Author Archives: Julia Dean

Brisbane To Host Major Asia/Pacific Ministerial Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in 2020

Next year for the first time the Asia Pacific’s major ministerial-level conference on disaster risk reduction will be held in the Pacific region in partnership with the Australia Government.

We asked the Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction,  Ms Mami Mizutori how the 2020 Asia-pacific ministerial conference on disaster risk reduction in Brisbane, will contribute to the much-needed acceleration towards risk informed development.

Pacific Measles Outbreak


19 November, 2019

UNICEF is supporting the Government of Samoa to respond to a measles outbreak in the country. The Government of Samoa officially declared a state of emergency on 15 November 2019, four weeks into the continuing measles outbreak with more than 1000 suspected cases so far. The epidemic has claimed the lives of 14 children under-five years old and one adult.
Measles outbreaks were also declared in the Kingdom of Tonga on 24 October and in Fiji on 7 November. As of 5 November, 177 cases have been confirmed in Tonga with no deaths. In Fiji, the four confirmed and one suspected cases were contained in one specific area of Namosi and Serua Subdivision, west of the capital of Suva.

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UN’s 75th Anniversary in 2020: Disaster Risk Reduction Should Be Part of Our Global Conversations

Next year is the UN’s 75th Anniversary and to mark this milestone the United Nations is launching the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want.

We asked the Head of the UN’s  Office for Disaster Risk Reduction office, Ms Mami Mizutori if disaster risk reduction is one of the key issues she hopes will be part of the global conversation?

For more information on the UN’s 75 Anniversary:

Pacific States To Meet in Fiji with United Nations’ Premier Human Rights Body

From 19 to 21 November, government officials from the Pacific region, together with the President of the Human Rights Council, Coly Seck of Senegal, and other representatives from Small Island Developing States (SIDS), will gather in Nadi, Fiji to explore ways to strengthen the participation of SIDS in the 47-member Council aiming to improve human rights conditions in their countries and in the region.

The three-day workshop will bring together 21 delegates from the Pacific region who have either participated in a regular session of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, or in a Fellowship Programme supported by the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund. The meeting provides a unique opportunity for the delegates to exchange views on their experiences at the Council and as Fellows to help translate those experiences into concrete results seen by improved human rights situations on the ground. The workshop also marks the first official visit of a Human Rights Council President to the Pacific region since the Council began meeting in 2006.

More Information Here

Statement by the Principals of the Executive Committee

14 November 2019 – The Principals of the Executive Committee of the United Nations Network on Migration met today in New York to discuss United Nations system-wide assistance to Member States in their implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

There was strong agreement on the need to reinforce support for both the objectives and guiding principles of the GCM, which is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Principals called for the roll-out of the Network workplan, at regional and country levels, to ensure that 2020 sees the acceleration of collective efforts to demonstrate the benefits of international cooperation on migration.

The importance of effective United Nations support to the regional reviews of the GCM, scheduled for 2020 and as called for by the General Assembly, was also emphasized as they will inform the first International Migration Review Forum in 2022. The Principals further reiterated their commitment to joint advocacy on migration-related issues, with a view to highlighting how upholding the rights and well being of migrants and their communities, and building on best practice in accordance with internationally agreed standards, can strengthen migration governance for the benefit of all. Finally, the Principals of the Network urged strong donor support for the Migration Trust Fund as a visible means of demonstrating commitment to an inclusive framework of international cooperation on migration, and support for turning words into action.

Since the Principals last met in May 2019, the Network has formally launched the Fund and received pledges to its initial capitalization. The Principals and the Network Coordinator, as Chair of the Fund Steering Committee, IOM Director General António Vitorino, thank all those who have to date pledged. The Network has also launched its first workplan to operationalize its support to Member States. Since its inception, the Network has seen the establishment or revitalization of an increasing number of regional and country-level migration networks and working groups. These mechanisms will help Member States deliver results on the ground in achieving their GCM objectives, with joined up and coherent support from the UN and its partners.

The UN Network on Migration was established by the UN Secretary-General to ensure coordinated UN system-wide support to States in implementing the GCM. It is comprised of 38 entities of the UN system working collectively to support states in addressing their migration priorities, including as regards upholding the rights and well-being of migrants and their communities.

The Network operates with an Executive Committee of 8 UN entities giving overall guidance and setting priorities. The Executive Committee includes ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNDESA, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF and UNODC, with IOM as the Coordinator and secretariat to the Network.

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Top UN Court To Consider Ukraine Allegation Against Russia On Treaty Violations

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has agreed to hear claims by Ukraine related to the conflict in the east of the country, where Government forces have been fighting mostly pro-Russian separatists, for more than five years.

In an application to the Court filed in January, Ukraine alleged that Russia had violated its obligations under two international treaties on terrorism financing and racial discrimination.


On the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)


A short while ago, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, informed the Secretary-General that he was resigning, effective immediately.

The Secretary-General thanked Mr. Krähenbühl for his commitment and constant dedication to UNRWA and to Palestine refugees. The Secretary-General reiterates his appreciation to UNRWA for their excellent work, which is essential to the well-being of Palestine refugees.

Christian Saunders was named Officer-in-Charge of UNRWA earlier today.

At this time, it is vital that Member States and other partners remain committed to UNRWA and the services it provides.

It is also critical for the international community to support the crucial work performed by the Agency in the areas of health, education, and humanitarian assistance, which is a source of stability in a volatile region.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 6 November 2019




On the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)


The Secretary-General has received an investigation report from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) relating to allegations against UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl.

The preliminary findings of this OIOS report exclude fraud or misappropriation of operational funds by the Commissioner-General. There are, however, managerial issues that need to be addressed.

The Secretary-General has decided to place the Commissioner-General on administrative leave while those issues are further clarified so that a final determination can be made, and any appropriate action can be taken.

The Secretary-General has designated Christian Saunders to act as the Officer-in-Charge of UNRWA in the intervening time, effective today, 6 November.  Mr Saunders will lead the implementation of a management plan to strengthen the Agency, particularly in the areas of oversight and accountability.

The Secretary-General expresses his appreciation to UNRWA for their excellent and dedicated work, which is essential to the well-being of Palestine refugees. He calls upon Member States and other partners to remain committed to UNRWA and its services. It is critical for the international community to support the crucial work performed by the Agency in the areas of health, education, and humanitarian assistance, which is a source of stability in a volatile region.

New York, 6 November 2019


Note to Correspondents

In response to questions about US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

In response to questions from reporters, the Spokesperson has the following to say:

The United States of America notified the Secretary-General, in his capacity as deposit, its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015 on 4 November 2019.

The United States of America had signed the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016 and expressed its consent to be bound by the Agreement by acceptance on 3 September 2016.

In accordance with the provisions of its article 28, paragraph 1, the United States of America could withdraw from the Paris Agreement as from today by giving written notification to the Secretary-General.

In a letter to the Secretary-General from Mr. Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State, dated 4 November 2019, Mr. Pompeo indicated the following:

“This letter constitutes notification by the United States of America of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.  Pursuant to Article 28, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement, the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date on which you receive this notification of withdrawal.”

According to Article 28, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement, the withdrawal of the United States will take effect on 4 November 2020.

New York, 4 November 2019