Category Archives: News

UN World Economic Situation and Prospects Report

Boost in global economy offers opportunities to tackle deep rooted development issues
Policy imperatives include tackling inequality and delinking economic growth from environmental degradation

New York, 11 December – An upturn in the global economy—now growing by about 3 per cent—paves the way to reorient policy towards longer-term issues such as addressing climate change, tackling existing inequalities and removing institutional obstacles to development, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2018, launched overnight in New York.

“The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 demonstrates that current macroeconomic conditions offer policy-makers greater scope to address some of the deep-rooted issues that continue to hamper progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated UN Secretary-General António Guterres in the Foreword.

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Solomon Islands: Learning from the Bitter Past, Gizo Focuses on Tsunami Awareness

When the 2007 tsunami hit the Solomon Islands, people thought it was the end of the world. People were not aware of the risks and were not warned to evacuate.

Tsunami drills in schools ensure that the young generation has necessary knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe. New emergency doors and evacuation routes allow students to exit the school away from the ocean, and run uphill to the safety.

With support from the Government of Japan, UNDP is assisting schools in the Solomon Islands to assess tsunami risks, develop emergency evacuation plans and conduct safety drills.

Eight Energy Majors Pledge to Curb Methane Emissions

Some of the biggest players in the oil and gas industry have launched an initiative to reduce methane emissions from natural gas, a major contributor to climate change. ExxonMobil, BP, Eni, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall have committed to both reduce methane and to improve the monitoring of methane emissions to measure progress and increase transparency.

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Briefing on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty

UNIC Canberra joined with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as well as the Australian Red Cross to give a briefing on the current status of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons organized by the Austrian Embassy in Canberra.  As noted by the UNIC Director, the Treaty, which was adopted with the votes of 122 States, now has over 50 signatories and will come into force once it is ratified by that same number.

The Treaty, which can be seen as a historic development at the UN, is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.  It has, he noted, filled and important legal gap, yet he urged, the political gap now needs to be filled.  Professor Richard Tanter of ICAN spoke of his organization’s work in moving the treaty to adoption and also the work that civil society had ahead of it to keep up the momentum of the Treaty, while Tara Gutman, from the Australian Red Cross, spoke of how humanitarian law had provided a framework for abolishing nuclear weapons and how her organization would be continuing to pursue this avenue to persuade more nations to join the Treaty.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of yet another ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and shows complete disregard for the united view of the international community.

The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to desist from taking any further destabilising steps. The Secretary-General reaffirms his commitment to working with all parties to reduce tensions.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 28 November 2017

Myanmar: UN experts request exceptional report on situation of women and girls from northern Rakhine State

GENEVA (28 November 2017) – A group of UN experts tasked with monitoring a global treaty on discrimination against women has requested an exceptional report from the Government of Myanmar on the situation of Rohingya women and girls from northern Rakhine State.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) made the decision at a regular meeting in Geneva last week, setting a six-month deadline for the submission of the report to the UN Secretary General. The request was sent to the Government of Myanmar on Monday, meaning the report should be submitted by 28 May 2018. It is only the fourth time an exceptional report has been requested by the Committee since holding its first session in October 1982.

The Committee, comprised of 23 independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, called on the Government to provide information on a range of issues surrounding alleged instances of violence against women and girls in northern Rakhine State in recent months.

As a party to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Myanmar is obliged to report to the Committee on its implementation of the treaty.

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Stop Violence Against Women and Girls – EU and UN ‘Spotlight’ Initiative

Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Australia and UNIC Canberra Director Mr Christopher Woodthorpe call for action to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls and ask you to join the Spotlight Campaign

Background:

The European Union and the United Nations are embarking on a new, global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls – The Spotlight Initiative. The Initiative aims to place this issue in the center of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More

The Declaration at 70: Take the Pledge

Listen to the UN High Commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you. When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP. I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”

You too, take the human rights pledge.

Media Advisory: UN Human Rights Office Launch Event Global standards for business to tackle LGBTI discrimination: Australia launch

Australian launch of global standards for business on tackling LGBTI discrimination, developed by the United Nations Human Rights Office.

Tuesday 5 December 2017,
3:45-5:00 pm, to be followed by a reception sponsored by
Baker McKenzie

WHERE: Sheraton Melbourne (Ballroom), 27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

WHO: Confirmed speakers:
Justin Koonin, President, ACON (moderator)
Anthony Foley, National Managing Partner (Australia), Baker McKenzie
Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations
Kara Hinesley, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs (Australia and NZ), Twitter
The Honorable Michael Donald Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia
Craig Andrade, Partner, Baker & McKenzie

For further details: Information and Contacts