UN Matters June Newsletter

H.E. Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme; H.E. Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Dr Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, delivered major speeches at UNA-UK’s flagship UN Forum event in London on 12 June 2010.

Entitled ‘An effective UN in a more secure and just world’, this event saw over 1,500 people gather to hear a host of UN experts and practitioners on the UN’s work for peace, development and human rights, and to debate practical ways to make the UN stronger, more credible and more effective.

Henry Bellingham MP, the FCO Minister with responsibility for the UN, also spoke at the event, outlining the enduring relevance of the UN to UK foreign policy.

Click here to read more about the event, and to access photos and speaker presentations

Click here to read the UN Secretary-General’s message for UN Forum

UNA-UK calls for inquiry into Gaza flotilla incident
UNA-UK was deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries that occurred last month during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza, and reiterates its position that the continued blockade of Gaza is unjustified and must end.  >> Click here to read more

UNA-UK participates in the 2010 NPT Review Conference >> Click here to find out more

New UNA-UK Executive Director appointed
>> Click here to find out more

Do something!
Ask the Chancellor for a budget that helps
Petition the Chancellor to include a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ in government’s new budget. UNA-UK is a member of the ‘Robin Hood Tax’ campaign, a movement of nearly 50 organisations pushing for a global tax on transactions between financial institutions as a means to generate funds to fight poverty, hunger and climate change.
Click here to find out what you can do >>>
Gaza appeal
Support the UN’s humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza by donating to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, which provides education, medical care, food and other essential services to refugees in Gaza, as well as Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank. Just £10 provides a family of four with food rations for a month.
Dates for the diary
19 June
UNA Harpenden will hold a public meeting with Paul Ingram, Executive Director of British American Security Information Council, who will talk about prospects for global nuclear disarmament. This event will take place from 11am to 12.30pm at St Nicholas Church Hall, Harpenden AL5 2TP.
Contact: Trevor Evans, 01582 713 895, jandt.evans@ntlworld.com
19 June
UNA Southampton will host a talk by Katherine Ronderos, Central America Women’s Network, on ‘The impact of globalisation and militarisation on the lives of women in Central America’. This event will take place from 12pm at the Edmund Kell Hall, Bellevue Road, Southampton SO15 2AY. Optional bread and cheese lunch (£3) is available from 12pm, with the talk and discussion scheduled to take place from 1pm to 2pm.
Contact: Margaret Matthews on 0238 0557 334 or memat56@tiscali.co.uk
30 June
UNA Westminster will hold a discussion entitled ‘The UN at war: FDR’s global UN Day 1942. Lessons for a stronger UN today.’ The speaker Dr Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies, is a leading authority on the UN’s earliest years. He will be joined by respondents Professor Chris Bellamy, Cranfield University, and Paul Lay, Editor of History Today. This event will take place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the House of Lords, Room 4A, Palace of Westminster, St Margaret Street, London SW1P 3JX. To request a place and for more information, please contact David Wardrop.
Contact: David Wardrop on 0207 385 6738 or e-mail:info@unawestminster.org.uk


11 July
UNA London and South-East Region, the hub for local UNA branches in this area, have organised a boat trip to Greenwich followed by a picnic in the park. The meeting point is Westminster Pier, in time to catch the 11am Leisure River Service boat to Greenwich (boat fares: single £9.50/return £12.50. Freedom Pass Holders-half price). Wet weather programme: National Maritime Museum (free) or Fan Museum in Croom’s Hill.
Contact: Wendy Higgs on 0208 318 1050
24 July
UNA Warwick will hold a meeting entitled ‘Should international issues be left to governments alone? The role of civil society in international relations’. This meeting will feature a speech by Dr Preslava Stoeva, Professor of International Relations at Richmond, the American International University in London and will be followed by a Q&A session. This event will take place from 12pm to 2pm, at St Paul’s Church, Leicester Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4TE.
Contact: Gian Clare on 01926 412 289 or 01926 338 430 or gianclare@warwickshire.gov.uk or gian.clare@googlemail.com

24 July

UNA London and South-East Region is holding its Summer Council meeting entitled ‘The road to Mexico’, a follow-up to last year’s conference at the IMO on climate change, which will look ahead to the international negotiations in Mexico in December. Speakers include Polly Higgins, Barrister, Advocate of Planetary Rights, who will give a presentation on ‘Preventing ecocide: the legal way forward’; Bernadette Vallely CE, Women’s Environmental Network, who will give a presentation on ‘The impact of climate change on women’ and Debbie Tripley CE, Environmental Law Foundation, who will give a presentation on ‘Our country’s commitment to the environment’. Action workshops will also take place, and refreshments will be served. This event will take place from 1.30pm to 5pm at The Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF.
Contact: Wendy Higgs on 0208 318 1050

27 July
UNA Westminster will organise a get-together at The National Theatre, to watch the performance ‘Welcome to Thebes’ a new play by Moira Buffini. Faced with an impoverished population, a shattered infrastructure and a volatile army, the first democratic president of Thebes, Eurydice, promises peace to her nation. Without the aid of Theseus, the leader of the vastly wealthy state of Athens, she doesn’t stand a chance. This event will take place from 7.30pm at the National Film Theatre. Travelex Tickets from £10 are available to book online.
Contact: Irina_Zhitkova@hotmail.co.uk or mail UNA Westminster, 61 Sedlescombe Road, London, SW6 1RE.

External events and training opportunities
23-24 June
Workshop: New Approaches to Conflict Transformation: Trust, Empathy and Dialogue
The role of trust, emotions and empathy has begun to attract more attention in International Relations. The workshop discusses how these concepts should be at the heart of research on conflict transformation. This two-day workshop, which brings together scholars and practitioners, has received financial support from the ESRC, DDMI and Commercialization and Consultancy Services at Aberystwyth University. The workshop is free but advance registration is necessary.

Click here to read more

International Negotiations: Practical Skills and Techniques
Negotiation is the fundamental activity which underpins our professional lives, and many other parts of our lives. This UNITAR Negotiation Skills online course is a foundation course developed to help professionals in full time work.
Click here to find out more


Summer programme on disarmament and non-proliferation
New one-week summer programme, organised by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in partnership with the OPCW, designed to provide broad-based understanding of international WMD treaties for young professionals and advanced graduate students who aspire to careers in disarmament and non-proliferation.

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