria Update. 

The DPI Syria Update  covers, among others:

• The joint appeal by the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization for peace and humanitarian access as the Syria conflict enters its eighth year;
• The UN’s concerns about the large displacement of civilians due to ongoing fighting in the northern city of Afrin; and
• Secretary-General António Guterres’ briefing to the Security Council on the situation in Eastern Ghouta.

The update, issued on a weekly basis, aims at providing an overview of the latest UN activities in response to the crisis, based on UN sources.

“Cambodia at a crossroads”: UN expert calls on Government to choose path of human rights

PHNOM PENH (14 March 2018) – The UN expert on the human rights situation in Cambodia has expressed serious concerns about restrictions on the media, freedom of expression and political participation ahead of a national election in July, calling on the Government to choose the path of human rights.

“Cambodia is at an important crossroads and must embrace human rights as they are indispensable in sustaining hard-earned peace and development,” said Rhona Smith at the end of her fifth visit* to the country.

“Restricting Cambodians’ voices could ultimately threaten the very stability that the Government and the people have worked hard to build. Freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly should be protected and developed, not restricted, in a liberal multi-party democracy as guaranteed by the Constitution of Cambodia.”
Continue reading

12 World Leaders Issue Clarion Call for Accelerated Action on Water

New York, 14 March― A High Level Panel on Water consisting of 11 Heads of State and a Special Advisor has issued a New Agenda for Water Action calling for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water so that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular SDG6, can be achieved. This follows a 2-year mandate to find ways to accelerate solutions to the urgent water crisis.

“Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action” presents many recommendations as part of an Outcome Report from the Panel, which was convened in January 2016 by the United Nations Secretary-General and the World Bank Group President.

“World leaders now recognize that we face a global water crisis and that we need to reassess how we value and manage water,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “The panel’s recommendations can help to safeguard water resources and make access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation a reality for all.”

Continue reading

UN-World Bank panel calls for ‘fundamental shift’ in water management

Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action, released by a panel of 11 Heads of State and a Special Advisor, calls for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water so that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 6 on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, can be achieved.

According to the report, 40 per cent of the world’s people are being affected by water scarcity. If not addressed, as many as 700 million could be displaced by 2030 in search for water. More than two billion people are compelled to drink unsafe water and more than 4.5 billion do not have safely managed sanitation services. More.


Statement by Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, on his visit to Bangladesh to assess the situation of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar

(Dhaka, 13 March 2018) From 7 to 13 March I visited Bangladesh to assess the situation of the Rohingya population who have crossed the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh since the most recent incidents of violence in northern Rakhine state in October 2016 and August 2017. During my visit, I had the opportunity to meet Bangladeshi authorities, civil society actors and members of the diplomatic community. I also visited refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar, where survivors I met shared horrifying stories of what they have endured.

What I have heard and witnessed in Cox’s Bazaar is a human tragedy with the fingerprints of the Myanmar government and of the international community. The scorched earth campaign carried out by the Myanmar security forces since August 2017 against the Rohingya population was predictable and preventable. Despite the numerous warnings I have made of the risk of atrocity crimes, the international community has buried its head in the sand. This has cost the Rohingya population of Myanmar their lives, their dignity and their homes.

Let us be clear: international crimes were committed in Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims have been killed, tortured, raped, burnt alive and humiliated, solely because of who they are. All the information I have received indicates that the intent of the perpetrators was to cleanse northern Rakhine state of their existence, possibly even to destroy the Rohingya as such, which, if proven, would constitute the crime of genocide. However, whether or not we consider that the crimes committed amount to crimes against humanity or genocide, this should not delay our resolve to act and to act immediately. We owe this to the Rohingya population.

Continue reading

International Women’s Day in Goulburn: Global, Urban and Rural Partnerships.

The United Nations Information Centre Canberra, the International Organization for Migration and the Goulburn Multicultural Centre came together on Friday, 9 March to celebrate International Women’s Day which consisted of a Zumba class, presentations followed by a light lunch and refreshments.

IOM opened the presentations with a short video and explanation on International Women’s Day and the Together Campaign.

The theme this year was “Time Is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives” which was a perfect fit for Canberra based Multicultural Community Activist Ms Diana Abdel-Rahman OAM, the keynote speaker whose address was appreciated by the many rural migrant women of Goulburn attending.

Continue reading

UN supports the Government of Papua New Guinea in its earthquake response efforts

Relief supplies are starting to be distributed in earthquake affected areas of Papua New Guinea with water, food, shelter, medicine and the provision of health services identified as the priority needs.

“We are working closely with the Papua New Guinea government to coordinate the earthquake response to ensure that relief supplies and services meet people’s most pressing needs, and reach the communities that need them most ,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla. More.

Myanmar: UN expert calls for accountability over violence in Rakhine State

GENEVA (12 March 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, told the Human Rights Council on Monday she was increasingly of the opinion that the events in Rakhine State bear the hallmarks of genocide and called in the strongest terms for accountability.

Lee, who was informed late last year that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that “the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more” in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as “increasingly perilous”. More