Author Archives: Julia Dean

Promoting women’s rights, a ‘proven’ strategy for peace and stability

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is “one of our best hopes” for a more peaceful future and a liveable planet, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday.

“At this time of proliferating crises, the international community must pursue proven strategies for peace and stability. Protecting and promoting women’s rights is such a strategy,” he said during the debate, highlighting the positive role regional organizations have played in protecting and advancing the key agenda. More

Top UN Envoy hails two-month renewal of Yemen truce

A truce between the Government in Yemen and Houthi rebels has been renewed for an additional two months, UN Special Envoy for the country Hans Grundberg announced on Thursday.

“By agreeing to implementing and now renewing the truce, the parties have provided a rare glimmer of hope to Yemenis that an end to this devastating conflict is possible,” he said in a statement.

The extension comes into effect at 7pm, local time, and under the same terms as the original UN-brokered agreement, which began on 2 April. More

Peacekeepers’ Day ceremony honours service and sacrifice of UN blue helmets

The United Nations Secretary- General paid tribute to the men and women serving under its flag in some of the most dangerous places in the world during a ceremony in New York on Thursday to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. More

In Canberra, Sunday 29 May, UNIC Director Damian Cardona Onses spoke and laid a wreath at  the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial in Canberra, paying homage to the more than 4,200 peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives while serving under the UN flag.

UN Secretary-General

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA MESSAGE

Around the world, millions of LGBTIQ+ people continue to face injustice, simply for who they are, or whom they love.

I am deeply concerned by continued violence, criminalization, hate speech and harassment against LGBTIQ+ people, and by new attempts to further exclude them from education, employment, healthcare, sports, and housing.

In many countries, LGBTIQ+ people are subjected to profoundly harmful practices, including so-called ‘conversion’ therapy, forced surgery and treatment, and degrading examinations.

Meanwhile, LGBTIQ+ people are among the marginalized groups that are worst affected by the many interlinked crises in our world, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts and growing inequality.

LGBTIQ+ people have the same fundamental human rights as everyone else. The solutions are clear.

We need to combat violence against LGBTIQ+ people; outlaw harmful practices; provide justice and support to victims, and end persecution, discrimination, and criminalization. We must tackle the root causes of the marginalization of LGBTIQ+ people as an essential element of the 2030 Agenda and its promise to leave no one behind.

The United Nations is proud to support and uphold the fundamental human rights and dignity of all people – including LGBTIQ+ people.

I call on everyone to join us to build a world of peace, inclusion, freedom and equality for all.

New York, 17 May 2022

Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance

António Guterres released the initial recommendations of his Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG) on Tuesday, set up in response to the hunger crisis provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine represent more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and about 30 percent of the world’s wheat. Ukraine alone provides more than half of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) wheat supply.

The war has resulted in disrupted supply chains and rising prices – not just of food, but also fuel and fertilizer.

When he announced the formation of the GCRG in March, Mr. Guterres called on countries to find creative ways to finance increased humanitarian and development recovery needs worldwide, to give generously and immediately release pledged funds. More

COVID-19 vaccine access in conflict areas remains critical

Ambassadors met to review implementation of two resolutions: one on the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire during the crisis, and the other on cooperation to facilitate vaccine access.

Ted Chaiban, Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Country-Readiness and Delivery, highlighted the need for urgent action this year.

“The window of opportunity is gradually closing. We risk losing the momentum and failing on vaccine equity,” he said, speaking from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We must therefore use every opportunity to bundle or integrate COVID-19 vaccination with other health and humanitarian interventions and leverage these investments for the longer-term strengthening of health systems.” More

UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council.

The resolution received a two-thirds majority of those voting, minus abstentions, in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favour and 24 against.

Fifty-eight abstained from the process. Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Vietnam, were among those who voted against.

Those abstaining, included India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.

The meeting marked the resumption of a special emergency session on the war in Ukraine and followed reports of violations committed by Russian forces. More

‘Decisive steps’ needed to keep boys in school – UNESCO report

Although girls have more difficulty accessing education and make up most out-of-school at the primary level, challenges facing boys are increasing at later stages, according to a report published on Wednesday by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Leave no child behind: Global report on boys’ disengagement from education, sheds light on the factors driving boys’ disengagement from the classroom.

The report highlights a global phenomenon: Harsh discipline, corporal punishment, and other forms of violence at school; gendered norms and expectations; and other factors, are preventing boys from achieving academically, while increasing absenteeism and dropouts.

“To make education a universal right, we need to ensure that all youth have the educational opportunities to successfully shape their lives and futures,” UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in the foreword.

“As this report underlines, we need to take decisive steps to keep boys in school and support them throughout their education”. More

UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned, with scientists arguing that it’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

His comments reflected the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, Mr. Guterres said in a video message, which also forecast “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”. More

Watch: UN Secretary-General Video Speech to Launch of the IPCC Report

UN chief hails launch of new expert group to boost net zero climate change fight

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday urged private investors businesses, cities, states and regions, to do more to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions, launching a new group of experts to help with realizing a net zero future.

Mr. Guterres’s comments came as he unveiled his new initiative to develop stronger standards for “net-zero” pledges by partners below the national government level, in the fight against climate change.

“Despite growing pledges of climate action, global emissions are at an all-time high,” Mr. Guterres warned. And they continue to rise, he said, adding that “the latest science shows that climate disruption is causing havoc in every region already.

The key objective is to stop global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – as the international community agreed in Paris in 2015. More