Author Archives: Julia Dean


UN Secretary-General to convene high-level roundtable on climate action during General Assembly week to showcase solutions and progress

24 September, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT 


As climate impacts worsen around the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is convening a roundtable of global climate leaders from government, business and finance, and civil society to showcase high-impact actions and ambition to confront the climate crisis.

The virtual roundtable will demonstrate leading examples of the Secretary-General’s six climate-positive actions to recover better together: invest in jobs and green business, no bailouts to polluting industries, ending subsidies for fossil fuels, considering climate risks in all decisions and policy-making, working together and ensuring that no one is left behind.

The event will showcase the vast social and economic benefits of a sustainable recovery and of action to limit global warming to 1.5°C by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to ensure that people and planet are protected from climate change impacts.

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Media Advisory — UN General Assembly High-level events

On its 75th anniversary, and amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations will for the first time convene world leaders in a virtual format to seek action and solutions for a world in crisis. Several major events, in addition to the General Debate, are expected to highlight action and solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all.

The pillars of our world, already unsteady, have been shaken to the core by the coronavirus. Everything the United Nations stands for and works for – peace, progress and human rights – is in jeopardy. As we strive to respond and recover, international cooperation has never been more important.

Heads of State and Government, ministers, international organizations, representatives of the private sector and civil society.

17 September – 5 October 2020

All events will take place mostly virtually, broadcast live and on-demand on UN Web TV. A limited number of New York-based representatives of Member States may be physically present at United Nations Headquarters.

Please find more information by clicking link here 


UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Secretary-General Petteri Taalas World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will present the high-level, multi-agency United in Science 2020 report on 9 September at 1100 EDT (1500 GMT/1700 CEST).

Press room, UN headquarters in New York, with virtual linkup to WMO in Geneva. The event will be live-cast on Accredited UN journalists will also be able to join via Web-ex.

SUBJECT: Increasing climate change indicators and impacts

The report provides the latest information on greenhouse gas concentrations, the impact of COVID19 on emissions, and the emissions gap compared to the Paris Agreement targets. It gives details on the global climate 2016-2020 and projections for the forthcoming 5 years. It also considers the impact of climate change on the cryosphere, oceans and fresh water. It looks at how COVID-19 restrictions have affected the ability to monitor climate change.

The report, the second in a series, is coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization. It combines input from the Global Carbon Project, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN Environment Programme, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the UK’s Met Office.

Copies of the report (English) and press release (official U.N. languages), along with high-resolution graphics will be released to journalists under embargo.
The embargo will be lifted at 0700 EDT (1100 GMT/1300 CEST).

For further information and interview requests please contact:

New York: Dan Shepard, Information Officer, UN Department of Global Communications.
Email Tel. 1646-675-3286
Geneva: Clare Nullis, Media Officer, WMO. Email Tel 41-797091397

Nurses and Midwives Are With You At Every Step Of Life

Nadia Ventura, a Clinical Manager at Calvary Hospital in North Adelaide, South Australia said “Nursing is a privilege – the best gift is knowing you have made a difference at every stage in the patient’s journey”.

At Calvary, the COVID-19 situation resulted in the two surgical wards working as one unit,  sharing knowledge and skills to enhance patient-centred care which in turn developed a positive experience for the patients.

One of the patients who was a baker, showed his appreciation and gratitude for the care he received by donating 150 individually wrapped hot cross buns to the staff during Easter, which the staff loved and lifted morale on the ward.

This is the  second short story in our series celebrating Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020.

World Humanitarian Day – Profile of Local Heroes

Interview with Amar Singh, Founding President with Turbans4Australia (T4A)
 In his own words.

“We as humans, should always uplift, support and be kind. People during times of need remember kind gestures and this is what restores their faith in humanity”.

Can you tell us about your organisation ?
T4A is a charity organisation that was founded in 2015 to encourage Australia’s Sikh to help anyone in need regardless of their religion, race or ethnicity. We raise awareness about important social issues, fundraise for worthy causes and participate in charitable works, all while promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance. Although we started out in Sydney, we now have a volunteer base in cities across Australia, with around eighty people volunteering with us every week during Covid-19.

Through our charity work, we strive to eliminate the fear surrounding cultural and religious diversity, showing our fellow Australians that we share the same values of egalitarianism and mate-ship. While our commitment to charity work is grounded in the Sikh concept of “seva” or selfless service to the community, we are equally committed to embracing people of all faiths and therefore do not engage in any acts of proselytisation.

What work has T4A has done to support communities and how you did it?
T4A has a strong history of assisting vulnerable Australians facing hardship and disadvantage. For instance, in 2015 we delivered much needed supplies to drought-stricken farmers in Coonamble and Dubbo, transporting seven semi-trailers full of hay and $3000 worth of groceries. In 2018 we delivered Christmas presents to Coonamble’s Indigenous community, and in 2019 we handed over groceries and warm winter clothes to those facing financial hardship in the small regional town of Weston.

However, 2020 has by far been our biggest year yet, requiring more labour and resources than any of our previous projects.  During Australia’s devastating bushfire season of 2019/20, our volunteers delivered emergency food, water and grocery supplies to regional and rural communities on New South Wales’ north and south coast.

