Media and Press Releases

Media and Press Releases

Media and press releases from the main United Nations bodies, as well as offices and departments of the Secretariat.

Australia and the United Nations in a Changing World Order

INAUGURAL DR DOUG EVERINGHAM LECTURE GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY SOUTHBANK CAMPUS, BRISBANE 27 OCTOBER 2019 Major General Michael G Smith AO (Retd)   Let me start by acknowledging our traditional owners of this land and their leaders past, present and future. Our first Australians have demonstrated remarkable traits of compassion and forgiveness and we have much to […]

Appointment of Mario D’Elia as UNAA National President

Australia and the Sustainable Development Goals

Caitlin Whichello and Mitchell Stanfor “Despite positive progress in a number of areas, the Report makes it clear that without a stronger and more united approach, we are not on track to achieve the Goals by 2030′ 2019 marks four years since the implementation of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the release of the […]

Treaty of Versailles: News from the Royal Australian Mint

Given the significance of the Treaty of Versailles to the formation of the United Nations, the Royal Australian Mint presents two coins commemorating this significant moment in Australian history. The Treaty of Versailles established the conditions of peace ending World War I, but Australia’s role as a signatory and full member of the League of Nations […]

UNAA endorses Senate Committee recommendations for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

MEDIA RELEASE: UNAA President to step down in 2019

Media Release – UNAA statement of support: Urgent Medical Treatment Bill and #KidsOffNauru

UNity Newsletter – November 2018

2018 Business & Sustainability Forum Series: Good Health & Wellbeing at Workplace Forum

 On 5 September, more than 70 Western Australians gathered together at the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) to discuss a cause close to many hearts; good health and wellbeing in the workplace. Hosted by UNAA WA and SBDC, this panel event was the third in the inaugural Business & Sustainability Forum series. The Hon. Alanna […]

2018 Yolande Frank Art Awards

 For almost a decade, UNAA WA has conducted the Yolande Frank Art Awards, where school students can use any art medium to convey the meaning of a selected Human Right. This year, the awards were extended to include senior secondary students (years 10 to 12) for the first time. The awards are named in honour […]

UNAA SA Young Professionals Launch – Event Report

The launch of the UNAA SA Young Professionals Network (UNAA SA YPN) was held at the Adelaide Town Hall on September 5th, 2018. Paul Vasileff, South Australian-based founder and head designer of Paolo Sebastian, and international renowned atelier was the keynote speaker for the night. Special guests attending included Chief Justice, Chris Kourakis; Member of […]

Rich social fabric of Australia commemorated and celebrated at United Nations Day

 The sacrifices of the past and hope for the future: these were the two defining elements of United Nations Day for attendees at The Cenotaph in Sydney’s Martin Place. United Nations Day takes place annually on 24 October and begins with the wreath-laying ceremony, which commemorates the sacrifices made by fallen United Nations peacekeepers. For […]

December UNity report – UNAA Northern Territory Division

The UNAA Northern Territory (UNAA NT) Board is a small team of volunteers that have managed to celebrate some of the important international UN days and their directly-related SDGs throughout 2018.  UNAA NT accomplished this mostly through partnerships with other local organisations, truly living the ideal of SDG 17.  March 3 – On International Women’s Day, […]

WIPC 2018 – SBS Video recap

Did you attend WIPC 2018 Sydney? 🕊️ Watch now 🎥: WIPC 2018 on Scoop News Report from SBS Australia, featuring UNAA President Michael G Smith and UNAA NSW President, Patricia Jenkings [Thai Audio Version].  

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Marise Payne, National Statement – United Nations General Assembly

National Statement – United Nations General Assembly — Transcript New York, 28 September 2018   Good evening, Mr President We are all proud members of this venerable institution. If this place, and our membership of it, stand for anything, then we stand for an international order based on rules and cooperation. This principle guides our […]

Get ready for the 73rd UN General Assembly

World Inner Peace Celebration in Australia 2018

  Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at the World Inner Peace Celebration in Australia 2018! 🌏🕊️ This a free event! Come along and celebrate the International Day of Peace, promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and introducing Inner Peace Education and Practice. When: 22 September 2018 Where: International Convention Centre, Darling […]

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United Nations Security Council, Briefing on the Situation in Myanmar and the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Remarks by Cate Blanchett, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

As delivered. Thank you Mr. President. Distinguished delegates, Mr. Secretary-General, ladies and gentlemen. I am honoured by the opportunity to address the Security Council at this critical juncture. I am not here as an expert. I stand before you only as a witness. As someone who has seen and cannot look away. I went to […]

UN Secretary-General’s remarks to Security Council on Myanmar

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS TO SECURITY COUNCIL ON MYANMAR New York, 28 August 2018 I join you today with a heavy heart. The massive refugee emergency that began one year ago in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian and human rights crises. Last month, I visited Cox’s Bazar […]

Kofi Annan’s Achievement

Read now: The Project Syndicate article by UNAA Goodwill Ambassador for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Professor Ramesh Thakur: “Great chief executives need a guiding vision for the exercise of authority, and all the more so when that authority is international civil authority. As United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan had such a vision – and the […]

Kofi Annan: a leader with compassion

Read now: The Lowy Institute article by Professor John Langmore: “Annan was the most gracious person I have ever met in public life, dedicated to human wellbeing and seeking peaceful conflict resolution.” Professor John Langmore was Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development in the UN Secretariat in New York for five years starting from […]

KARI Foundation celebrates NAIDOC Week

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Statement by the Secretary-General on the passing of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — 18 AUGUST 2018   Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good.  It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing.  In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. […]

UN Chronicle – 2030 Agenda (Vol. LV No. 2 2018)

