With concern growing that the divide between rich and poor is continuing to widen – especially in the Asia-Pacific region – top United Nations officials are calling for greater emphasis on growth that leads to fairer societies and a healthier planet. More.
Update on the response to Tropical Cyclone Gita by United Nations Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani
Nuku’alofa, Tonga, 19 February 2018
Tropical Cyclone Gita, a category 4 cyclone, struck Tonga on 12 and 13 February 2018, causing
widespread destruction on the main island of Tongatapu, including the capital of Nuku’alofa, and the neighbouring island of ‘Eua.
“The Government’s early warning actions and immediate response efforts are impressive. They clearly show the importance of preparedness and have no doubt contributed to reducing the impact of Tropical Cyclone Gita on human lives,” Ms. Lubrani said during her visit to Tonga.
Ms. Lubrani arrived in Tonga on 17 February 2018 to see the impact of Tropical Cyclone Gita for herself and to meet with Government officials and local partners.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)- Pacific Tsunami Warning Systems (PTWS) Working Group on Tsunami Warning and Mitigation for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT’s) has successfully completed its 5th regional meeting that was held in Honiara, Solomon Islands from the 7th to the 9th of August.
The meeting which was attended by close to 30 representatives from Pacific countries and invited experts and observers, was the opportunity for tsunami warning and mitigation focal points to share the progress of national efforts to ensure effective and reliable tsunami warning and mitigation services for their countries.
The meeting allowed the participants to review tsunami detection, warning and response capabilities of the PICT’s and tsunami mitigation activities in the region. This meeting was also very important for the Working Group to discuss their priorities and future actions.
- UN Environment has selected five young environmental change makers from the Asia/Pacific region as regional finalists of the inaugural Young Champions of the Earth prize.
- The public is invited to rate the finalists’ ideas to save the environment.
- A global jury will award one Young Champion per region with $15,000 in funding and technical support to bring their ideas to life.
15 Aug. 2017 – Today, the United Nations Environment Programme announced a shortlist of regional finalists for the Young Champions of the Earth prize – a global competition aiming to identify, support and celebrate outstanding individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with big ideas to protect or restore the environment.
From over 600 applicants, 30 regional finalists—all with emphatic track records of environmental commitment—were selected for having the most innovative, scalable and potentially impactful ideas.
Five of the 30 regional finalists hail from the Asia/Pacific regions, with projects submitted from China (Siting Zhuang), Bangladesh (Shougat Nazbin Khan), India (Ankit Agarwal), Indonesia (Awaludin Aryanto), and the Pacific island of Kiribati (Eritai Kateibwi).
Interview with UNESCO Pacific Representative Ms Nisha – discussing what is Intangible Cultural Heritage, does it apply in the Pacific and does it relate to the sustainable development agenda?
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.
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.
17 May 2017
Press Release No: G/21/2017
Bangkok (ESCAP News) –The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) marked its 70th Anniversary at the opening of the annual Commission session in Bangkok today, with its Executive Secretary reflecting on the extraordinary transformation of the region, and underlining the importance of regional solutions to support the global development agenda.
“Seventy years ago, ours was a region devastated by conflict. Political instability was rife, poverty and famine were endemic, and social tensions widespread,” said United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar. “Today our region accounts for over a third of the world’s output, and we are on track to make up half of global GDP by 2050. We are driving global growth, global trade and increasingly, science, technology and innovation. Poverty has fallen to 15 per cent in 2012, down from 50 per cent in 1990.”
Asian and Pacific countries are discussing economic cooperation and integration this week at the United Nations regional office in Bangkok, (UNESCAP) whose annual session focuses on how regional countries can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More on UN News Site.
UNESCAP Press Release which includes how to watch live and contacts for media.
The seminar was conceived in the wake of extensive consultations with Members of Parliament (MPs) and senior staff of the national parliaments of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and the Cook Islands, which returned repeated calls for professional development opportunities on committee work.
Photo: UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Osnat Lubrani encouraged delegates in her opening remarks to embrace the opportunity presented by this Seminar.
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