Author Archives: Julia Dean

Young People Have a Passion to Fight The Climate Emergency

Young people are extremely motivated and passionate to act against the climate crisis says Alex Whitebrook 1 of 100 young climate champions chosen to participate in UN Youth Climate Summit
on September 21 at UN HQ in New York.

The UN Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.

 

This historic event will take place on Saturday, September 21 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as part of a weekend of events leading up to the
UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday, September 23.

 

Young People From the Pacific Call for Action On Our Global Climate Emergency

In the lead up to the Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019, to raise ambition and increase climate action, UNIC Canberra in partnership with Australian National University (ANU) Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the Pacific Missions in Canberra organised a public lecture called “UN Climate Action Summit 2019: A Pacific Youth Talanoa for greater ambition on climate change”, on 2 September 2019 at Kambri Cinema, ANU.

The Vice-Chancellor and the President and Chief Executive Officer of ANU, Prof Brian Schmidt, delivered the welcome remarks and expressed his solidarity with the UN Secretary General and with the Pacific neighbours in their call to governments around the world to increase their ambition on climate change. Prof Schmidt noted that ANU researchers, economists and several interdisciplinary teams were working to explore mechanisms for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which would not only help tackle climate change, but also create new economic opportunities, support regional communities, improve health outcomes and protect biodiversity.

Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative delivered the introductory remarks and highlighted that concrete climate action outcomes can be achieved through partnerships and greater political will, together with the intelligence and passion of our youth.

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Nuclear Testing Has “Disastrous Consequences” For People And Planet

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said he hoped the day would “inspire countries to take concrete measures that will allow us to finally reach our objective of a world free from the dangers of nuclear testing”, noting at the meeting marking the occasion that there needed to be an “unmistakable message…that our work is not yet done”. More

 

UN Chief Welcomes Prisoner Exchange Between Russian and Ukraine

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, Mr. Guterres commended “all those who brought this to fruition, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Vladimir Putin”.

“He hopes that this important humanitarian act could serve as a positive step towards strengthening confidence among all, enabling regular and constructive dialogue at all levels with a view to paving the way to an eventual settlement of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine”, the statement continued.

The Secretary-General also urged all relevant parties to “take further measures in this spirit, to ensure continued momentum in the ongoing peace efforts by the Normandy Four, the Trilateral Contact Group, the OSCE and other actors, including by ensuring a durable ceasefire, easing humanitarian conditions along the contact line, and enabling progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements”.

Honoring the Women Who Continue to Provide Life-Saving Support – World Humanitarian Day

The sound of bagpipes echoed in the chapel at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture as guests gathered to commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the line of duty, while honoring those who continue to work tirelessly to provide life-saving support to people most in need.

The event commenced with the UN Secretary General’s message read by Louise Aubin, UNHCR representative and Acting Director of UNIC followed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) message delivered by the Head of ICRC Leonard Blazeby. The representative from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Clare Walsh acknowledged the work of millions of women humanitarians who have and still are changing lives across the globe.

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Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Indonesia (Papua and West Papua)

Geneva, 4 September 2019

“I have been disturbed by escalating violence in the past two weeks in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, and especially the deaths of some protestors and security forces personnel. This is part of a trend we have observed since December 2018, and we have been discussing our concerns with the Indonesian authorities. There should be no place for such violence in a democratic and diverse Indonesia, and I encourage the authorities to engage in dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua on their aspirations and concerns, as well as to restore internet services and refrain from any excessive use of force. Blanket internet shutdowns are likely to contravene freedom of expression and limiting communications may exacerbate tensions”.

“I welcome the appeals made by President Widodo and other high-level figures against racism and discrimination – a long-standing, serious issue in Papua and West Papua provinces – and their calls for dialogue and calm. I note that some arrests have been made and some members of security forces have been suspended in relation to the original violent attacks on Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, but I am concerned about reports that nationalist militias and groups are also actively involved in the violence. Local human rights defenders, students and journalists have been facing intimidation and threats and should be protected”.

ENDS

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the terrible devastation caused by
Hurricane Dorian, which is still impacting the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The Secretary-General expresses solidarity with the people and the Government of
the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The United Nations will continue supporting the Government-led ongoing rescue and
relief efforts.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 2 September 2019

It is Time to End Trafficking of Men, Women and Children Across the Globe

On Monday the 5th of August 2019, the United Nations Information Centre Canberra, together with partners – International Organisation of Migration (IOM); Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT); and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) – welcomed guests of the diplomatic community at the ACC&C multi-faith chapel to acknowledge World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. 

Attendees appreciated insightful and informative video presentations and a panel discussion between representatives from both IOM and DFAT, covering such issues as Human trafficking and the extractive industry; Technical Assistance in Palau and Countering Human Trafficking: Policy and Practice 

In his opening remarks for the event, Pär Liljert, IOM Australia Chief of Mission and Coordinator for the Pacific, left the audience with the words of their Director General António Vitorino: 

it is not a day to reflect on what we feel about migrants who are victims of trafficking. Rather it is a warning that yet another year has passed in which we can remind ourselves that no matter how much good we can do, we still haven’t done enough. It is time to end the trafficking of men, women and children across the globe”.