    This issue focuses on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, which commits United Nations Member States to work towards a sustainable future for all. The articles, by Senior Officials of the United Nations system, examine the Organization’s lead role in advancing the 2030 Agenda, […]

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UN Secretary-General nominates Michelle Bachelet of Chile as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — NOMINATES MICHELLE BACHELET OF CHILE AS UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS New York, 9 August 2018   The Secretary-General, following consultations with the Chairs of the regional groups of Member States, today informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Michelle Bachelet of Chile as the next United […]

UN Secretary-General Message on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES 9 AUGUST 2018   Indigenous peoples have a profound spiritual connection to their lands and resources.  Yet, increasingly, indigenous persons are migrating within their countries and across international borders.  The reasons are complex and varied.  Some are subject to displacement […]

UN Secretary- General Message on the International Youth Day, 12 August

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — WRITTEN MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 12 AUGUST 2018   The hopes of the world rest on young people. Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance – all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping into the power of youth. Yet more than 400 million young women and men live […]

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: States must treat refugees and migrants as rights holders and act to prevent trafficking and exploitation

  GENEVA (27 June 2018) – States around the world must act now to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, including by ensuring that victims and potential victims are considered and treated as rights holders. In a statement to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, UN human rights expert, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, says […]

UN Secretary-General Message on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — MESSAGE ON THE WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS 30 JULY 2018   Trafficking in persons is a vile crime that feeds on inequalities, instability and conflict.  Human traffickers profit from peoples’ hopes and despair.  They prey on the vulnerable and rob them of their fundamental rights. Children and young […]

UN women’s rights experts issue findings on Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, State of Palestine, and Turkmenistan

  GENEVA (22 June 2018) – The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has published its findings on the countries it examined during its session from 2 to 20 July in Geneva: Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, State of Palestine, and Turkmenistan. The findings cover how the respective State […]

UNAA QLD Peacekeepers March 2018

On 2nd June, the UNAA QLD celebrated 71 years of Australian participation in Peacekeeping in Brisbane  This was a special event attracting people who served, representatives of countries where we’ve undertaken 62 missions, networks, young people, and the public who are interested in peace processes. Saturday morning started with a Peoples March from King George […]

Adelaide 2018: A Space Odyssey

Guest reporter – Bernard Williams Reference to science fiction films and TV shows was inevitable, and we got some of the big ones, including “Star Wars”, “Star Trek”, and Stanley Kubrick’s prophetic 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The Rise of New Space Endeavours in Australia, an initiative of the United Nations Association of Australia SA Division, […]

UNAA VIC Group tour of International Geneva and the UN

From 20-25 May, former UN Ambassador and Staff member, Carlisle Richardson, led our first ever small group tour of International Geneva and the UN. After a week of meetings with Geneva-based UN officials, representatives of UN-related organisations and NGOs, the group was exhausted but inspired. We also took part in a tour of the Palais des Nations, the UN’s […]

Secretary-General, at Opening of Counter-Terrorism Conference, Says Response to Scourge Must Be as Agile, Multifaceted as Threat

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — OPENING REMARKS AT UNITED NATIONS HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON COUNTER-TERRORISM New York, 28 June 2018 [as delivered] I am pleased to welcome you all to the first‑ever global High-Level Conference of heads of counter-terrorism agencies of the Member States of the United Nations. Terrorism and violent extremism undermine international peace and security.  They […]

MEDIA RELEASE: UNAA appoints Grace Forrest as Goodwill Ambassador for Anti-Slavery

                MEDIA RELEASE UNAA appoints Grace Forrest as Goodwill Ambassador for Anti-Slavery CANBERRA (29 June 2018) – The United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) today announced the appointment of Grace Forrest as a Goodwill Ambassador. UNAA National President, Major General Michael Smith AO (Ret’d) said “Grace’s appointment will […]

UN women’s rights committee to review Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, State of Palestine and Turkmenistan

    UN women’s rights committee to review Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, State of Palestine and Turkmenistan   GENEVA (June 29, 2018) — The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is meeting in Geneva fromJuly 2-20 to review women’s rights in the following countries: Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, […]

UN experts to US: “Release migrant children from detention and stop using them to deter irregular migration”

  GENEVA (22 June 2018) – The executive order signed by the US President on 20 June 2018 fails to address the situation of thousands of migrant children forcibly separated from their parents and held in detention at the border, UN experts* said. In addition, it may lead to indefinite detention of entire families in violation […]

Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2018

UN chief hails ‘very important role’ of Human Rights Council, as US withdraws, citing alleged bias

World Refugee Day: Critical time to welcome refugees, says UN rights expert

    World Refugee Day 20 June 2018 Critical time to welcome refugees, says UN rights expert   GENEVA (19 June 2018) – The world must act now to help those forced to leave their homes by overwhelming circumstances says a UN rights expert. In a statement to mark World Refugee Day, the UN Special Rapporteur […]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s statement to the Human Rights Council on 18 June 2018

    38th session of the Human Rights Council Opening statement and global update of human rights concerns by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein   Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Colleagues and Friends,             As this is my last global update to the Human Rights Council in a regular session […]

Urgent action needed to stop violence and discrimination against LGBT people worldwide, says UN expert

    GENEVA (18 June 2018) – States around the world must take urgent action to eradicate violence and discrimination against LGBT people, a UN expert has said in his first official address to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. “Every day, millions of lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans and other gender non-conforming people are subjected […]

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UN Secretary-General Message : International Day of UN Peacekeepers, May 29

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS   29 May 2018 On May 29th, 1948, the United Nations Security Council authorized the first United Nations peacekeeping operation – the UN Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. On this 70th anniversary, we express our gratitude to the more […]

