On the 7 November an Asia Pacific delegation from UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) addressed a diplomatic briefing hosted by UNIC Canberra at our office.
Ms Anne Colquhoun, UN OCHA Head of Office for the Pacific Islands gave a comprehensive briefing on work in the Pacific region some of which is emergency response preparedness.
Part of this work she said included sector partnerships and coordination – working on packages that included emergency response architecture legislation and national management systems.
Although working throughout the Pacific particular emphasis she said was working within the south pacific region because of the area’s high disaster prone characteristics.
She also highlighted OCHA’s work with Pacific partners to ensure that vulnerable people of the region are included in all disaster management plans; people with disabilities, women and children, the aged and people with different sexual or gender identities.
She also noted other current priorities which included preparing for the cyclone season in the coming months.
October 17: Rights and choice are at the centre of the mandate of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. The rights of people to decide for themselves if and when to marry or be in a partnership; whether and when to have children, and how many.
For women, reproductive rights and choice are key to genuine gender equality and empowerment – the achievement of which is a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 underpinning Sustainable Development Goals with their ultimate pledge to leave no one behind.
What is important about the report, what Pacific Islands were included – how did they go – what successes, what challenges? Progress for women? How is the Pacific doing compared to the rest of the world?
We put these and other questions to Matthew Johnson-Idan Development Economist , United Nations Development Programme Pacific Office in Fiji.
For more information on the Human Development Index Report click here
Fiji, Palau, Samoa, and Tonga remain in the High Human Development category of the latest Human Development Index (HDI) and are joined by the Republic of Marshall Islands which is included in the index for the first time. At the other end of the spectrum, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea are rated as Low Human Development on the HDI’s measurement of national achievements in health, education and income, released this month by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Participating in economic activities allows women to effect positive changes in their own lives and their communities, with positive ripple effects for the whole nation explained UNWomen Pacific Technical Specialist Sandra Bernklau who spoke to us this week about the UN Women’s Market for Change Project.
The Project now in its eight-year, is a multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
On 20 August, Ms Nisha Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States was our keynote speaker via video link up from Samoa speaking with assembled Canberra based diplomats in our office in Canberra.
UNIC Canberra hosted a briefing by Björn Andersson, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, and his colleague, Bruce Campbell, Director and Representative of the UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office, on the important work their agency is undertaking in the region.
The theme of the United Nations Association of New Zealand’s annual conference was to assess the value of Summitry.
In speaking at the conference, UNIC Canberra Director, Christopher Woodthorpe, spoke on how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development owed its existence to the success of a series of summits and conferences which had built, over the years, on a foundation laid by Member States when they agreed on the UNCED, or Earth Summit, outcome document, Agenda 21.
Pictured: Ms Joy Dunsheath, President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) with the Director of UNIC Canberra. Photo: UNANZ
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.