Author Archives: Hiranthi Gunawardena

About Hiranthi Gunawardena

Serves UNIC Colombo as the Admin.Assistant

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’


– Kofi Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider
18 August 2018
UN Affairs
The United Nations is mourning the death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who passed away peacefully after a short illness, according to a statement published on his official Twitter account on Saturday. The renowned Ghanaian diplomat was 80 years old.
Mr. Annan was the seventh man to take the helm of the global organization and the first Secretary-General to emerge from the ranks of its staff.
The current UN chief, Antonio Guterres hailed him as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”
“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement.
“He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.”
Kofi Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938.
He served as UN Secretary-General for two consecutive five-year terms, beginning in January 1997.
Mr. Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, rising to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance, and peacekeeping.
As Mr. Guterres noted: “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.”

Kofi Annan and the UN
From his beginnings in Geneva, Mr. Annan held UN posts in places such as Ethiopia, Egypt, the former Yugoslavia and at Headquarters in New York.
Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he was tasked with facilitating the repatriation of more than 900 international staff as well as the release of Western hostages.
He later led the first UN team negotiating with Iraq on the sale of oil to fund purchases of humanitarian aid.
Immediately prior to his appointment as Secretary-General in January 1997, Mr. Annan headed the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations during a period which saw an unprecedented growth in the Organization’s field presence.
His first major initiative as UN chief was a plan for UN reform, presented to Member States in July 1997.
Mr. Annan used his office to advocate for human rights, the rule of law, development and Africa, and he worked to bring the UN closer to people worldwide by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners.
As Secretary-General, he also galvanized global action to fight HIV/AIDS and combat terrorism.
Mr. Annan and the United Nations jointly were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
In his farewell statement to the UN General Assembly in December 2006, Kofi Annan expressed emotion over leaving what he called “this mountain with its bracing winds and global views.”
Although the job had been difficult and challenging, he admitted that it was also “thrillingly rewarding” at times.
“And while I look forward to resting my shoulder from those stubborn rocks in the next phase of my life, I know I shall miss the mountain,” he said.
However, Mr. Annan did not rest, taking on the role of UN Special Envoy for Syria in the wake of the conflict which began in March 2011.
He also chaired an Advisory Commission established by Myanmar in 2016 to improve the welfare of all people in Rakhine state, home to the minority Rohingya community.
His homeland, Ghana, established an international peacekeeping training centre that bears his name, which was commissioned in 2004.

Kofi Annan and Sri Lanka: A strong voice for peace
Messages of condolences from the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka:

– Daily News-

May his soul rest in peace!

“More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations“. Kofi Annan

International Women’s Day 8 March

“Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”
We at the United Nations stand with women around the world as they fight to overcome the injustice they face – whether they are rural womrn dealing with wage discrimination, urban wormen organizing for change, women refugees at risk of exploitation and abuse, or women who experience intersecting forms of discrimination: widows, indigenous women, women with disabilities and women who do not conform to gender norms.”
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres


The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.
This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States of America and their counterparts in other countries, on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women’s political representation.
Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, and are being left behind in every measure of development.
Join us to transform the momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
It is also an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
Some key targets of the 2030 Agenda:
• By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
• By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
• End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
• Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
• Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

History of the Day
Introduction
International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.
Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

2018 Message by UN Secretary-General António Guterres
“The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”
This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.
International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force.
They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office.
On 8 March, join activists around the world and UN Women to seize the moment, celebrate, take action and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW.

“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

(UNIC Photos)

UN MOURNS PASSING OF THE RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN SRI LANKA 23 February 2018 (Colombo, Sri Lanka):


United Nations
Sri Lanka

“The United Nations Family has been working closely with the Government of Sri Lanka for over 60 years. We are committed to shared and sustainable peace and development, and we will continue to work with the Government and the people of the island to build a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.”
— Ms. Una McCauley, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

It is with deep sadness that the United Nations in Sri Lanka announces the sudden passing away of its Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Ms. Una McCauley.

Ms. McCauley (54), the first female UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, was a bold, inspiring, and strong leader. As the most senior UN Official in the country, Ms. McCauley led the UN Country Team of 21 Resident and Non-Resident UN Agencies and acted as the representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sri Lanka. She was a passionate and caring humanitarian, dedicating her life to serve people of the world.

