The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world. older-persons-day-main-image

The theme for 2016, Take a Stand Against Ageism, challenges everyone to consider ageism – the negative attitudes and discrimination based on age – and the detrimental impact it has on older people. older-prsons-day-2016-02

“Combat ageism”
Age-based stereotypes influence behaviours, policy development and even research. Addressing these must lie at the core of any public-health response to population ageing.
(World Report on Ageing and Health)
Ageism is stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of a person’s age. Ageism is widespread and an insidious practice which has harmful effects on the health of older adults. This year, we challenge everyone to identify and question these internalized ageist attitudes, and to understand the serious impact that these attitudes have.

For older people, ageism is an everyday challenge. Overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media, ageism marginalizes and excludes older people in their communities.

Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially “normalized” of any prejudice, and is not widely countered – like racism or sexism. It exists when the media portrays all old people as “frail” and “dependent”. It influences (subconsciously or actively) the policy maker to opt for cost containment in preference to making appropriate adaptations and investment in infrastructure and services for ageing societies These attitudes, pervasive yet invisible, lead to the marginalisation of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being.

Older people who feel they are a burden may also perceive their lives to be less valuable, putting them at risk of depression and social isolation. Research shows that older adults with negative attitudes about ageing may live 7.5 years less than those with positive attitudes.

UNIC COLOMBO, together with a Civil Society from Thalawathugoda, celebrated the Day on the 02 October 2016 at the Havy Nature Resort, Madiwela. UNIC was supported by WHO Colombo which held a health camp for elders with much dedication and interest. UNIC addressed the gathering highlighting facts in the UNSG’s message on the Day. The “leaves soup” (kola kenda) provided to all those present by UNIC staff was energized them to the programme. UNIC also supported the sing-along the elders enthusiastically got involved in and was a real entertainment for them. The marketing bags (Cambria bags) depicting SDGs in local language gifted to the elders by UNIC were an attraction.
older-persons-day-2016-01older-persons-day-2016-04older-prsons-day-who-3older-prsons-day-who WHO AT WORK..oler-persons-day-who-5</a
opd-01 MUSIC MAKES US HAPPY.. older-persns-day-sing-along-3
older-persons-day-sing-along-with-unic-interns<” />older-persons-day-unic-bags older-persons-day-unic-bags-on-display older-persons-day-unic-cambria-bags-display opd-for-unic-5 opd-for-unic>older-persns-day-unic-yogurt-and-the-smile opd-for-unic-4


International Peace Day : 21 September 2016

peace-day-sgSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon rings the Peace Bell at the annual ceremony held at UN headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace (21 September
“Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

UNIC Colombo celebrated the Day together with United-Ja-ela, peace-loving community group in Ja-ela with the participation of its members numbering to 300.

peace-day-2 Mr. Vernon Cooray, a prominent lawyer and JP and representatives of United Ja-ela civil society spoke on the benefits of peace for a sustainable society. peace-day-3peace-day-5peace-day-4
UNIC drew the attention of the gathering to SDGs as building blocks for Peace.peace-day-unic-address
A cross section of the gathering perace-day-croos-section20160921_155102peace-day-2016-unic-address

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon begins his visit to Sri Lanka (31 Aug. -02 September 2016)

This beautiful and bountiful island has so much to offer to the world. Since my last visit in 2009, Sri Lanka has made great progress and undergone profound changes.” – UN Secretary General.

Sri-Lanka flag
SG's photo for web
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon is here in Sri Lanka on a three-day visit.
The Secretary General will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and other members of the Government and of the Parliament during his stay.
Sri lankan President meets UN Chief
He will travel to Galle tomorrow to participate in an event under the theme ‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth’.
SDG student promoise

Ban Ki-Moon will also visit Jaffna on Friday and will also visit a resettlement site.
SRI LANKA (2 September 2016) At the invitation of the Government, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Sri Lanka on the 31 August 2016 for a three-day visit, where he met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and other members of the Government and of the Parliament.
During his visit, the Secretary-General travelled to Galle on 1 September, where he participated and delivered a statement at an event involving youth under the theme ‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth’.
On 2 September, the Secretary-General travelled to Jaffna, where he visited a resettlement site.
During the visit, the Secretary-General also met with several Cabinet Ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera; the Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Political Party Leaders; and civil society representatives.
At the invitation of the Chairperson and Board of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), the Secretary-General spoke at an event in Colombo on 2 September on ‘Sustaining Peace – Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’, focusing in particular on Goal 16, namely, the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
At the end of his visit on 2 September, the Secretary-General addressed the media at a press briefing organized by the United Nations Office in Colombo.

