World Day against Child Labour: In conflicts and disasters, on 12th June

This year, World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour. In times of conflict, in times of disaster, when livelihoods are disrupted, basic services are lost and people can be forced from their homes, entire families become more vulnerable. But it is children who often pay the heaviest price. Many of the 168 million children in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster.

Under Target 8.7 of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, all countries have committed to eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025. It means leaving no child behind – no matter how difficult and challenging the circumstances.

#NOchildlabour @ILOColombo / ILO Sri Lanka
ILO,cOLOMBO, in collaboration with the UNICEF and Girl Guides Association, is planning to host an event on World Day Against Child Labour, on 22nd of June, 2017.
So join us in marking World Day Against Child Labour! There is no time to lose. It is time to make our actions speak.

From UN Daily News

UN News Centre
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Issue DH/7424 Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Sri Lanka: UN assists storm victims, seeks to contain diseases ‘spiralling out of control’

6 June – In the aftermath of a devastating tropical storm in Sri Lanka,United Nations agencies are working to provide shelters and other emergency kits while seeking to contain a mosquito-borne disease that is starting to “spiral out of control.”

Flood waters flattened many homes in
this village in Kalutara, Sri Lanka. Photo: IOM

Heavy flooding, landslides and flash floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Mora in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and torrential monsoon rains have affected some 684,000 people in south and central Sri
Lanka. The flooding, which is believed to be the worst in over a decade, has left at least 212 people dead and 79 missing. Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) estimates that over
2,500 houses were destroyed and nearly 15,900 damaged. These numbers could rise as data from damage assessments is compiled in the coming weeks.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) plans to provide 3,700 shelter repair kits, 5,000 non-food relief item kits and 250 temporary shelters, with funding sought from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), said the UN migration agency in a press release. The intervention will help an estimated 74,750 people. Nearly 22,000 people are still sheltering in over 200 overcrowded sites, including schools, temples and churches, the agency said. In flood-affected areas people are expected to return to their homes as water levels recede. But in landslide-affected areas, people currently staying in evacuation centres or with relatives and friends are unlikely to be able to return to their homes in the short term.
“There will likely be a need to track displacement, return, and site closure. People will need shelter and other non-food relief items (when they leave the sites) and we will need to ensure that aid is distributed at the location most useful and appropriate for each affected family,” said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti. On Friday, the UN Humanitarian Country Team launched an emergency response plan seeking $22.7 million to address the critical life-saving and protection needs of 374,000 people in seven districts, targeting four priority sectors, including shelter, food, health and water and sanitation.

IOM will co-lead the emergency shelter and non-food item sector, which is appealing for $6.5 million.
Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling for $3.5 million to keep vulnerable children safe.
“So far we have delivered water and sanitation supplies, we are working on education supplies, strengthening health systems and rehabilitating basic health services and working on disease control for both diarrhoea and dengue which is starting to spiral out of control,” said UNICEF country representative Tim Sutton.
He said flood waters have not receded in the southern district of Matara, raising fears of mosquito-borne disease transmission. He noted that so far this year there have already been more than 53,000 cases of dengue, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, which causes severe flu-like symptoms. It is a leading cause of death among children and adults in Sri Lanka.


Why celebrate World Oceans Day?
• To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
• To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
• To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
• To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
• To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.

About the Ocean Conference
The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development is being convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Governments of Fiji and Sweden have the co-hosting responsibilities of the Conference.
The Conference aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity. It will be solutions-focused with engagement from all.
The Conference shall:
• Identify ways and means to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14;
• Build on existing successful partnerships and stimulate innovative and concrete new partnerships to advance the implementation of Goal 14;
• Involve all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors to assess challenges and opportunities relating to, as well as actions taken towards, the implementation of Goal 14;
• Share the experiences gained at the national, regional and international levels in the implementation of Goal 14;
• Contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing an input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development, in accordance with resolutions 67/290 of 9 July 2013, 70/1 of 25 September 2015 and 70/299 of 29 July 2016, on the implementation of Goal 14, including on opportunities to strengthen progress in the future;
The Conference shall comprise plenary meetings, partnership dialogues and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day. The Conference shall adopt by consensus a concise, focused, intergovernmentally agreed declaration in the form of a “Call for Action” to support the implementation of Goal 14 and a report containing the co-chairs’ summaries of the partnership dialogues, as well as a list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14, to be announced at the Conference.

Sustainable Development Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. YOUTH POWER

Facts and Figures
• Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume
• Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
• Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 per cent of global GDP
• Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions
• Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming
• Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein
• Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people

United Nations Digital Library is now available!

The United Nations Digital Library is here!