UNHCR Statement

  By UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra  |  22 May 2018   UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is profoundly saddened by the death of a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, today. The tragic loss of yet another vulnerable person under Australian ‘offshore processing’ again underscores the need for proper care and immediate solutions. “With the […]

Gender-Based Violence in Sudan

The United Nations is speaking out against the conviction of Sudanese teenager Noura Hussein Hammad Daoud, who has recently been sentenced to death for the stabbing of her husband. This case has highlighted the extreme inequality that women still face in the African nation. Hussein was forced into marriage as a teenager at the age […]

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UN Human Rights Council Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

    Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to the UN Human Rights Council Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem Geneva, 18 May 2018   Mr. President,             Appalling recent events in Gaza have […]

UNAA President Appoints Lachlan Hunter New National Executive Director

              MEDIA RELEASE Monday 14 May 2018 CANBERRA – The President of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Major General (Ret’d) Michael G Smith AO, today announced the appointment of Lachlan Hunter as National Executive Director. “I am delighted one of our former UNAA Young Professionals has secured […]

Intensify Efforts to Curb Biodiversity Loss, Build on Successes, Secretary-General Urges in Message for International Day for Biological Diversity

  SG/SM/19046-ENV/DEV/1854-OBV/1791 21 MAY 2018 Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day for Biological Diversity, observed on 22 May:   The rich variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare and prosperity of people today and for generations to come.  That is why, 25 years ago, the world’s nations agreed […]

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UNAA President Appoints Lachlan Hunter New National Executive Director

              MEDIA RELEASE Monday 14 May 2018 CANBERRA – The President of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Major General (Ret’d) Michael G Smith AO, today announced the appointment of Lachlan Hunter as National Executive Director. “I am delighted one of our former UNAA Young Professionals has secured […]

A reflection on the conflict in Syria

As a timely reminder of the continued uncertainty faced in Syria, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Jan Egelend, last week warned the world that the ongoing pain and suffering was far from over. Mr. Egelend expressed his concern at the world’s lack of attention towards the still very serious situation in Syria. He […]

Palestinian Protests: The Great March of Return

Palestinians in Gaza are set to enter their seventh straight week of protests. These come as part of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests staged at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, aimed at changing the dire situation in Gaza, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called the most “dramatic humanitarian crises that […]

A Harvest for our Future

Guest reporter: Tania Paloa – On Sunday 5th May 2018 a partnership between the UNAASA and Cittaslow Goolwa saw members, guests, well-known chefs and other dignitaries gather together at Goolwa for a very special event. Glorious weather blessed this two-part event in support of the UN Sustainable Development goals — an art installation by renowned contemporary artist […]

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Pre-monsoon rains pour down on Bangladesh, and Rohingya camps are at great risk

Pre-monsoon rains hit Bangladesh on April 19th, a possible foreshadowing of the severe risks that future downpours will have on Rohingya refugee camps. According John McCue, Senior Operations Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), these rains signal “the start of what is going to be an incredibly challenging period for the refugees and […]

‘Water must be an absolute priority in everything we do’ – UN chief

According to the ‘Making Every Drop Count’ report, 40% of the world’s people are being affected by water scarcity. If not addressed, as many as 700 million people could be displaced by 2030 in search of water. More than two billion people are compelled to drink unsafe water and more than 4.5 billion do not […]

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Venezuelan Crisis Escalating

The Latin American nation of Venezuela has seen its ongoing crisis deteriorate over the past several years. With massive hyperinflation, a broken healthcare system, limited access to goods or employment, and increasing disease spreading through the country, the number of refugees streaming into neighbouring countries has been steadily increasing. So what is the Venezuelan crisis, […]

Spotlight on World Food Programme

Assisting 80 million people in around 80 countries each year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organisation fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Every day, WFP and its partners work to bring us closer to a zero hunger world. With […]

North Korean Denuclearisation, and Donald Trump

Last Thursday, the surprise announcement was made that Kim Jong-un is committed to denuclearising his country, and would like to meet with US President Donald Trump. President Trump has since agreed to the meeting, which is expected to take place within the next two months in a neutral location. However, Mr. Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah […]

Freedom of speech necessary for long-lasting peace in South Sudan

A new human rights report details the restriction of free expression of opinion in South, and how this has manifested in self-censorship, and more frequent acts of violence and hate speech. This report, co-authored by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), […]

#TimeIsNow to speak up for women’s rights. Use #IWD2018 as a platform to raise your voice.

On International Women’s Day, let us all pledge to do everything we can to overcome entrenched prejudice, support engagement and activism, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres The theme for International Women’s Day on 8 March, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. This year, […]

Cape Town Runs Dry

  After three years of drought, the South African coastal city of Cape Town is running out of water, with sufficient supply expected to run out in early May. For decades, Cape Town’s population of 4 million has relied on the Theewaterskloof Dam for over 50% of its water supply. However, with the dam running […]

Time to bridge the gap & #ChooseScience

Bridging the gender gap in science is vital for achieving sustainable development and fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda to “leave no one behind”. Although science-related fields are critical to national economies, most countries, industrialised or not, have not achieved gender equality in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at every level of the […]

Key UN bodies responds to Kabul terrorist attack

On Saturday, January 27, an ambulance rigged with explosives was detonated in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 95 and leaving over 190 people injured. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. The attackers reportedly used an ambulance bearing the emblem of the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan. This, according to Tadamachi Yamamoto, the head of the […]