From November to mid-February, we made eight trips to twelve towns across New South Wales, contributing at least thirty to fifty hours of volunteer labour per trip. We distributed 80 tonnes of donated goods valued at around $65,000, delivered 120,000 bottles of water, prepared hot meals for emergency service staff and people displaced by the bushfires, and bought and delivered $4,000 worth of hand tools to help Cobargo residents clean up in the bushfire aftermath. We raised a total of $10,000, a quarter of which was donated to a local Lions club. Another quarter was given to Milton Rural Fire Service, and half was handed over to Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade.

Later this year our volunteers stepped up yet again when we launched our first-ever nationwide project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic sent Australia into lockdown in March, our team has been providing freshly cooked meals and grocery hampers to people in need. Many of the people we help are elderly, disabled or homeless, while others have recently lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Some have chronic health conditions and are self-isolating to protect themselves from infection or are undergoing their mandatory fourteen-day quarantine after returning from overseas. Others are international students or temporary migrants who may be ineligible for government financial support and are unable to return home to their families.

Our volunteers have been operating out of crisis response centres in Canberra, Queanbeyan, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Goulburn and Sydney. From our two venues in Sydney, we have cooked around 16,000 hot meals and packed over ten tonnes of groceries. In Canberra, we have provided over 4,000 meals and 500 hampers containing three tonnes of groceries. From one venue alone, we can hand out more than 250 meals in a single day.

Listen to additional audio interview here with Amar

See more stories from the Asia Pacific including Turbans for Australia on the UNOCHA website here


Delivering Vital Medical Supplies, Humanitarian Air Service Boosts COVID-19 Response Efforts in the Pacific

Press Release

6 August 2020

NADI, Fiji – Countries and territories of the Pacific Islands and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reached a milestone today with the launch of the humanitarian air service in the region. The first flight, from Nadi, Fiji to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, completed this morning, delivered 44 cubic metres of essential medical supplies that will be used in the Government of Papua New Guinea’s response to COVID-19.

The supplies, including protective masks, suits and gloves, thermometers, and ventilators were transported on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, in support of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 – a regional coordination platform established by the 18 countries of the Forum to facilitate timely and rapid movement of medical and humanitarian assistance across the region.

“The humanitarian air service flights are a welcome demonstration that the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 is doing what leaders intended – protecting citizens and supporting health systems,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General. “We welcome continued partnership and support as the Pathway provides a mechanism led by and for Pacific nations to help meet their needs while respecting COVID-19 border shutdowns, special entry protocols and safety for our Pacific nations.”

The closure of airports and grounding of aircrafts as a result of COVID-19 prevention measures has dramatically reduced commercial air services, placing stress on the region’s supply chains and making it increasingly challenging for humanitarian and health organizations to get vital supplies and personnel to where they are needed most.

“For the countries and territories of the Pacific islands, air and sea transport is nothing short of a lifeline,” said Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP Pacific Multi-Country Office. “WFP is proud to be working with Pacific Island governments and humanitarian partners to restore certainty to the supply chain and ensure the delivery of urgently-required medical supplies to the frontlines of the pandemic. I would like to thank our donors, including the Government of Australia for their continued support to WFP’s operations in the Pacific, and for making this air service a reality.”

The Pacific humanitarian air service is part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan – a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by UN agencies, governments, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors and development partners.

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The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, the Forum’s 18 member nations work towards a vision of a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.

Follow us on Twitter @ForumSEC or Facebook @Pacific.Islands.Forum

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_AsiaPacific 

For more information please contact:
WFP: Monica Salvitti, WFP/Pacific, + 61 400 406 886
Kun Li, WFP/Bangkok, +66 84 555 8994

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat: Lisa Williams-Lahari- Auckland,,
+64 210642704

Its Time To Recognise The Critical Contribution Nurses And Midwives Make To Global Health!

“Women-centred care is vital and the strong bond that I form with the woman is an essential part of their experience.”

“During my own pregnancy and birth journey, I was in awe of the midwives who cared for me; they were such positive, passionate professionals. From this moment, I knew that I wanted to be ‘that person’ for someone else”, said Adele Close, a Registered Nurse/Midwife from Calvary Lenah Valley, Tasmania.

Adele became a Midwife after 15 years of working in advertising/design industry. She says that during the COVID-19 pandemic, midwives are so privileged to be part of a newborn’s first few days of life, often before grandparents and siblings have even met their new addition. These are unique circumstances, and Adele feels honoured to support these families as they adjust to their new lives during these unprecedented times.

Adele enjoys the flexibility that this profession offers as it gives her the opportunity to be involved in my children’s schooling and extra curricula activities and ensures she keeps fit by playing hockey and walking with her family.

This year the World Health Organisation has declared 2020 as the International Year of Nurses and Midwives and we at UNIC Canberra are deeply appreciative for the opportunity to email- interview some of the healthcare workers from Calvary, a Health, Community and Aged Care provider across Australia, who spoke to us about what inspired them to take nursing as a profession, how they balance work and personal life, their COVID-19 stories of ingenuity and advice to the younger generation.

‘Inequality defines our time’: UN chief delivers hard-hitting Mandela day message

Mr. Guterres began by noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has played an important role in highlighting growing inequalities, and exposing the myth that everyone is in the same boat, because “while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in super yachts, while others are clinging to the drifting debris.”

While we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in super yachts while others are clinging to the drifting debris -António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

Global risks ignored for decades – notably inadequate health systems, gaps in social protection, structural inequalities, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis – have been laid bare, he said. The vulnerable are suffering the most: those living in poverty, older people, and people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. More