Dear Reader,

As usual there was much UN-related news in June and there are more interesting events coming up over the next few months which we list below.

It's not too early to book your seat at the Lord Mayor's Peace Lecture in November by the well-known journalist and broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the subject "Keeping Faith in Just Values in an Age of Populism". Seats are likely to be short supply so best to book early here

Thank you for your continued support of our work in promoting international and UN issues to the wider public.

Philip Brown

Secretary, UNA Coventry Branch
philip@unacov.uk

Summary of Recent News

US withdraws from Human Rights Council

On 19 June the United States announced it would withdraw from the Human Rights Council. US Ambassador to the UN called it a "cesspool of political bias" and a a "hypocritical" body that "makes a mockery of human rights" and displayed "unending hostility towards Israel". A few hours after the announcement, teachers' unions and civil rights groups filed a complaint with …

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Campaign to find best High Commissioner for Human Rights

Campaign to find best High Commissioner for Human Rights

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein On 11 June the UN Secretary-General initiated the hunt for the UN's next High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) to replace Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. She or he will begin the job on 1 September. Building on its work to make UN appointments merit-based, open and inclusive, UNA-UK's has launched a 10-week campaign to find the best person for the job …

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UNA-UK delighted by cross-party commitment to UN Peacekeeping

UNA-UK delighted by cross-party commitment to UN Peacekeeping

On 25 June UNA-UK issued the following statement. In a speech given at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) today Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Nia Griffith MP committed a future Labour government to increasing the UK’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping. Ms Griffith pledged that, ““The next labour government is committed to stepping up and substantially increasing our contribution to UN …

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Possible Revival of CINE-UNA Cov

Possible Revival of CINE-UNA Cov

In the past year we ran several films in the CINE UNA Cov series, each one including dealing with a UN-related topic and having one or more expert speakers to discuss the issue with the audience afterwards. However we found it very hard to obtain enough publicity to build a sustainable audience, even though the films were free, and the …

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Reforming Global Governance - UNA wins prize

How can the world manage increasingly difficult and more complex global problems? That was the challenge laid down by the Global Challenges Foundation, and UNA-UK Executive Director Natalie Samarasinghe was one of three winners of the inaugural  'New Shape Prize' they awarded. The purpose of the New Shape Prize was to find new models of global cooperation capable of handling catastrophic risks. …

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UNA-UK participates in global meeting on atrocity prevention

UNA-UK participates in global meeting on atrocity prevention

UNA-UK’s Laurel Hart joined state representatives, UN officials, NGOs and academics in Entebbe, Uganda to discuss atrocity prevention strategies and to find ways to strengthen mechanisms to prevent atrocities. The meeting convened over 200 leading practitioners in the field of atrocity prevention to share their best practices and propose solutions to challenges facing their work. Delegates had the opportunity to attend thematic workshops and …

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Kids Global Human Rights Art Competition

What do human rights mean to you? And why should they be respected and defended? If you are between 10 and 14 years old, express yourself by taking part in this global art competition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the most important documents of the 20th century. Deadline for submitting your …

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The Elders condemn US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The Elders condemn US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The Elders have condemned the decision of the United States to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council as an alarming act of isolationism that will make it harder to defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable people worldwide. Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “The Human Rights Council is an integral part of …

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#InvisibleCitizens Campaign

OCHA has launched the #InvisibleCitizens Campaign to highlight the plight of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) https://youtu.be/ZLkp8EmKuDI More information here

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OCHA reports record year for complex crises

The 2017 annual report UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) describes record humanitarian needs due to protracted complex crises, the escalation of conflict in several countries, climate change-induced vulnerability and a series of natural disasters. The report takes stock of actions and activities during 2017, highlighting the role of the organization, Member States, and other United Nations and …

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UK remains committed to R2P

UNA-UK published the following press release on 27 June 2018. On 25 June the UN General Assembly (UNGA) met to debate the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) - the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This was the Assembly's first formal discussion of R2P since 2009. In his opening remarks to the Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, António …

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UNA-UK briefs parliament on Mission Justice

UNA-UK briefs parliament on Mission Justice

On 26 June UNA-UK issued the following statement. Natalie Samarasinghe gives evidence UNA-UK has both submitted written evidence and given oral evidence to the House of Commons International Development Committee’s inquiry on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector. Our work on this issue forms part of our Mission Justice campaign on sexual violence in UN peacekeeping. The written evidence looked at the …

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UNA-UK statement on US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

UNA-UK statement on US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

On 20 June UNA-UK issued the following statement about the US decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council is disappointing but, as the High Commissioner for Human Rights said, not surprising. The United States has been a positive influence on the Council, and has been effective in reducing bias with regards to Israel …

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Forthcoming Events and International Days

Please get in touch if you want to help organise an event to help Coventry to celebrate one of the following UN-designated days. Please contact events@unacov.uk

Direct Democracy: How much should we be governed by the people?

On 4 July the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University will be holding a public seminar on Direct Democracy.   In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of referendums and public votes.  Here in Britain, we have held some of the most headline-grabbing ones; the Brexit vote and the 2014 referendum …

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UNA-UK’s ‘Global Britain’ Conference

This Conference will take place in London on Saturday 7 July 2018. Find out everything you need to know about UNA-UK’s ‘Global Britain’ campaign, get equipped to take action in your community, and hear from policy experts and seasoned activists on how you can have an impact. This year's Conference will take place on Saturday 7 July at NCVO’s headquarters close to King’s Cross station in London. …

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World Population Day

World Population Day on 11 July seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. The theme in 2018 will be “Family Planning is a Human Right”. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of a conference that focused on family planning. In 1968, the International Conference on Human Rights was held. For the first time ever, family planning was …

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World Youth Skills Day

Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions. In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and to undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts. That is why education and training are key determinants of …

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Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day

Every year on Nelson Mandela's birthday 18 July the UN asks individuals around the world to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in their communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for everyone to take action and inspire change. Nelson Mandela International Day …

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International Day of Friendship

Friendship Day has been celebrated in several southern South American countries for many years. 30 July was proposed as the first International Friendship Day in 1958. More Information UN Page Wikipedia  

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Deadline for Kids Global Human Rights Art Competition

October 31, 2018 is the deadline for submitting drawings to the Kids Global Human Rights Art Competition. More Information #Kids4HumanRights

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International Conference on Restorative Practices 2018

International Conference on Restorative Practices 2018

This Conference will be held in Metropolitan State University, St Paul, Minnesota, USA on 9 to 11 August 2018. For details see the Conference website: irpcminnesota.com

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World Science Day for Peace and Development

Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives. By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development …

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Coventry Peace Lecture 2018

Coventry Peace Lecture 2018

Coventry Lord Mayor's Peace Lecture 2018 will be held on Tuesday 13 November in St Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry. We are delighted to announce that the speaker will be Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, an articulate journalist and author who takes a progressive stance on social justice issues. The title of the lecture will be Keeping Faith in Just Values in an …

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