The sound of bagpipes echoed in the chapel at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture as guests gathered to commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the line of duty, while honoring those who continue to work tirelessly to provide life-saving support to people most in need.
The event commenced with the UN Secretary General’s message read by Louise Aubin, UNHCR representative and Acting Director of UNIC followed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) message delivered by the Head of ICRC Leonard Blazeby. The representative from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Clare Walsh acknowledged the work of millions of women humanitarians who have and still are changing lives across the globe.
On the 23 August to celebrate World Humanitarian Day UNIC Canberra organised a Diplomatic briefing via Webex by the UN Resident Coordinator, Papua New Guinea, Mr Roy Trivedy.
The briefing was focused on the El Nino climate pattern over the last year, its impact on Papua New Guinea and the corresponding humanitarian efforts to assist communities.
Beginning his briefing, Mr Trivedy said that the El Nino brought with it severe drought and frosts which was catastrophic for a country like Papua New Guinea which has 80 percent of its population heavily reliant of subsistence agriculture.
He explained the various impacts of the El Nino and how communities struggled to cope. One main issue was the lack of rainfall which resulted in the rivers and rainwater catchments drying up leading to a drastic decrease in access to clean water for drinking, cooking and washing. And where communities were reliant on waterways for transport the drop in water level caused difficulties in accessing markets, he said.
In addition to these problems drought created food shortages and food insecurity as food gardens wouldn’t grow – resulting in some communities having to rely on wild crops and berries which is generally regarded as famine food, he added.
World Humanitarian Day, a day for celebrating the world’s humanitarians was celebrated at Parliament House in Canberra on the 19th of August with a focus on the stories behind the headlines. Ms. Melissa Parke, Co-Chair of the Australia-UN Parliamentary Group and Federal Member for Fremantle opened the proceedings and welcomed everyone Continue reading →
World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. This year the UN invites you to be a Messenger of Humanity and stand up for humanity by amplifying a generation’s call for a better world! Continue reading →
Aid workers often risk their lives to do the work most of us would shy away from. From Iraq to Syria, Libya to Somalia, thousands of men and women work tirelessly each day in the face of insurmountable danger and some have lost their lives in the course of duty. Paying tribute to their spirit, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and humanitarian actors Continue reading →
Despite recent strides in strengthening the ability of the United Nations to protect civilians, conflicts around the world were still characterized by a “prevailing disrespect” for the core principles of international humanitarian law, top officials warned the Security Council today. Briefing the Council ahead of a Continue reading →
This year the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching a ground-breaking campaign called The world needs more… This is a first-of-its-kind project that will quite literally turn words into aid. World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. 19 August, 2013 marks 10 years since that tragic event, which claimed Continue reading →
The music video produced as the centrepiece of the 2012 World Humanitarian Day campaign has been nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video With a Social Message. The video for the song ‘I Was Here’, performed by Beyoncé and penned by songwriter Diane Warren, was filmed in the UN General Assembly Hall in front of a live audience. It has been viewed more than 21 million times. Continue reading →