Dear Readers,

The United Nations Digital Library (UNDL) is now available bringing together the diverse institutional heritage of the United Nations and preserving it for future generations.

You can now explore UN documents, votes, speeches, public domain publications and more!
The platform provides access to UN-produced materials in digital format free of charge. The system incorporates content presented in various ” stand-alone databases” such as the UN Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) and the UN Official Document System (ODS) – almost 900,000 records and counting. It provides one global point of access to UN information – current and historical. Enhancements will be rolled out on a regular basis.

What can you find in the United Nations Digital Library now?
– UN documents and open access publications
– UN voting data and speeches
– UN maps
– UN content freely available around the world
– Content in 6+ languages

Which system features are there for the user?
– Advanced browsing features
– Linked data between related documents such as resolutions, meeting records and voting
– Refine search by UN body, agency or type of document
– Simple and advanced search functionality
– New content alerts

Why a United Nations Digital Library?
– Modern technology and functionality
– Improved usability and access
– Enhanced transparency and preservation

Search and download information from anywhere in the world, at any time: 

Please send your feedback to United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library, New York:

United Nations Information Centre, Colombo
202-204 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.
Tel: 011 2580691 – 8 Ext. 2100 Fax: 0 11 2581116

#SyriaCrisis and #WithRefugees
After 6 years of war, more than 11 million Syrians have fled their homes. But ultimately, Syria’s conflict is not about numbers, it’s about people. 6 years of conflict. 4.9 million Syrians are refugees. 6.3 million have fled home but remain inside Syria. Stand #WithRefugees
This is where Syrian refugees are hosted. Surprise you?
“We must remember those who are suffering most from this calamity – the 4.9 million refugees, the 6.3 million people displaced internally, and the millions more inside Syria living in daily fear of this war and the inhumanity it has created.”

Powerful words from our United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi as we mark 6 years of the Syrian war.
As we mark the 6th anniversary of the Syria conflict, let’s not forget children like Wafaa, and every single one of the 11 million Syrians who have been forced, by bombs, fighting and destruction, to flee their homes.
Please stand with them, please stand #WithRefugees
Wafaa is 8 years old and lives in a temporary shelter in Aleppo. When her house was shelled, a gas cylinder exploded next to her, burning her face.
Read Wafaa’s story here:

“We wish to return safely to our home, my children need education, they have already missed 3 years.”

Nuzha holds her children Mustafa, 1, and Hassan, 10, in the Pioneer Camp for internally displaced persons in Tartous, Syria. Her family fled Aleppo four and a half years ago, when the fighting reached their neighbourhood.


In October 2016, the United Nations held the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)to reinvigorate global commitment to sustainable urbanization, focusing on the definition and implementation of a transformative New Urban Agenda , effectively harnessing the role of urbanization as a driving force as well as a source of development with the power to change and improve lives of people.

This New Urban Agenda is a framework that lays how cities should be planned and managed to best promote sustainability while being a strong part of the Sustainable Development Goals which adopted in 2016.
It’s also ” a commitment for the development of common urbanizing world” which requires the involvement of all relevant actors.
The best channel to make a wider audience aware of the New Urban Agenda & the SDGs first, and then to expand athe level of the citizens’ conscientiousness on the issue, is the MEDIA and communication professionals. Their role is crucial and they have the opportunity to spread knowledge and share reflections of burning issues such as urban issues and sustainability. Journalists are already the ones who chronicle life in the city, who give voice to urban changes and describe the urban reality from different points of views.

UNIC Colombo, with the support of UN-Habitat Colombo, held a workshop on the 14 May 2017 to seek partnership with universities which cater to the needs of career enhancement of journalists and mold them to be responsible citizens through their undergraduate/postgraduate degree courses for Journalism/Mass communication & writership towards possible support for this worthy cause of promoting the New Urban Agenda in Sri Lanka. This workshop was attended by several stakeholders such as the Chairman, Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka, Expertise from the University of Moratuwa and academia from the Universities of Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura.

For more information on the New Urban agenda, please visit:


8 March 2017 – “The richness, welfare and prosperity of countries depend on the full integration of women in the development process”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today, commemorating International Women’s Day at a ceremony in Nairobi as part of his visit to Kenya where he hailed Kenya’s role in multilateralism.
Noting the three pillars of the UN – human rights, peace and security and development – he also underlined that “it is better to prevent conflict when we have women fully empowered in societies and it’s better to solve conflicts when fully participate in conflict resolution.”

Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with youth leaders and women political aspirants in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN Habitat/Julius Mwelu

UNIC Colombo celebrated the Day with “Mihithala Mithuro (Friends of Earth), an environmental development foundation at Kodigahakandain Olaboduwa North on the 8th of March under the theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. The main message conveyed by the inspirational speeches made at the event was well absorbed by the audience.