The Secretary General had a Town Hall meeting with UN Staff today (01-08-2016) at the UN Compound in Colombo.
UN Staff with SG on 01-09-2016
While in Jaffna the UN Chief visited a resettlement village in Veemankamam where former IDPs languishing in camps have been resettled in permanent brick houses.SG with a baby in north

On 02 September with UN Colombo staff (including UNIC staff member)
UNIC staff member with SG on his visit to UN Compound on 02-08-16
‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth,’ “ the exclusion of young people from peace building and reconciliation processes is a serious injustice.”
SG with youth
SG With president in Sept 2016The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon with HE the President Maithripala Sirisena
SG with PM on his visit in Sept 2016UN Secretary General and Mrs. Ban Soon-Taek with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mrs. Maithree Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees
SG meets with Foreign ministerUN Chief Ban Ki-moon meets with Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera
SG meets the GovernorSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Reginal Cooray, Governor of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, in Jaffna.SG meets with Mr. VignarasaSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets Mr. C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Northern Province

(Photo courtesy: Sunday Observer)

ලෝක ආදිවාසී දින සැමරුම – 2016 (INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES – 2016)

IP-Statue of former vedda Chief Thisahamy The statue of most prominent former indigenous community chief, Late Uruwarige Thisahamy Aththo erected in Dambana.
IP Banner for printerIP NEW SCHOOL BAGVeddas in Sri Lanka
Every year, 9 August is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, with special events around the world, including at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is devoted to the right to education. IP -Dambana children IP children reading books at Dambana

Education is a mean through which indigenous peoples better develop the skills to manage the development of their community and to actively participate at all levels of decision-making processes.
UNIC Colombo held a non-formal educational programme to raise awareness among indigenous peoples in Dambana on the important issues highlighted by the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other issues such as barriers for education, resource constraints, drop out of indigenous children from school, bilingual inter-cultural education and lack of social infrastructure services.
The Venue: “Dambana Aadivaasee jana Uruma Kendraya”
IP-Venue revised IP -Receiving chief for the event Receiving Chief of Indigenous People’s community in Sri Lanka, Uruwarige Wanniya Aththo to the programme by UNIC staff member
IP-Chief addressing the gathering
IP- cross section of audienceIP-Students & staff togetherIP-students expressing their difficulties A focus on access to education; school attendance; improving reading, sports activities for personal development; and finishing school is a must.

IP-Event in progressIP- programme in progress
IP- programme in progressIP-students expressing their difficulties
IP-Chief reading the Declaration Chief, Vanniyaleththo reads the UN Declaration…
and relates a peculiar story…IP- chief Sharing a witty momentIP- school girl expressing views She needs to do Performing Arts, of course she has all the qualifications..Her winning smile proves that.

Drawstring bag to remind the value of education.., A gift by UNIC.IP- School bags distributedIP- bag distributing
ආදිවාසී ජනතාවගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් පිළිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ පකාශනය

17 වන වගන්තිය 2: “රජයන් ආදිවාසී ජනතාව සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමෙන් හා සහයෝගයෙන් ඔවුන් අනතුරකට විශේෂයෙන් ලක්වීමට ඇති හැකියාව හා ඔවුන් බල ගැන්වීමට අධයාපනයේ ඇති වැදගත්කම සැලකිල්ලට ගෙන ආදීවාසී ළමයින් ආර්ථික සූරා කෑමෙන් හා ළමයින්ගේ අධයාපනයට හානිකර හෝ බාධා විය හැකි හෝ ළමයගේ සෞඛයයට හෝ කායික, මානසික, අධයාත්මික, සදාචාර හෝ ඔවුන්ගේ සමජ සංවර්ධනයට අනතුරු විය හැකි කිසියම් කාර්යයක් ඉටු කිරීම වැළක්වීමට නිශ්චිත පියවර ගත යුත්තේය….”

The observances of the Day by UNIC Colombo took place with an open forum discussion on education of indigenous peoples on 20 August 2016 at Aadivasi Jana Uruma Kendraya in their own habitat in Dambana with the participation of Uriwarige Wanniya Aththo, the chief of vedda community, some school principals, teachers and senior students.
The rights of indigenous peoples to education is protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Also by a number of other international human rights instruments. Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training. Where data exist, in spite of these instruments, they show consistent and persistent disparities between the indigenous and the non-indigenous population in terms of educational access, retention and achievement. Their right to education has not been fully realized.
As distinct peoples, indigenous peoples have developed their own knowledge systems, values, institutions, practices and economies, often based on sustainable management or natural resources. Likewise, indigenous peoples have their own cultural methods of transmitting knowledge.
It is high time that authorities take action to clear barriers to education for indigenous students such as lack of text books and resources, drinking water and facilities for extra-curricular activities.
Hats off to those who pursued higher studies amidst tremendous hardships and today doing a great service not only to their own community but also to the main stream. UNIC Colombo pays its much gratitude to Messrs. Dambane Gunawardena, Dharmarathe, Premadasa and Wimalaratne for their valuable contribution and assistance in conducting the event. The spirit with which the Chief, Wanniya Aththo serves his people is admirable.

Attractive dancing performance by Indigenous children appeared in a website on Sri Lankan Wannilaaththo (indigenous people) courtesy:
Vedda girls in a dancevedda boys in a dance

Local radio station cater to the indigenous community in Dambana
IP-Dambana radio station
Aadivasi Jana Uruma kendraya and the museum: IP-Venue revised

IP Museum photo 01
Scenic Beauty on the way to Dambana:
Sorabora Wewa with a Unique Natural Stone Sluice – සොරබොර වැව

IP day bests picture

IMG_20160820_071603 DSC_1201

මනුෂ්‍යත්වය උදෙසා සිය ජීවිතය කැප කල රාජ්‍ය නායකයකුට උපහාර දැක්වීම : නෙල්සන් මැන්ඩෙලා දිනය – ජුලි 18 (Nelson Mandela Day -July 18)

NM Pic 01විශිෂ්ට හා සදාචාරාත්මක දේශපාලන නායකයකු වන දකුණු අප්‍රිකාවේ හිටපු ජනාධිපති නෙල්සන් මැන්ඩෙලා තම ජීවිත කාලය පුරාම දැඩි පුද්ගලික කැපකිරීමකින් අනුගමනය කල නීති තුනකි:
ඔබ නිදහස් වන්න
අන් අය නිදහස් කරන්න
සෑම දිනයකම සේවය කරන්න.Nelson Mandela at UN GA

Joining in the global festivities to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day 2016, the UN Information Centre, Colombo, in collaboration with the Experience Beyond Boundaries (EBB)a Training Institute, marked the Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July at Mo/Wijayapura Junior School in Thanamalvila. A powerpoint presentation on the life and work of the late Nelson Mandela, followed by a leadership training for 60 Nos. school prefects from the Wijayapura Junior School and some other nearby schools were held. UNIC staff members conducted the session on Nelson Mandela and leadership for sustainable developments while the personality development coaches handled the training session on leadership for social work.
Nelson Mandela-An Exemplary Leader of the World : Imagine being confined in a prison, not for 1 or 2 years, but for 27 years for standing up for freedom and then being released from jail with the inner spirit unbroken and intact and inspiring people the world over with an unshakable charisma….. pic 9
Be a compassionate leader:
Nelson Mandela demonstrated remarkable leadership qualities: He was a man of peace. He had a powerful presence and disarmed enemies with his smile. He showed the world what forgiveness looks like….
pic 24 Nelson Mandela and the Power of Ubuntu:
NM UNIC sessionNM UNIC Session 2pic 25
Mandela is called the father of the nation perhaps not only for his role in liberating South Africans but also for the love and support he has shown to its children:

pic 22pic 21pic 5pic 6
Nelson Mandela: a man who showed that individuals can make a difference: UNIC addresses parents.