Australia Day ‘Change the Date’ campaign

‘Invasion Day’ rallies were held in every capital city on Australia Day last week, with the largest turnout, an estimated 50,000+ people in Melbourne listening to various activists. Professor Gary Foley in Melbourne spoke at the event saying, ‘If we keep mobilising these numbers, governments cannot ignore us’. Foley was referring to the crowd sizes […]

  THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — Video message: An alert for the world 1 January 2018   Dear friends around the world, Happy New Year. When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace. Unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse. On New Year’s Day 2018, […]

Season’s Greetings to all


The sunscreen protecting you might be damaging that coral reef

  Scientists have bad news for holiday-makers: the sunscreen protecting your skin as you swim or snorkel in the balmy tropical water might be killing the very coral reef and its amazing marine life that you came to enjoy. Many sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a chemical that helps filter out the ultraviolet rays that cause skin […]

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document, which underpins all international human rights law and has helped countless people to gain greater freedom and security. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages. “Over seven decades, this mighty document has helped to profoundly change […]

UN refugee agency urges that Rohingya return to Myanmar should be of own volition

The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar reached an agreement to negotiate for the Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the UNHCR, urged that the Rohingyas should be allowed to return voluntary, and under safe conditions. To escape abuse, torture, and mass execution, over 620,000 refugees fled to Bangladesh in the […]

UN warns Australian Government on Manus refugees and asylum-seekers

The Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra (UNHCR), Thomas Albrecht, has warned the Australian government “the situation still unfolding on Manus Island presents a grave risk of further deterioration, and of further damage to extremely vulnerable human beings”. This follows the recent release of footage on November 24 of uniformed […]

Launch of special initiative to address climate change impact on health in Small Island Developing States

  On November 12, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) the World Health Organization in collaboration with the UN Climate Change secretariat and in partnership with the Fijian Presidency of the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), launched a special initiative to protect people living in Small Island Developing States from the health […]

UN Climate Change Conference Bonn 2017

  The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23), in Bonn, Germany, is entering its final week of negotiations, sparking new commitments and initiatives to combat climate change. New commitments in agriculture, energy, finance, gender action, and water were announced to push forward the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. In agriculture, leaders and experts […]

TOGETHER. Respect, Safety and Dignity for all

  We need to #JoinTogether to change negative narratives about migration. TOGETHER is a global initiative led by the United Nations to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities. In the New York Declaration, all 193 UN Member States unanimously welcomed TOGETHER […]

Protecting LGBTI rights worldwide

  While many governments have made commitments for equal rights and fair treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, more than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations. Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Vitit Muntarbhorn, believes that global action […]

US rethinks Iran Nuclear Deal

  There is currently much talk regarding the US and the Iran Nuclear Deal. US President Donald Trump recently stated that he would not recertify the deal with Iran, much to the concern of the international community. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has spoken out on the importance of the deal with Iran, stating that it […]

Rohingya suffered pre-meditated human rights violations

  A new UN report, publicly released on 11 October, details the tactics administered to attack and drive away the Rohingya population in Myanmar. This report was released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and discusses the human rights violations committed by the Myanmar security forces and groups of […]

Hurricane Maria Flash Appeal for Dominica

Less than two weeks ago, Hurricane Maria ravaged through the Caribbean, tearing apart homes, wiping out key infrastructure and agriculture, and causing major flooding and landslides across several countries. Days, after it was hit by Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean island of Dominica, was completely decimated by Hurricane Maria, the most powerful storm in the country’s […]


  The United Nations Environment Programme has launched ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’, a call to action for governments, business, local authorities, civil society and individuals to prevent and reduce pollution and clean up the planet helping to move the world to a healthier and more sustainable way of living. The report conveys five overarching messages: […]

Federal Senator Singh highlights humanitarian situation in Yemen to Australian Parliament

  Senator Lisa Singh’s speech on the current humanitarian situation in Yemen and the issue of the reduced financial assistance of the Australian government to overseas development assistance.   On the 11 September 2017, Senator Lisa Singh presented a speech to the Australian Senate, promoting awareness to the current humanitarian crisis in Yemen as well […]

LGBTQI Rights – At Home and Abroad

    While the debate is currently raging in Australia regarding same-sex marriage, the United Nations continues to fight against atrocities committed against LGBTQI people around the world. The most notable of which is the continued abuse, torture and murder of homosexual people in the Russian republic of Chechnya. For months, reports have been showing […]

UN Women launches global partnership to promote women in technology and business

    The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or UN Women, joined forces with several global industry leaders, academic institutions, and NGOs, to launch the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) on 14 September. Launched in New York City, the purpose of this partnership will be to promote awareness […]

How the UN is working to help over 836 million people still living in extreme poverty

    ‘Ending poverty in all its forms’, one of the UN’s key Sustainable Development Goals is an ambitious task. We’ve broken down some key stats on how this can be achieved and what you can do to help! What’s the goal? By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people […]

2017 Future Policy Awards: Combating Desertification

    The World Future Council in partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) recently announced the winners of the 2017 Future Policy Award, celebrating the world’s best land restoration policies. Australia’s Indigenous Protected Areas and Rangers Programme received a Bronze Award. Each year, the World Future Council identifies one topic on […]

Emerging Global Water Crisis

    The Sustainable Development Goals cover a myriad of areas including ending poverty and hunger, taking action on climate change and reducing inequality. Number 6 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is “Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”. Ultimately, this goal argues that humans require clean, accessible water […]

World experts implore UN to ban autonomous weapons

    In an open letter to the United Nations, 116 experts on robotics and artificial intelligence called for the ban of lethal autonomous weapons. The letter was presented this week at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), in Melbourne. Noted signatories include deep learning expert and Element AI founder Yoshua Bengio, Tesla […]

Essential UN: Fast Facts and FAQ’s

    Ever wondered how many people work for the United Nations? How many countries contribute to peacekeeping or how many people globally are provided with food and assistance? We’ve compiled a list of the top facts and FAQ’s.   Who are the current members of the United Nations? There are currently 193 UN Member […]

Advancing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

  Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gillian Bird, has announced that Australia will deliver its first voluntary national review on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN High-Level Political Forum on July 2018. Heads of State and senior government Ministers from all UN member states use the High-Level Political […]

Talks Between North and South Korea Fail to Get Off the Ground

  UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the news last week that leaders from South Korea had extended an invitation to North Korea to talk out differences as a means of reducing the ongoing simmering tension between the two states. On Monday, July 17, South Korean officials proposed the first round of talks with North Korea […]

The Dedication of the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial will be a Highlight of the 70th Anniversary of Australian Peacekeeping

  On the 14th September 2017, the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial will be officially opened on its site on Anzac Parade, Canberra in a combined dedication and commemorative service at which the Principal Guest will be His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. This service will […]

India’s positive view to meeting SDGs

    India plays a pivotal role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the chief UN development officer based in New Delhi. In an interview with UN News, Yuri Afansiev, the UN Resident Coordinator, and the UNDP’s Resident Representative stated that India is essential to meeting the SDGs set for 2030. According […]

70 years of Australian Peacekeeping

  President Kennedy said: Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” I’m sure peace and the breaking down of barriers were very much in the minds of the 51 member states that made up the original membership of The United Nations, which […]

UNDP 2017 Equator Prize Winners Announced

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently announced the winners of the Equator Prize 2017, recognising innovative solutions for tackling poverty, climate and environment challenges from 15 local and indigenous communities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The winning organisations will be honoured at a celebratory gala in New York in September 2017. […]

World Refugee Day

“Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror”. This is the message the United Nations spread on June 20, World Refugee Day in which UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the governments of the world to work together to help ease the continuing refugee crisis. World Refugee Day is based on […]

UNESCO study reveals correlation between poverty and education

    A study conducted by UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) examines the correlation between poverty and the accessibility of education. Due to the high rates of children and adolescents who are out of school, or have not completed their education, the global poverty rate may not see a reduction. According to […]

Refugee numbers outpace settlement spots

    Close to 1.2 million refugees need resettling globally, but only 93,200 places in resettlement countries are expected to be available this year – 43 per cent fewer than in 2016, according to estimates. “The fact is, global resettlement needs today far outweigh the places made available by governments by a factor of 13 […]

First UN Oceans Conference Concludes with Call to Action

  The first United Nations Oceans Conference was held June 5-9, concluding with a global agreement to reverse the decline of the ocean’s health and more than 1,300 pledged actions for protecting the shared, global resource. The week-long conference, which coincided with the United Nations Oceans Day on 8 June, brought together over 6,000 people […]

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste makes donation to Australian Peacekeeping Memorial

    The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has made a major donation of $US 100,000 to help complete the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial being constructed on Anzac Parade in Canberra. The Australian Peacekeeping Memorial will commemorate the service of tens of thousands of Australian military, police and civilian peacekeepers on over 60 international peace operations since […]

UNICEF introduces six-point plan of action for refugee children

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has entreated governments to support and adopt their plan to protect children moving across international borders. Ahead of the G7 Summit taking place in Sicily, Italy this year, UNICEF presented their plan of action: a six-point plan detailing the steps that need to be taken to protect […]

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

    Every two years, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, or UNISDR, convenes the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is the world’s leading convention on resilience building and the reduction of disaster risk across all communities and nations. The 2017 Global Platform was recently held from 22 – 26 May […]

New FAO guidelines: Sustainable agriculture practices are key to climate change adaption

    The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation has unveiled guidelines to help Governments balance the needs of increased food production and climate change adaptation. The new guidelines aim to support developing countries in making sure that the agriculture sector is both included in national climate change adaptation plans and made more resilient and sustainable. […]

2017 List of New UNESCO Global Geoparks

    Ten nominations, eight new aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks and two extensions of existing UNESCO Global Geoparks, for the period 2017-2020 were officially endorsed by the UNESCO Executive Board on May 5, 2017. UNESCO Global Geoparks are ‘single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic […]

International Yoga Day Adelaide 2017

    On a mild autumn day in the spirit of Peace and Harmony, an event was held to celebrate Harmony Day combined with the International Yoga Day. This was sponsored by the United Nations Association (SA), the UNAA Peace Program, the World Peace Flame and Dru Yoga. The mild Autumn weather and the picturesque […]

UN Envoy of International Migration’s comments on importance of changing narrative on migration

    UN Envoy Louise Arbour has observed that the narrative of migration “overwhelmingly” focuses on the “negative sides” of it and that there needs to be a greater focus on the positive impact it can have. Arbour was appointed as the Special Representative of International Migration to United States Secretary-General António Guterres in March […]

Tensions Continue to Rise with North Korea

  The UN has discussed the need to avoid armed conflict in North East Asia in a Security Council meeting convened on April 28. The chairs of the meeting, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, stated that it is the collective responsibility of the international community to avoid war […]

Meet the UN’s Messengers of Peace

    Separate to Goodwill ambassadors, do you know who the United Nations Messengers of Peace are? The United Nations Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the […]

UN statement on Australia’s “disturbing”, “alarming” and “deeply troubled” Indigenous policies

    A UN Special Rapporteur has shone a bright light on Australia’s Indigenous practices and reached some dark conclusions.  Ms. Tauli-Corpuz’s end of mission statement detailed her findings that included numerous criticisms but also some praise in the way Australia manages its Indigenous population. The Special Rapporteur said it was a priority of her […]

“Women don’t matter. Girls don’t matter.”

  A senior United Nations figure who specialises in reproductive health issues has lamented the lack of global funds spent on women at an event in Canberra. “Women don’t matter,” Babatunde Osotimehin concluded while talking about men spending far more money on issues that affect their gender. “Girls don’t matter.” “And so we don’t spend […]

World Health Day 2017

    World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year, provides a unique opportunity to mobilise action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of the World Health Day 2017 campaign is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’. A condition that affects people of all ages, from all walks […]

Commission on the Status of Women 61

    Monday, March 13 saw the opening day of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The CSW kicked off in the General Assembly, with the first official meeting of the Commission. In this, ministers from all of the world’s nations met to open […]

UNAA Young Professionals Launch

    On 15 March, the NSW Young Professionals team was delighted to welcome thought-leaders from Sydney’s business, government, and not-for-profit sectors to the launch of their 2017 program of events. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the keynote address by Ms Edda Hamar, Co-Founder and Director of Undress Runways and one the United […]

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    This week on March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was observed by the United Nations, governments and organisations across the globe. As societies become increasingly diverse and multicultural, targeting racism and all forms of discrimination is so important for peace and social cohesion. The rights to equality and non-discrimination […]

UNAA argues for rules-based international order in paper

      The United Nations Association of Australia has just released an educational special primer paper for policymakers on the critical role of the UN in the “rules-based international order”. This definitive paper has been co-authored by the Australian Parliamentary Library and UNAA National President, Major General Michael G Smith AO (Ret’d). The paper’s […]

Unprecedented humanitarian crisis as four countries face famine

    The United Nations has called for international action to tackle a critical and unprecedented humanitarian situation, with famine threatening four different countries simultaneously. A day after famine was officially declared by the UN in South Sudan, Secretary-General António Guterres joined other top United Nations officials calling for “strong and urgent” action from the international […]

International Women’s Day

    This week on 8 March International Women’s Day was observed across the globe.  This day celebrates the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women but also marks a call to action to accelerate gender parity. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum calculated that it may take as long as 170 years […]

CSW61 2017

    The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has run annually for the past 60 years and is one of the biggest annual conferences held by the United Nations. Each year, representatives of the world’s governments, together with NGOs and notable individuals, meet in the United Nations headquarters in New York to evaluate the […]

UNAA applauds Australia’s move on torture treaty

  The UNAA has welcomed Australia’s decision to ratify the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). The Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and Attorney General George Brandis announced earlier this month that the Government planned to ratify the protocol by the end of the year. The […]

Expert Briefs UNAA Event on Global Terror Index

  A UNAA event at Parliament House in Canberra last week delved into the complex world of terrorism, its motivating factors and its cost to the global community. The Founder and Executive Chair of the Institute for Economics and Peace, Steve Killelea, addressed the event chaired by the convenors of the UN-Australia parliamentary group, Nationals […]


On this day, let us commit to intensifying global action against this heinous human rights violation for the sake of all affected women and girls’ – UN Secretary-General António Guterres, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February   This week on 6th February, the UN observed the International Day for Zero […]

International Law and Syria’s Investigative Panel

  Late in 2016, the United Nations approved the implementation of an independent investigative panel to work toward the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria. This legal mechanism, currently known as the ‘International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of those Responsible for […]

World Interfaith Harmony Week

      The first week of February each year sees a week of observance, interaction, dialogue and discourse with World Interfaith Harmony Week. This year, World Interfaith Harmony Week will take place from February 1-7, and will see all interfaith groups coming together with various other groups of goodwill, comprising of faith based and […]

“All Australians have a role to play in ending racism and xenophobia,” says UN expert, Mutuma Ruteere on a recent visit to Australia.

    “If they do not speak out they lend legitimacy to them. It’s very easy for darkness to drive out the light. It’s very easy for the bad to demean the good. It’s much harder to clear out the political space once it’s infected by racists,”.  The United Nations’ special rapporteur on racism, Mutuma […]

Sustainable Tourism in 2017 – Planning Your Next Holiday.

  Each year, the United Nations names a theme that will be pursued for the entirety of that year. Accordingly, 2017 has been named The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Sustainable Tourism for Development has three key tenets: economic, social and environmental. Economically sustainable tourism aims to inject funding from tourism into local […]

The Unique Role of the United Nations in Countering Terrorism

  Mike Smith, Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University Most people probably think that the UN has very little to contribute in the field of counter-terrorism.  After all to the average punter counter-terrorism would seems mainly to involve the nation’s law enforcement, intelligence, and border control agencies, not to mention in some cases, the military.  The UN […]

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

  On November 25 each year, the United Nations marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day aims to raise awareness of the sexual and physical violence that girls and women face every day, which the United Nations has called a global pandemic, with the ultimate goal to wipe out […]

Happy Birthday UN!

  24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday. UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document […]


  After the sixth round of informal straw polls in the UN Security Council, on 5 October (New York time) all UNSC members came out together to announce agreement on a new secretary-general for the United Nations: Antonio Guterres. The final indicative vote for him—the first in which different coloured straws were used for the five […]

UN aid finally reaching Syria

Only days ago the long discussed ceasefire agreement in Syria began to unravel and  special envoys packed with aid were once again blocked by new outbursts of war. In particular, a UN aid convoy fell to an air strike on 19th September. While it has not been confirmed who was responsible, the attack killed 12 people and […]

The UN in South Sudan

  In a move toward resolving the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted Resolution 2304 (2016) with 11 votes in favour and four abstentions. The Security Council had “grave alarm and concern” for the situation in South Sudan, which has seen an escalation of deadly violence in the […]

Beyond 2016 – the Olympic legacy

  With a reach of over one billion people, the Olympic and Paralympic Games provides a world stage on which to showcase a nation’s potential. From culture to scenic beauty, history, music, food and more, the opportunity is one to be seized by a host country – the economic benefits are a huge boost to […]

On World Humanitarian Day, it is time to rebuild support for international humanitarian cooperation

Amelia Seeto The world is experiencing a series of compounded, prolonged and increasingly conflict-based humanitarian crises. In 2015, over 125 million people required daily emergency food, water and shelter for survival. A record 65.3 million people were displaced by conflict and persecution; a number greater than the combined populations of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. […]

Problems Plaguing Rio de Janeiro

      With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to begin in the coming days and the Paralympics set to follow in September, much of the world’s attention has been focused on Brazil and the host city, Rio de Janeiro. Numerous issues have plagued the country in the lead-up to the Olympic Games including political […]

Reflections on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July)

    The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, held on the 30th of July recognizes the fact that both human trafficking and slavery are not mere relics of the past, but continue to make up an established and flourishing illicit international business. Indeed human trafficking is now the world’s fastest growing criminal industry. The […]

A Message to United Nations Associations on the 70th Anniversary of WFUNA

    August 2nd, Dear Friends,   On August 2, 1946, representatives from your organization and twenty-one other UNAs combined efforts to support the ideals of the UN Charter in your respective countries, and formed an international organization to promote peace, human rights, education, and the work of the UN. Today we are the largest […]

Can Elected Members Make a Difference in the UN Security Council? Australia’s Experience in 2013–2014

John Langmore and Jeremy Farrall The UN Charter gives the Security Council the extraordinary function of being responsible for international peace and security. Although the Permanent Five members are disproportionately powerful, there is nevertheless scope for elected members to influence the Council’s decision-making processes during their short two-year terms. This article uses Australia’s membership in […]

International Labour Organization Conference 2016

The 105th International Labour Organization Conference was held at the UN in Geneva. 5,982 representatives from 187 member states came together to share insights and participate in dialogues on advancing opportunities for all to secure equal and dignified working conditions. The three focus areas as indicated by the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, are the Standards […]

The End of the Age of Impunity

With the very first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict marked on 19 June, 2016 has become a momentous year of landmark convictions for sexual violence in international criminal law. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the age of impunity has now come to an end with convictions at the […]


        Dear members and friends,   With the Australian federal election only a week away, the UNAA has surveyed the three largest political parties on their policy positions towards United Nations and international affairs to help inform the electorate. The Australian Labor Party , the Australian Greens and the Coalition responded to our call […]

Making the United Nations Fit for Purpose in the 21st Century

The New South Wales Division of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) invites you to be part of its 2016 Conference! The UN is the only truly international organisation dedicated to addressing ‘Problems without Passports.’ Recently the UN has won some notable victories with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on […]

Opinion – Cause and Effect: Considering World Environment Day in 2016

– Matthew Kronborg, UNAA Executive Director     Without a healthy environment, our global societies and economies will come under increased pressure and potentially eventually falter. We have seen a growing number of localized examples of this in recent years; for instance the Mexico ‘Tortilla Riots’ of 2007 or the 2008 Tunisian ‘Arab Spring’ uprising. […]

The United Nations endorses new disability charter

  The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul, Turkey this week, praised by the UN Chief for setting a ‘new course’ toward alleviating the suffering of millions. This Summit has introduced a charter that stands to dramatically benefit the lives of people living with disabilities, particularly during ties of emergency. Often left behind […]

Special UN consultative status granted to Australian community housing not-for-profit.

  In a first for an Australian community housing organisation, Compass Housing has been granted special consultative status as part of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council. Compass Housing is one of Australia’s largest community housing providers, with over 4400 properties managed across New South Wales and Queensland, a recently established presence in New Zealand, and plans […]

UN Peacekeeping: Successes and Challenges

Matthew Kronborg –   The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, May 29, is a dedicated annual observance occasion to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations. It respects their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and honours the memory of […]

Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution

This week the United Nations opened the two-week long Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Running until the 20th May, the theme for the 15th session is ‘Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution’. The theme of this year will look specifically to the issues that continue to arise regarding territories and resources and the ongoing need […]

Commentary: The independent journalist and why we must keep them safe

Matthew Kronborg –   The pursuit of truth is an important and noble task, though in many countries a potentially dangerous endeavour. We often take for granted the risks that journalists take in performing their important role of informing the public and by virtue of that, often holding state authority to account. This year, UNESCO […]

Concerns about election in Haiti

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he is “deeply concerned” that another presidential election deadline in Haiti has passed.  The election was set for April 24 but 5.8 million voters never got the chance to go to the ballot box. This is not the first time Haiti’s presidential runoff has been delayed which means the […]

Nepal – one year later

While Australians across the nation commemorated Anzac Day, the United Nations observed a minute’s silence for the devastating earthquake in Nepal. It was just over a year ago that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its 7.3 magnitude aftershock killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 22,000 and left nearly 3.5 million people homeless. One year later, the […]


There are a few candidates in the running to replace Ban Ki-moon, whose tenure will finish at the end of the year. For the first time in history, member states will be able to question the applicants in what the UN describes as “a job interview in front of the whole world”. As part of […]

The Future of Greenovation

Green innovation is starting to gain momentum internationally and the progress of greening business has proved more than successful for entrepreneurs: it is now vital. While countries in Africa focus on green industrialisation, India has already revolutionised its manufacturing industry, the United States has created vertical farming and Berlin has developed affordable green housing. With kickstart businesses […]

Remembering Slavery brings light to modern challenges

Following the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery, officials gathered to commemorate the survivors of this global horror and to recognise the modern forms that slavery has taken through human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution and child labour. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognised the contribution to society that was brought […]

‘Angry Bird’ named Honorary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness

The United Nations recently announced a campaign to encourage young people to address climate change. Red, the leader of the Angry Birds mobile phone game, was made an Honorary Ambassador for Green at a launch event in New York. The campaign is designed to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people’s happiness […]

Ending the silence for ‘comfort women’

Following the recent agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea regarding compensation toward World War II’s comfort women, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, met with survivor, Ms. Gil Won-ok last week. He highlighted the importance of involving the victims in any process toward resolution and ending the long history of silence. It was not until […]

This woman could get the UN’s top job

At the end of the year, the United Nations will select a new Secretary-General when incumbent Ban Ki-moon’s term runs out. Campaigns across the globe have been pushing for a more transparent and inclusive process and for the first time in its 70 year history, the UN might elect a woman to its top job. […]

The future of wildlife is in our hands

On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly had its 68th session at which it signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and proclaimed the 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness for the world’s wild flora and fauna. World Wildlife Day 2016 was […]

Gender parity is still 117 years away

In 2014, the Global Gender Index from the World Economic Forum predicted that the world would reach gender parity by 2095. One year later, the prediction had worsened, with the gender gap anticipated to close as late as 2133. That is 117 years from now, potentially two generations. The Global Gender Gap Report Card released by […]

Humanitarian Aid – Where they need it most

With the ongoing conflict in Syria displacing people by the thousands, unrest in Darfur concentrating people in need toward UN mission bases and the inability to find a ceasefire agreement in Yemen, innocent civilians in conflict zones have been forced into desperate conditions while awaiting humanitarian aid. But who needs it most and how does […]

High Court Rules Nauru Detention Centre is Constitutional

On Wednesday 3rd February, the Australian High Court heard a case brought forward by the Human Rights Law Centre, concerning a plaintiff from Bangladesh who stood to be deported back to Nauru. The case challenged the lawfulness of the detention centre in a third party State along with the Government’s funding of it. Unfortunately, the case […]

Reclaiming Dignity

Over the weekend, protests against immigration took place in various locations across Australia. Most of these protests adopted the title Reclaim Australia. The central argument is that the religion of Islam contains values that are at odds with Australian Anglo-Christianity. Although no recognised church is affiliated with the Reclaim movement and several oppose it, its supporters do have a right […]

Burundi Unrest

Burundi has been in a state of political instability since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a contentious third term in office. With the suspension of NGOs, close surveillance of the population, the shut down of independent media and the departure of over 100 Burundian journalists, the State is beginning to resemble a dictatorship, […]

Time For the Eradication of the Death Penalty

The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, has announced that there has been a 70% decline in countries who uphold the death penalty in the last 40 years; in 1975, 97% of countries executed criminals compared with 27% today. Simonovic made this announcement at the launch of a UN book on recent global […]

Compassion Over Sacrifice

The international community are becoming increasingly critical of Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres. However, have we gone too far to be able to identify why the international community perceives this as a serious moral issue? A strong rhetoric of preservation has developed over the past twenty years. This rhetoric created the type of polarised humanitarian […]

United Nations at 70

On 24 October 2015, celebrations took place around the world to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The day marked the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, […]

Climate Change Today

Weather anomalies, El Niño, drought, mass coral bleaching and the worst hurricane on record are symptomatic of the effects of climate change upon our warming planet. With the Climate Change Summit in Paris quickly approaching, the world is anticipating that a binding agreement will be reached to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Last […]

Over 1100 Sydney-siders gathered inside Australia’s largest cathedral last month to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Peace with an interfaith service. This service, held at St Mary’s, was closely followed by a free pop-up classical concert with Ambre Hammond at Martin Place the following Monday. The 2015 United Nations Association of Australia Peace […]

One But Many – Interview with Wayne Quilliam

We live in a perplexing time. Perhaps there is none other who recognises that better than Associate Professor Wayne Quilliam, 2009/10 NAIDOC Artist of the Year. But that has only increased his motivation to broadcast the voices of the Aboriginal Nation. In an age of ‘mansplaining’ – or, the display of overconfident and (often) confused […]

Issues Facing the Refugee Crisis in Syria

According to the Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, it is time that the international community stopped neglecting their humanitarian duty, put their political ideologies to the side to protect Syrians from violence. “The international community cannot pretend to be blind to the cycle it has allowed to […]

At 70, is it time for a woman?

At seventy years old, the United Nations has had eight Secretaries-General – all men. As Ban Ki-Moon’s tenure comes to an end, there is a growing sense in New York that it is time for a woman to lead the world body. For the first time since its conception, almost 25 per cent of member […]

The Global Response to the Refugee Crisis

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonia Guterres, continues to appeal to the EU and the United States, citing refugee resettlement as an international issue of burden sharing. With 100,000 settlement places on offer covering less than three per cent of the total number of Syrian refugees, the world has been forced into a […]

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UN experts denounce televised reprisals against human rights defenders in Venezuela

UN experts denounce televised reprisals against human rights defenders in Venezuela

In quake-stricken Nepal, ‘emergency is not over yet,’ warns senior UN relief official

In quake-stricken Nepal, ‘emergency is not over yet,’ warns senior UN relief official

Funding crisis may force UN agency to delay start of school year for half a million students in Middle East

Funding crisis may force UN agency to delay start of school year for half a million students in Middle East

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opens

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opens

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