From all of us at the United Nations Association of Australia, our thoughts are with those impacted by the ongoing bushfire crisis across Australia. Our thoughts in particular are with those who have lost loved ones and the many people who have been, and continue to be, under threat. We also wish to recognise the extraordinary kindness of Australians who have supported others and whose support will be crucial in recovery efforts over the coming weeks, months and years. To those fighting fires, carrying out rescues and caring for those affected, we thank you for your courage, generosity and contribution to Australia in protecting our families, friends, homes and communities.
Davos 2020: How the World Economic Forum became part of the climate change sphere
Speaking on the final day of the World Economic Forum, Greta Thunberg has criticised world and business leaders for their lacklustre efforts to reduce global emissions of CO2. Young people took to the streets of the Swiss town protesting over the climate emergency as politicians, business leaders, academics and journalists assembled for the 50th World Economic Forum. Read about how the Forum entered the climate change sphere and its impact.
UN Climate Change Conference: COP 25
The UN’s annual climate conference, COP 25, was held in Madrid last December. Following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP 24 in 2018, a key objective of COP 25 was to finalise matters for the full operationalisation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. After two weeks of talks, many issues remained unresolved. Read two perspectives on the COP 25 outcomes here and here.
75th Anniversary of the United Nations
To mark its 75th anniversary, in 2020 the UN will launch the ‘biggest-ever global conversation’ aimed at reaching and engaging the global public. The aim of this effort is ‘listen to the hopes and fears of a wide range of people, to learn from their experiences, and spark discussion on ways to build a better world for all’. Find out more information on the UN’s 75th anniversary and how to get involved in this global conversation here.
December Issue: Highlights
View the December issue of the UNAA News here or subscribe to our monthly newsletter! The UNAA would like to thank all our members, volunteers, partners and sponsors for your support this year. We wish you a restful and enjoyable break and look forward to working together to inform, inspire and engage Australians on the UN and SDGs.
World Engineers Convention Wrap
In November, the UNAA attended the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne. It was great to see so many organisations working toward achieving the SDGs. Following the Convention, we have been in discussion with several organisations about #PartnershipfortheGoals and look forward to working together in the future.
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA): Sustainable Development Goals Roundtable
Recently 20 library leaders gathered at ALIA House in Canberra to discuss stretch targets for the sector as part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This was the next step in libraries’ commitment to the SDGs in Australia and Asia-Pacific. ALIA has produced a draft stretch targets and is seeking feedback through this survey. Read more on ALIA and the SDGs here.
UN Alumni Network Launch
The UNAA was pleased to launch its inaugural UN Alumni Network on 23 October 2019 at Parliament House. The UNAA, in partnership with DFAT, launched the UN Alumni Network as a platform for Australians who are currently serving or have formerly served with the United Nations. The network is the first of its kind and will connect members to events, job opportunities and other Australians within the UN system.
The Friends of UN Parliamentary Group was also re-launched on the same evening. This group is a selection of federal Australian Parliamentarians who have an interest in the UN’s work, goals, values and Australia’s engagement.
World Engineers Convention Australia (20-22 November 2019)
The UNAA attended the World Engineers Convention (WEC) 2019 hosted by Engineers Australia and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations in Melbourne. Known as the ‘Olympics of Engineering’, this international convention is held every four years and attracts 1300+ global participants from over 70 countries.
In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this year’s theme was ‘Engineering a Sustainable World: The Next 100 Years’ and focused on sustainable engineering solutions.
Launch of UNAA Reconciliation Action Plan
The UNAA was pleased to launch its first UNAA Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at the UNAA SA UN Day Dinner on 13 October 2019. We would like to thank Gavin Wanganeen for his attendance and Cabana Productions for their excellent support!
Sustainable Partnerships Forum website launch
Our Sustainable Partnership Forum website is now live! The Forum will be held on 14-16 April 2020 at Melbourne’s MCG. For event details and partnership information, please visit our Forum website.
UNAA to host UN & Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum
From 14 to 16 April 2020, the UNAA will bring together UN leaders and Australian organisations across business, civil society, academia and government who are leading in building and supporting sustainable partnerships to progress the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Click here to partner with us or find out more.
Climate action urgency in domestic and international discourse
From 21-23 September, the UN Climate Action Summit united governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organisations to develop ambitious global solutions to combat climate change.
- 12 countries made financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund
- The Russian Federation announced that they will ratify the Paris Agreement, bringing the total number of countries that have joined the Agreement to 187
- The European Union announced that at least 25% of the next EU budget will be devoted to climate-related activities
- Michael Bloomberg will increase the funding and geographic spread of his coal phase-out efforts to 30 countries; already, his work has helped to close 297 out of 530 coal plants in the US
Preceding the Summit, on 20 September young people from over 150 countries took part in another Global Climate Strike urging world leaders to take stronger, more committed measures to tackle climate change. Over 300,000 youth took to the streets across Australia to call for increased action towards SDG 13. This #ClimateStrike also aligned with the UN’s inaugural Youth Climate Summit, held on 21 September. Click here to read more about the #ClimateStrike.
The UNAA’s submission to the Climate Change Authority recommends a nation-wide approach to Australia’s management of climate change to meet its commitments to the Paris Agreement.
United Nations Day celebrations
United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the UN’s establishment from the ratification of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945. Join the UNAA celebrations:
- UNAA SA United Nations Day Dinner (13 October 2019) where the UNAA Reconciliation Plan will be launched with acclaimed AFL legend and Aboriginal artist Gavin Wanganeen in attendance. Save the date and grab your tickets here.
- UNAA NSW United Nations Day Gala Dinner (22 October 2019) where the prestigious UN Day Honour will be awarded. Save the date and buy your tickets here.
- UNAA VIC United Nations Day Breakfast (24 October 2019) will collaborate with PwC Melbourne to celebrate UN Day, with guest speakers discussing Indigenous expression and rights. Save the date and buy your tickets here.
- UNAA WA United Nations Day Gala Dinner (25 October 2019) will celebrate the theme ‘Advancing Social Justice and Promoting Decent Work’. Buy your tickets or partner with UNAA WA by contacting Teresa Garbo Lee: email@example.com or 08 9221 7020.
UNAA NSW Space Summit
In supporting Australia’s ambitious space endeavours, UNAA NSW’s NewSpace Summit on 4 October aims to inspire, educate and empower those interested in helping Australia make its giant leap. The NewSpace Summit will showcase opportunities for those involved in law, science, engineering and business. A schedule of events can be viewed here and tickets can be purchased here.