NM Parents 01
For more information:
It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.
– Nelson Mandela
How the Day came about:
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

What’s happening at High Level Political Forum on Sustainabla Development Goals ?

High-level -9c 01
Recording of the 13 July WebEx Briefing on HLPF is available on YouTube.
The link is: (English, approximately 53 minutes)
The briefing was given by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and moderated by Ms. Margaret Novicki, Acting Director of the Strategic Communications Division.


Today,11 July 2016, Monday:
• Opening of High-Level Political Forum High level pic 02
The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), under the theme, “Ensuring that no one is left behind,” will take place from 11-20 July at HQ in New York. The Forum will consist of a five-day expert level meeting and a three-day ministerial meeting (18-20 July). It will be webcast live at This is the first HLPF that will examine efforts at the regional, country and global levels to put policies and measures in place that will help achieve the SDGs. In this first year since countries unanimously adopted the goals, they have become the global sustainable development standard for countries, businesses and local governments around world. It is also an opportunity for the UN to highlight the work it has done in support of the goals. More information:
SL President addressing SDG Summit
President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena among 70 global leaders to pledge commitment to improve gender rights at UN
At national level, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wild Life launched the SDG Platform and the Inaugural Transformation Dialogue on 3rd June 2016.SDG Ministerial launch Hon. Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera addresses the gathering.
At School Community: Awareness programmes on SDGs are conducted by UNIC Colombo island-wide.
SDGs new pics 02 SDG Vesak lanterns
SDGs were depicted on Vesak lanterns at the Vesak celebrations 2016.

UNIC Colombo congratulates UN SG upon receiving an honorary doctorate at the Sorbonne-Pantheon University in Paris

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ ලේකම් බැංකි මූන් මහතා ප්රංශයේ සොබොන්-පැන්තියොන් විශ්ව විද්යාලයේ ගෞරව ආචාර්ය උපාධියකින් පිදුම් ලබයි.
SG receiving honarary doctorate from Sorbonne Uni, Paris
A wide view of the special ceremony where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium) received an honorary doctorate from Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris.
25 June 2016
Paris, France
Photo # 683145

UNSG in paris 2

paris sg and logo

Senior Fijian diplomat elected UN 71st General Assembly President

UN GA Picture
H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations, was recently elected President of the 71st session of the General Assembly.
Mr. Peter Thompson of fidjiUNITED NATIONS, June 13, 2016 (Xinhua) — Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson addresses the General Assembly after being elected as president of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at the UN headquarters in New York, June 13, 2016. Thomson will replace the current president, Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, when the next assembly session convenes in September this year. Mr. Thompson vows to give voice to small island states and developing countries through support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).(Xinhua/Un Photo/Manuel Elias)
The UNGA presidency rotates annually between five geographic areas. It is the turn of an Asian representative to head Assembly meetings.
– See more at:
In recognition of his selection, UNIC Colombo is pleased to place below an article written by Mr. Peter Thompson and entitled “The Sustainable exploitation of the Ocean’s Minerals and Resources” which was appeared in the April 2013 issue of the UN Chronicle, the flagship periodical of the United Nations to mark the UN International Year of Water Cooperation (2013) devoted to water.
Mr. Thomson explores the topic from the perspective of a small island developing State.

