Category Archives: News

UN in the Pacific; working together to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities

On 23 June, resilience in the face of Climate Change was in the spotlight with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office Country Director, and Head of Pacific Regional Programme and Policy, Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, giving presentations in support of this key global issue as part of European Climate Diplomacy Week.

Titled UN in the Pacific; working together to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities, Mr Burkhanov’s presentation raised this key global issue with the Diplomatic Corps at the UNIC Canberra Office, and again with the academic community in an address at the Australian National University.

Mr Burkhanov discussed building resistance to climate change and natural disasters, and resilience from a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) perspective, examining how this might drive sustainable development more broadly.

He also spoke about how action to adapt to climate change, manage disaster risk, and reduction in development-related carbon footprint all work towards the broader goals of sustainable development and poverty reduction.

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Note to Correspondents on Peacekeepers in Central African Republic, MINUSCA

The UN Secretariat has concluded a review of the deployment of uniformed personnel from the Republic of Congo in the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA.

The UN recognises the importance of the sub-region in the resolution of the crisis in the Central African Republic and expresses its appreciation for the constructive role played by the Republic of Congo, and President Sassou-Nguesso as international mediator during the Transition and after the election of President Touadera, and looks forward to their continued political engagement to bring stability to the Central African Republic.

The review of the deployment of uniformed military personnel from the Republic of Congo found that the nature and extent of existing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, in their totality, point to systemic problems in command and control. These problems have also been compounded by issues related to the preparedness, overall discipline, maintenance of contingent owned equipment, and logistical capacity of these troops.

The outcome of the review has been shared with the authorities of the Republic of Congo, who have decided to withdraw their military personnel deployed in MINUSCA.

The Government of the Republic of Congo has reiterated its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping and stability in the Central African Republic. The Secretariat is working with the Republic of Congo and MINUSCA on the modalities for a speedy withdrawal that will have the least impact on the mission’s operational requirements and ability to implement its mandate.

The United Nations stands ready to assist the Republic of Congo authorities by identifying factors in the areas of leadership and command, performance, conduct and readiness, to enable them to address these gaps and for Republic of Congo military contingents to be eventually considered for future deployment to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Failures identified with the military contingent are not reflected by the performance of the police contingent from the Republic of Congo, also deployed with MINUSCA. Therefore, the police contingent will be retained. Nonetheless, the Republic of Congo authorities have been requested to urgently inform the United Nations of accountability measures they have taken regarding the one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a Republic of Congo police personnel.

New York, 21 June 2017

 

“Human Rights In the Pacific “Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

On Tuesday 20 June, the Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Pacific, Dr Chitralekha Massey, discussed current Human Rights issues within the Pacific region, during a diplomatic briefing held at the UNIC Canberra office.

Dr Massey gave a brief overview of the Human Rights infrastructure in the Pacific, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Dr Massey also made specific note to the progress on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the thematic focus areas of OHCHR including, Strengthening National Human Rights Institution’s, climate change, LGBTI, indigenous peoples as well as migrants and asylum seekers and protection of human rights.

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Achim Steiner Takes Office As Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

The UN Development Programme today welcomed Achim Steiner as he begins a four-year term as Administrator of the Organization.

Mr. Steiner’s appointment as the new head of the UN’s lead development agency was confirmed by the UN General Assembly in April this year, following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres.

UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories across the world to help them eradicate extreme poverty, strengthen good governance, and prevent and respond to crises.

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Statement of the Secretary-General on wildfires in Portugal

I am shocked and horrified by the many lives claimed by today’s devastating fires that hit the Pedrógão Grande region of Portugal.

Earlier today, I spoke with the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and with the Prime Minister, António Costa, to express my deep sadness and condolences to the Portuguese Government and people.

I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. At this time of loss, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims.

I commend the Government, firefighters, emergency responders and civil society organizations who are sparing no efforts to battle the wildfire and help people in need. The United Nations stands ready to assist in any way possible.

18 June 2017

On the Possibility to Withdraw from the Paris Agreement: A Short Overview

The announcement by the President of the United States in June 2017 that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement has sparked a lot of interest in how a Party* can withdraw, should they decide to do so. Here we try to explain the basic process.

A Party to the Paris Agreement is free to withdraw and the Agreement sets out the following steps and timelines for this:

– Article 28 of the Agreement states that: 1) “At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary”.

– It also states that: 2) “Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.”

– The earliest date that a Party may withdraw by giving written notification is any time from 4 November 2019 – this is the case for those who were already in when the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016.

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Message for the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace

The Secretary-General
13 June 2017

Upon taking up my duties as Secretary-General in January of this year, my very first act was to issue an appeal for peace — a call on citizens, governments and leaders everywhere to put peace first.

The International Day of Peace, observed every year on 21 September, embodies our shared aspiration to end the needless suffering caused by armed conflict.  It offers a moment for the peoples of the world to acknowledge the ties that bind them together, irrespective of their countries of origin.  It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day of peace can lead to another, and another, and ultimately to a stilling of the guns.

Countries set to agree on decisive and urgent actions to restore marine world to health as Ocean Conference concludes

Universal agreement on need for measures to reverse ocean deterioration

New York, 9 June—The 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously agreed to a set of measures that will begin the reversal of the decline of the ocean’s health as the five-day Ocean Conference concluded today. The outcome document, together with more than 1,300 commitments to action, marks a breakthrough in the global approach to the management and conservation of the ocean.

The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue has raised global consciousness of ocean problems ranging from marine pollution to illegal and over fishing, from ocean acidification to lack of high seas governance. By including all stakeholders in the discussions, the Conference produced a comprehensive and actionable range of solutions.

UN Secretary-General’s Message for World Oceans Day 2017

“Our Oceans, Our Future”

The oceans make our home a blue planet. The oceans regulate climate, generate oxygen, and provide ecosystem services, energy and minerals. The life teeming below their surfaces and along the shorelines is a source of food and medicines. Oceans connect all of us, linking people and nations in cultural ties, and they are essential for sharing goods and services across the world. The importance of our oceans to every single living being on our planet cannot be overstated. Today, we celebrate all that the oceans give us, and reaffirm our commitment to being good stewards.

On this World Oceans Day, we look to the future. Caring for, and using, our oceans in sustainable ways is critical to achieve ecological and economic goals for communities everywhere. However, the future of our oceans is burdened by numerous threats – such as climate change and ocean acidification, pollution, unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, – and the lack of capacities to address these threats. As a group of some 600 experts from around the world reported recently in the first World Ocean Assessment, the impact of human activities on the oceans has increased dramatically, particularly the cumulative impacts, and the oceans’ carrying capacity is near, or at its limit.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious framework which, together, we will use to address these threats and improve people’s lives. The World Oceans Day provides an important opportunity to advocate for a sustainable future. Ready to launch a call for action, governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society have gathered this week at the United Nations Headquarters for a high-level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Looking forward, the conservation and sustainable use of oceans can be achieved only if we manage to address effectively the threats that oceans face. This requires collaboration at all levels and across many sectors. Our future will thus be determined by our collective resolve to share information and find solutions to common problems. By going forward together, we can ensure that our oceans are peaceful, safe and bountiful, and remain healthy as our blue home.