Global call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2017: A search for nature-based solutions for local development

The Equator Initiative has announced a global call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2017. This year’s prize will be awarded to outstanding community and indigenous initiatives that are advancing nature-based solutions for local sustainable development.
Previous Winners from Sri Lanka

You may savor the reward of nominating eligible communities that are innovative and advancing creative solutions related to natural resource management and local sustainable development.
For further information, and to submit nominations please visit

E Equator Prize-Media Release

Equator Prize 2017 Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Equator Prize 2017, the following requirements apply:
•The initiative must have been in existence for at least three years, and/or the actions taken must have been in place for at least three years.
•The nominee must be either a local community-based group, operating in a rural area, based in a country receiving support from the United Nations Development Programme (for a list of eligible countries, see the list below); or an indigenous peoples’ community in any country, operating in a rural area.
•The actions taken must be nature-based, and must deliver benefits related to two or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Eligible Initiatives
•Community-based associations or organizations
•Community-based enterprises and cooperatives
•Women’s associations or organizations
•Indigenous or ethnic minority groups or associations
•Youth groups or associations
•Non-governmental organizations

Local community based-groups must be located in one of the following countries listed below.

Afghanistan,Kiribati,Nepal,Thailand,Bangladesh,Laos,Niue etc. including SRI LANKA

Indigenous peoples’ communities from any country may nominate.

Selection Criteria

Equator Prize 2017 winners will be selected by an independent Technical Advisory Committee, which will assess nominations based on the following criteria:
•Impact: The extent to which the nominated initiative has resulted in measurable and positive environmental, social and economic impacts, related to two or more Sustainable Development Goals;
•Innovation: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates new approaches and models that overcome prevailing constraints, and could offer fundamentally new approaches to attaining sustainable development;
•Scalability and/or replicability: The extent to which the nominated initiative could be scaled up sub-nationally or nationally and/or, the extent to which the initiative can be replicated within the country and beyond;
•Resilience, Adaptability, and Self-Sufficiency: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates adaptability to environmental, social and economic change, resilience in the face of external pressures, and improved capacity for local self-sufficiency;
•Reduced inequalities: The extent to which the initiative reduces inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status, particular for the poor;
•Social Inclusion: The extent to which the nominated initiative includes youth, elders, indigenous members and other diverse groups in the decision-making processes and the actions that affect them;
•Gender Equality:The extent to which the nominated Initiative promotes the equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda – ECOSOC Youth Forum#YOUTH2030

Within the UN system, ECOSOC has the main responsibility for following up on all major past international conferences linked to the three pillars of sustainable development, and will continue to do this alongside the implementation of the sustainable development goals. As a hub for the exchange of knowledge and mutual learning, it had an instrumental role in examining lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals, assessed the transition into the post-2015 agenda, and currently consider the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. ECOSOC also explores the scope of a renewed global partnership and invites youth to share their views on their future.

“You have the talent, energy and ideals to prevent conflicts, defend human rights, secure peace and realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”
— UN Secretary-General António Guterres
ECOSOC President Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava addresses the 2017 ECOSOC Youth Forum. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

ECOSOC YOUTH FORUM :At Youth Forum, UN calls on young people to help realize a better future for all
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, held on 30-31 January 2017, provided a platform for youth to engage in a dialogue with Member States and share ideas on innovation, collective action and solutions to global problems. It also addressed the concept of “shared prosperity”, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The forum brought youth leaders from around the world to the UN Headquarters in New York. It gave them the opportunity to engage with policy-makers and other youth delegates and representatives.
This two-day event featured interactive dialogues among representatives from youth organizations, high-level and other keynote speakers. A number of sessions were held on aspects of the themes for the Economic and Social Council and the High-level Political Forum and space was created for regional perspective
Important ECOSOC forums for exchanges around sustainable development comprise:
• High-Level Political Forum
• Development Cooperation Forum, including reviews of global trends
• Annual Ministerial Review, including its national voluntary presentations on development strategies that have proven effective
• Financing for Development Forum, involving leading financial and trade organizations
• Integration Segment, with specific focus on the three pillars of sustainable development
• Operational Activities for Development Segment, on adapting the UN funds and programmes to post-2015
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs organizes the Youth Forum in collaboration with the Office of the Youth Envoy of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Inter-agency Network on Youth Development.

UNIC Colombo congratulates Ms.Dakshitha Wickremarathne, Member, UN MGCY- Commonwealth Youth Council for her participation at the forum.

More details: