Sustaining Papua New Guinea’s Blue Economy

Papua New Guinea’s marine environment is vast and diverse, covering approximately 1.6 million square kilometres. It lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, with the highest coral diversity in the world. Papua New Guinea’s abundant ocean resources contain significant potential to catalyse new economic opportunities for nearly ten percent of the population that live within one kilometre of the sea.

For 2021, World Ocean Day on 8 June – and Coral Triangle Day on 9 June – is raising awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters, and ocean by 2030.

Coastal populations are growing rapidly, placing pressure on coastal and marine resources which are essential for income, food, medicines, cultural values, and physical protection from severe weather,” said UNDP Resident Representative for Papua New Guinea, Mr Dirk Wagener. More

UNFPA launches survivor-centred response to gender-based violence survivors in Papua New Guinea

Through the financial support of Zonta International, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Papua New Guinea Country Office in coordination with Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority (PHA) – launched the project “Strengthening national health sector capacity to deliver survivor-centred response to gender-based violence survivors in Papua New Guinea”.

The two-year project was launched at Alotau Provincial Hospital on June 2, 2021 and is aimed at providing quality essential services including long term recovery for women and girls who experience violence in Papua New Guinea. 

The project is expected to directly benefit over 150,000 people in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and in Milne Bay provinces of Papua New Guinea. More

‘Mass deaths’ alert in Myanmar as 100,000 flee junta’s heavy weapons

“Mass deaths from starvation, disease and exposure could occur in Kayah State after many of the 100,000 forced to flee into forests from junta bombs are now cut off from food, water and medicine by the junta. The international community must act”, UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, Tom Andrews, tweeted late on Monday.

The independent rights expert, who reports to the Human Rights Council, emphasised that that the lives of many thousands of men, women and children were under threat from indiscriminate attacks, on a scale not seen since the 1 February coup, “that likely amount to mass atrocity crimes”.  More

Afghanistan: UN condemns ‘horrendous attack’ on demining partner HALO Trust

The United Nations on Wednesday called for an investigation into the deadly attack in northern Afghanistan against the HALO Trust, a humanitarian group working to rid the country of landmines.

Ten people were killed, and 16 others injured, when gunmen burst into a demining camp in Baghlan-e-Markazi district and opened fire.  HALO Trust said the attack occurred around 9:50 pm Tuesday, local time, when some 110 men, from local communities in northern Afghanistan, were in the camp after finishing their work on nearby minefields. More

Food Aplenty, But Poor Nutrition Undermines Good Health for Samoans.

On a beautiful and peaceful tropical island like Samoa, food plants and crops thrive naturally. With close to 200,000 people, every family has access to land and about 97% of these families grow a variety of vegetables and crops and raise livestock, mainly cattle, pigs, and chickens, on a subsistence or commercial basis.

In Samoa, food is culture, food is family, food is, land and the ocean, it is everything. The Samoans strongly believe that food is abundant and there is no extreme starvation. While there is plenty to eat, there are serious health issues due to poor nutrition and poor dietary choices. The 2018 Samoa Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2018 HIES) findings show less than 1 person out of 20 is undernourished. It goes on to show that about 1 person in 4 does not have access to safe and nutritious food. More

Chilliest Spring In Years is Cold Comfort As CO2 Emissions Rise: WMO

Confirmation that Europe has just had its chilliest Spring in years is cold comfort for the planet, amid rising greenhouse gas levels which will bring negative impacts for generations to come, UN weather experts said on Tuesday.

“Europe had its coldest spring since 2013; the average March-May temperature was 0.45 degrees Celsius (C) below the 1991-2020 average,” said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“Just because this year has got off to a relatively cool start by recent standards, does not mean that we’ve hit the pause button on climate change”, Ms. Nullis added, reiterating a recent WMO warning that there is a 90 per cent chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest on record.

Global averages still high
According to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (ECMWF), Europe’s cold May contrasted with the global average temperature for the month, which was 0.26°C higher than the 1991-2020 mean.

Temperatures were well above average over western Greenland, north Africa, the Middle East and northern and western Russia while below-average May temperatures were reported over the southern and central United States, parts of northern Canada, south-central Africa, most of India, eastern Russia, and eastern Antarctica. More

UNICEF and Celebrities Appeal to G7 Countries: Donate COVID vaccinations ‘now’

From David Beckham to Whoopi Goldberg and Angelique Kidjo, Ambassadors for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other agencies, have signed an open letter to the upcoming G7 Summit of world leaders, underscoring the urgency of suppling vaccine donations now.

“We’re asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase”, wrote the celebrities, influencers and activists.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Billie Eilish were among those highlighting that the Summit provides a vital opportunity for the G7 intergovernmental group of leading countries to agree actions that will get COVID-19 vaccines “where they are most needed, fast”.

Threatening variants 
Despite spending a year and a half battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus continues to spread in many countries, producing new variants that threaten to undo all the progress so far, with more school closures, healthcare disruptions and greater economic fallout, the letter explained.

“The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country, as quickly and equitably as possible”, said Ramla Ali, José Manuel Calderón and Lucy Liu as signatories. More

Official Statement Attributable To The UN Spokesperson On The Appeals Judgment in the Ratko Mladić case

The Secretary-General takes note of today’s delivery by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Residual Mechanism”) of the appeal judgment in the case against Mr. Ratko Mladić, former commander of the Bosnian Serb armed forces. 

The Secretary-General’s thoughts are with the victims, survivors and their families who have suffered genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war for which Mr. Ratko Mladić has been found guilty.  He calls on all those in position of power to refrain from denying the seriousness of the crimes that have been adjudicated and notes that accountability constitutes an essential step for reconciliation in the region. 

  The final judgment in the case against Mr. Ratko Mladić, who is one of the highest-ranking officials to be tried by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and by the Residual Mechanism, is a reflection of the international community’s commitment to international criminal justice and the fight against impunity. It is another vital step towards coming to terms with the past to build a more resilient, secure and hopeful future for all citizens and residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. 

  The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the judges and staff involved in this case since 1995, when the first indictment was filed.  The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting efforts towards achieving accountability and justice for all. 

  Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 8 June 2021

Statement by the Secretary-General – on the Security Council recommendation to the General Assembly of a second term

The decision taken today by the Security Council to recommend to the General Assembly that I serve a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations is a great honour. I am very grateful to the members of the Council for the trust they have placed in me. My gratitude also extends to Portugal for having nominated me again.

It has been an immense privilege to be at the service of “we, the peoples” and at the helm of the amazing women and men of this Organization for the past four and a half years, when we have been facing so many complex challenges.

Pursuing, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, the purposes and principles of the Charter is a most noble duty. I would be deeply humbled if the General Assembly were to entrust me with the responsibilities of a second mandate.

New York, 8 June 2021

Foreign Minister of Maldives elected next General Assembly President

The UN chief welcomed the election on Monday of Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of the Maldives, as President-elect of the 76th session of the General Assembly. 

“Abdulla Shahid’s longstanding diplomatic experience, including in his current role as Minister of Foreign Affairs, has given him a deep understanding of the importance of multilateralism in addressing today’s global challenges”, said Secretary-General António Guterres.

He commended the President-elect for his “selection of hope as the central theme in his vision statement” and noted that, coming from a small island developing State, Mr. Shahid will “bring unique insights” to the Assembly as the world prepares for the UN climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow in November.  More