The Sustainable Exploitation of the Ocean’s Minerals and ResourcesPeter Thompson

In contributing to the theme of the International Year of Water Cooperation, this article provides a perspective from a Pacific Small Island Developing State. In the context of the large body of water that surrounds Fiji and other Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a vital and long-standing concern has been the sustainable exploitation of the ocean’s living resources and, more recently, the non-living or mineral resources.
Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands scattered across 1.3 million square kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean. In comparison to that large expanse of water, Fiji’s land area is a mere 18,333 square kilometres. The Fiji archipelago is a part of the Oceanic group of islands. As one of the 14 island countries located within the Pacific Ocean, Fiji’s relatively small land size and large ocean real estate or exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is not unique. Taken together, the total land mass of the 14 Pacific island States is a mere 3 per cent compared to their combined EEZs, totalling 97 per cent of the ocean. For Fiji and the Pacific Island countries, the ocean provides the basis of our livelihoods, food security and economies. Sustainable development truly depends on a healthy and sustainably managed Pacific Ocean.
As a resource and the basis of our livelihoods, the ocean represents both opportunities and challenges. As an island nation surrounded by the sea, we are, on the one hand, at the mercy of the ocean but, on the other hand, the custodians of its resources. These resources sustain us today, and without them future generations will suffer, which is why we are vigilant about destructive fishing practices, oppose illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and call for the strengthening of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).
A major part of the environmental and climatic challenges we face is influenced by the ocean that surrounds us. Changing winds, ocean currents, hurricanes and storms are all a result of the interplay between the ocean and the atmosphere.
This article highlights the few priority areas and challenges faced by Fiji in ensuring the sustainable exploitation of the ocean’s resources. In addressing these issues, reference is made to the Pacific SIDS as a whole since the challenges identified are not unique to Fiji but common to all Pacific SIDS.
The sustainable development of the Pacific SIDS depends on their receiving a fair share of the revenues and other means of active economic participation from their fisheries and other marine resources. Currently, the Pacific SIDS do not enjoy equitable economic and social benefits derived from the use of living marine resources despite our overwhelming dependence on them.
The sustainable development challenges of SIDS have already been well recognized in the existing multilateral framework for both oceans and sustainable development, yet progress towards the implementation of effective strategies to address them remains piecemeal, insufficiently supported and inadequate. The disconnect between the international instruments governing oceans on the one hand, and sustainable development on the other hand, has created barriers to the full realization of development aspirations of SIDS and, in many instances, is a primary barrier to the achievement of national economic development goals.
Firm and measurable commitment is required to more fully address the legitimate development aspirations of SIDS as contained in the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. The Pacific SIDS see the imperative for a concrete pathway for States, with specific timelines, targets and milestones to facilitate the sustainable management of oceanic resources and increase the share of benefits from their utilization. This should include enhanced direct economic participation and capacity-building. The cooperation and assistance of the international community is also necessary to enable SIDS to realize their development aspirations.