Ms. McCauley was serving in Sri Lanka for six years; two years as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, and prior to this, as the UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka. Previously, she was the UNICEF Representative for Panama and Togo, and worked at the UNICEF offices in Sudan, Kenya, and Angola. With 17 years of service within the United Nations System and an additional 7 years of service working with children in the development sector, Ms. McCauley was instrumental in developing policies and strategic frameworks on leading global issues in a number of countries.
A national of Ireland and the United Kingdom, Ms. McCauley, was the loving mother of two sons.
The United Nations Family will miss her dearly, especially her sense of humour, humility, passion, energy, and unwavering commitment to make lives better for all.
UNIC Colombo shares its deepest condolences with her family. May her soul rest in peace!


From Una’s twitter:
Una McCauley‏ @unamccauley 15 Aug 2017
Follow Follow @unamccauley Following Following @unamccauley Unfollow Unfollow @unamccauley Blocked Blocked @unamccauley Unblock Unblock @unamccauley Pending Pending follow request from @unamccauley Cancel Cancel your follow request to @unamccauley
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“If I can talk all three languages I can explain my pain to everyone, language is key to our understanding”.

Una McCauley Retweeted :
UNESCO‏Verified account @UNESCO Feb 9
More
“I want to encourage all women & girls out there to chase after their dreams Never give up, no matter what anybody says #ChooseScience because it will allow you to reach your full potential”

UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRES (UNICs) : Please visit: https://unic.un.org/


The network of United Nations Information Centres – Connecting the UN with the people it serves

– UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
The network of 63 United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) is key to the UN’s ability to reach out directly to people and to share the United Nations story with them in their own languages. These centres, working in close coordination with UNI Headquarters, reach out to the media and educational institutions, engage in partnerships with governments, local civil society organizations and the private sector, and maintain libraries and electronic information resources.

UNICs are the principal sources of information about the United Nations system in the countries where they are located. They are responsible for promoting public understanding and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations. They do this by translating UN information, articles and statements into local languages; engaging opinion-makers; placing op-ed articles by senior UN officials in the national media; and by organizing events to highlight priority issues or observances.

The UNIC Network gives global messages a local accent and helps bring the UN closer to the people it serves.

YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE OF UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRE, COLOMBO

Gender equality is essential and will help us accelerate progress towards achieving food security and nutrition.


Gender equality is essential and will help us accelerate progress towards achieving food security and nutrition”

The notes are excerpted from Secretary-General’s remarks at the High-Level Event on “Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in African by 2025 – Five Years Later: Taking Stock of Progress and Lessons in Light of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Addis Ababa, 27 January 2018

After a period of prolonged decline, world hunger is on the rise. Hunger, food insecurity and poverty are closely linked. Sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth is vital to achieve both SDG1 on poverty and SDG2 on hunger, and also influences many other Goals. This means adopting national agricultural policies and investment plans that focus not only on agricultural sector development, but on poverty, hunger and resilience to climate change.
Climatic shocks, environmental degradation, crop and livestock price collapse and conflict are all interlinked. Climate change adaptation should be promoted as an integral part of conflict prevention, with special attention to sustainable agriculture and pastoralist and semi-pastoralist livelihoods.

(FAO Food Day Progrmme)

To build and sustain peace and address hunger and poverty, we need community-based approaches that build social cohesion and the capacity of local institutions and actors. Improved governance that can deliver equitable services is essential.
Social protection is needed to complement development efforts. The poor need to be helped from the poverty trap and given the tools to ensure they do not slide back.

(Photo credit: FAO)
Gender equality is also essential and will help us accelerate progress towards achieving food security and nutrition.
. Improving women’s social and economic status within their households and communities has a direct impact on food security and nutrition, in particular on child nutrition.
While much of the effort of development partners is on developing policies and programmes, too little attention is given to mobilizing resources and investment on implementation and capacity building.

Governments need to create conditions for much greater investment by the private sector in enterprises that can generate benefits for the poor and the food-insecure. Market inefficiencies remain a primary handicap for farmers. Infrastructure is often lacking to ease access to local markets, and regional market integration is insufficient.

Finally, all stakeholders need to be accountable for commitments. That means generating and sharing data and information on policy and institutional changes, resource allocations and investments, and progress on SDG1 and SDG2 and related national and regional goals and targets.


UNDP Sri Lanka: Private partnership programmes:
(www.lk.undp.org)

(https://twitter.com/UNDPSriLanka)
“By connecting business with governments and the development partners, we can create a policy environment that unleashes the potential of the private sector.” – @JornUNDP, CD, @UNDP #SriLanka #SDG17 | #Partnershipsforthegoals

செயலாளர் நாயகம் காணொளி செய்தி: உலகிற்கு ஒரு எச்சரிக்கை

செயலாளர் நாயகம்
காணொளி செய்தி: உலகிற்கு ஒரு எச்சரிக்கை
1 ஜனவரி 2018

உலகம் முழுவதும் உள்ள அன்பு நண்பர்களே,

புத்தாண்டு நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.


(UNIC Photo: Art by a student of Tamil Vidyalaya, Rajagiriya)

ஒரு வருடம் முன்பு நான் பதவி ஏற்றபோது, 2017 ஆனது சமாதானத்துக்கான ஆண்டாக அறிவிப்பு விடுத்தேன், துரதிருஷ்டவசமாக – அடிப்படை வழிகளில், உலகம் தலைகீழாக போய்விட்டது.

2018 புத்தாண்டு தினத்தில், நான் அறிவிப்பை வெளியிடவில்லை. பதிலாக நான் ஒரு எச்சரிக்கை வழங்குகிறேன் – நமது உலகிற்கு ஒரு சிவப்பு எச்சரிக்கை.
மோதல்கள் ஆழமடைந்துள்ளன, புதிய ஆபத்துகள் வெளிப்பட்டுள்ளன.

அணு ஆயுதங்களைப் பற்றிய உலகளாவிய கவலைகள் பனி போர் பின்னர் மிக அதிகரித்துள்ளது.

காலநிலை மாற்றம் நம்மை விட வேகமாகவே நகர்கிறது. ஏற்றத்தாழ்வுகள் அதிகரித்து வருகின்றன.

மனித உரிமைகள் பற்றிய கொடூரமான மீறல்களை நாங்கள் காண்கிறோம்.

தேசியவாதம் மற்றும் இனவெறி ஆகியவை அதிகரித்து வருகின்றன.

நாங்கள் 2018 ஐ தொடங்கும் போது, நான் ஒற்றுமைக்காக அழைக்கிறேன்.

நம் உலகத்தை இன்னும் பாதுகாப்பாக மாற்றமுடியும் என்று நான் உண்மையிலேயே நம்புகிறேன்.

நம் முரண்பாடுகளை தீர்த்துக்கொள்ளமுடியும், வெறுப்பை வென்று பகிரப்பட்ட மதிப்புக்களை பாதுகாக்க முடியும்.

ஆனால் நாம் அதனை ஒன்றாகத்தான் செய்யமுடியும்.

அனைத்து நாட்டு தலைவர்களையும் புதுவருட தீர்மானம் எடுக்க கேட்டுக்கொள்கிறேன் இடைவெளிகளைக் குறைக்கவும். பிரிவினைகளை நல்வழியில் கட்டியெழுப்பவும். பொதுவான குறிக்கோள் மூலம் மக்களைக் கொண்டு வருவதன் மூலம் நம்பிக்கையை மீண்டும் உருவாக்கவும்.

ஒற்றுமையே பாதை. நம் எதிர்காலம் அது சார்ந்திருக்கிறது.

2018 ஆனது உங்களுக்கு சமாதானமாகவும் ஆரோக்கியமானதாகவும் அமைய விரும்புகிறேன்


(UNIC Photo – Art by a student from Tamil Vidyalaya, Rajagiriya)

United Nations Information Centre ,202-204, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka •
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එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ ලේකම් වරයාගේ නව අවුරුදු පනිවිඩය:

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ ලේකම් වරයාගේ නව අවුරුදු පනිවිඩය:

(Mr. António Guterres)

ලෝකයට අනතුරු ඇඟවීමක්


(UNIC photo)

1 ජනවාරි 2018.

ලොව පුරා සිටින දයාබර මිතුරනි,

සුබ අලුත් අවුරුද්දක් වේවා!

මින් වසරකට පෙර මා තනතුර භාරගන්නා විට 2017 සාමකාමි, සාමයේ වසරක් කරන ලෙස මම ඉල්ලා සිටියෙමි. අවාසනාවට, මූලික වශයෙන් සලකා බලන කල ලෝකය ගමන් කර ඇත්තේ විරුද්ධ අතටය. 2018 නව වසර උදාවේ, මම ඉල්ලීමක් නොකරමි.
මම අනතුරු ඇඟවීමක් කරමි. එය ලෝකයට රතු එළි අනතුරු ඇඟවීමකි.

ගැටුම් උග්‍රවී ඇති අතර නව අන්තරායන් මතු වී ඇත. සීතල යුද්ධයෙන් පසු න්‍යාශ්ටික අවි පිළිබඳ ගෝලීය සැක සංකා උත්සන්න වී ඇත.
අපට වඩා වේගයෙන් කාලගුණ වෙනස්කම් සිදුවේ. අසමානකම් වර්ධනයවේ.
අපි මානව හිමිකම් භයානක ලෙස උල්ලංඝණය වන අයුරු දකින්නෙමු. ජාතිකත්වය සහ අධිබීතිකාව ඉහළට යයි.
2018 ආරම්භයේදී මම එකමුතු වන ලෙස ඉල්ලා සිටිමි. අපට ගැටුම් නිරාකරණය කර ගැනීමෙන් ලොව වඩා ආරක්ෂිත සහ සුරක්ෂිත කල හැකි බව මම විශ්වාස කරමි. වෛරය තුරන්කර බෙදාහදාගන්නා වටිනාකම් ආරක්ෂා කරගත හැක. නමුත් එය අපට කල හැක්කේ එකට එකතු වුවොත් පමනි. මම මෙය ලෝක නායකයන්ගේ නව අවුරුදු අධිශ්ටානය කර ගන්නා මෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමි. පරතරය පටු කරන්න: බෙදීම් යා කරන්න. පොදු අරමුණු වටා මිනිසුන් එක් රොක් කර විශ්වාසය නැවත ගොඩ නගන්න. එකමුතුකම මාවතයි. අපේ අනාගතය එය මත රඳා පවති.

2018 වසර තුල ඔබට සාමය හා සුවය මම ප්‍රාර්තනා කරමි!

ස්තූතියි.

UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRE, COLOMBO

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NEW YEAR MESSAGE OF THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL:2018

“AN ALERT FOR TH WORLD”- Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations
(Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO, the Secretary-General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a spokesman for the interests of the world’s peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable among them. )


THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S NEW YEAR 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, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert — a red alert for our world.

Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.

Climate change is moving faster than we are.
Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.

As we begin 2018, I call for unity.
I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.

But we can only do that together.

I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution:
Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.
Unity is the path. Our future depends on it.
I wish you peace and health in 2018.
Thank You.
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Let us salute our brave peacekeepers for their exemplary performance.

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Press Release
13 December 2017

SRI LANKAN PEACEKEEPERS PROVIDE LIFESAVING MEDICAL CARE TO WILDFIRE VICTIMS IN SOUTH SUDAN

Sri Lankan peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are providing life-saving medical attention two local villagers who became victims of a wildfire.
The two women, who suffered third-degree burns, were caught in the wildfire while collecting grass to thatch their roofs in Kolnyang village, in the Jonglei region of South Sudan.
The Sri Lankan ‘blue helmets’ are providing this medical attention at the UN Level II hospital which they operate in Bor.
Mathew Magok, a close relative of one of the victims, thanked the Sri Lankan peacekeepers for the “lifesaving interventions”.
“We are trying to cope with the situation. UNMISS has done its par and they gave us some medicine,” said Magok.
The Officer-in-Charge of the surgical ward at Bor State Hospital, Theresa Apajok, said the women were stable and they were expected to recover well. She said the treatment and medication received from UNMISS came as a great relief because the local hospitals had run out medication for patients.
(UN photo)
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For media enquiries, please contact UNMISS Spokesperson at Email: unmiss-spokesperson@un.org