Healthy fish stocks are critical for food security and for sustaining the economic prosperity and social and cultural well-being of many States. One of the most serious gaps in the implementation of relevant outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development is in the area of fisheries. Although countries agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to restore global fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2015, stocks continue to be fished at increasingly unsustainable levels. To address this problem, States should recommit to maintaining or restoring depleted fish stocks to sustainable levels, and should further commit to implementing science-based management plans for rebuilding stocks by 2015, including reducing or suspending fishing catch for all stocks being overfished or at risk of being overfished.
More needs to be done to improve transparency and accountability in fishery management if we are to address this decline. The commendable efforts by RFMOs that have undertaken independent performance reviews should be expanded and augmented through regular transparent reviews by the United Nations General Assembly to bring RFMO implementation in line with international commitments. Previous Assembly reviews of the implementation of fisheries management goals, such as on the driftnet fishing moratorium and on impact assessments for bottom fisheries, have resulted in positive reforms that would not likely have occurred without its oversight. General Assembly reviews of RFMO performance can be expected to improve its effectiveness and should generate the political will necessary to take critical action to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels. It is unfortunate that the proposed disciplines in the World Trade Organization on fisheries subsidies, which contribute to the overexploitation of fisheries resources, have not been agreed to. It is crucial for the Pacific SIDS, such as Fiji, that subsidies for commercial fishing which result in unsustainable and destructive practices be curbed, while artisanal and small-scale fisheries by coastal States, where fishing is a way of life, should be allowed to operate.
The Pacific SIDS have shown global leadership in marine conservation, for example, through the creation of marine protected areas and adoption of innovative solutions, such as vessel day trading schemes as well as targeted high seas closures, to address sustainable fishing goals. Other innovative strategies geared towards the sustainable exploitation of marine and ocean resources include dealing more aggressively with IUU fishing, introducing Fish Aggregating Device seasonal bans, and eliminating destructive fishing practices.
The third priority area for Fiji relates to the consequences of climate change, including ocean acidification. Oceans and climate change cannot be seen in isolation from what happens in the coastal zones. The combined impacts of climate change, namely, sea-level rise, increased sea surface temperature and intensified storm activity, and the adverse effects of ocean acidification caused by increased absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are among the biggest threats to the health of oceans and coastal areas.
Coral reef ecosystems are particularly susceptible to climate change and ocean acidification, and they may be the first marine ecosystems to collapse unless mitigation and adaptation efforts are significantly increased. We have numerous studies on the impacts of climate change on our coral reefs through temperature rise, and are only beginning to see how acidification will doubly impact them. These corals are global treasures that need safeguarding from cultural, social, economic and environmental factors. Deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are a global imperative.
Additionally, given the dangerous levels of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere and oceans, building the resilience of vulnerable marine ecosystems should feature prominently in a new action-oriented sustainable development paradigm. This is a new and emerging issue that requires immediate attention and concrete results. In particular, international support for capacity-building for developing nations to build marine ecosystems’ resilience to ocean acidification and climate change is essential to safeguard marine ecosystems. We must also enhance global monitoring and sharing of information on the impacts of ocean acidification, as well as ensure that international organizations and RFMOs consider climate change and ocean acidification in their oceans management decisions, including through enhanced environmental impact assessments.
The final area of priority is the exploration and sustainable mining of seabed minerals. While fish and other living marine resources have been vital to Fiji’s economic development, we believe that our efforts to explore the deep seabed and mine its mineral resources present great potential for economic expansion. With the many lessons learned from terrestrial mining activities and fisheries arrangements, we believe that a careful approach towards seabed mining will ensure that we do not sacrifice environmental conservation in the pursuit of economic rewards. The demands for rare earth metals for use in industries as ubiquitous as cell phones and computer chips are such that we should carefully consider, in a timely fashion, the sustainable exploitation of seabed minerals.
Although the status of seabed mining is largely at the exploratory stage, for Fiji and many Pacific SIDS, this activity presents a viable new era of opportunity for economic growth and development. In this respect, we are conscious of the need to avoid adverse impacts on the marine environment, preserve biodiversity, maintain the integrity of marine ecosystems and minimize the risk of long-term or irreversible effects of seabed mining.
All of these concerns underpin the strong advocacy by Fiji and the Pacific SIDS that greater political will must be directed towards the well-being of oceans and fisheries, and to the strengthening of the nexus between oceans and sustainable development. In order to move from rhetoric to action in saving the declining health of global oceans, the international community can no longer hide commitments deep within obscure paragraphs of distant instruments. We must address the root causes in a truly comprehensive, direct and honest manner. (End)

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

11 – 20 July 2016, New York | Ministerial days from 18 – 20 July
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“Ensuring that no one is left behind” adopted as theme of #HLPF2016 by ECOSOC today: #HLPF

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is United Nations central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015.The Forum, which adopts a Ministerial Declaration, is expected to start effectively delivering on its mandates to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as address new and emerging issues.
The forum is mandated to conduct regular State-led reviews and thematic reviews of the implementation of the Agenda, with inputs from other intergovernmental bodies and forums, relevant UN entities, regional processes, major groups and other stakeholders. The national reviews will provide a platform for partnerships.

The forum will adopt a Ministerial Declaration.

HLPF in 2016 is the first since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The session will include voluntary reviews of 22 countries and thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, including cross-cutting issues, supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other inter-governmental bodies and forums. HLPF will also include a range of side events, a Partnership Exchange event, and SDGs Learning, Training and Practice sessions.
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Are you a student passionate about making the world a better place? Then listen 2 @ThomasGass msg! #SDGs #GlobalGoals