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Diversity ‘is richness, not a threat,’ UN chief Guterres tells forum on combatting anti-Muslim discrimination

TEHRAN, 18 January 2017 (UNIC) – In a message to an event spotlighting the growing challenges of anti-Muslim discrimination as well as hatred in various contexts, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for drawing strength from the principles of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding to recognize the value of diversity.

The high-level event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada and the United States to the UN and the Delegation of the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 17 January 2017.

Below is the full text of his remarks:

I thank all of you for coming together to take on the challenge of anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred. 

Anti-Muslim hate crimes and other forms of bigotry are on the rise. The same applies to xenophobia, racism and anti-semitism. In addition, many people are victims of intolerance and suspicions that may not appear in statistics – but degrade people’s dignity and our common humanity. 

In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats. 

We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbors as “the other”. 

Discrimination diminishes us all.  It prevents people – and societies – from achieving their full potential.

Let us draw strength from the values of inclusion, tolerance and mutual understanding that are at the heart of all major faiths and the United Nations Charter. 

As the Holy Quran states:  nations and tribes were created to know one another. 

People everywhere need to feel that their cultural identities are valued – and at the same time to have a strong sense of belonging to the community as a whole. 

As societies become ever more multi-ethnic and multi-religious, we need political, cultural and economic investments in cohesion, so that diversity is rightly seen as a richness, not a threat.

The United Nations is launching an effort to promote respect, safety and dignity for all.  We call it the Together campaign. 

Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights.

Together, let us build bridges.

Together, let us transform fear into hope. 

For our Muslim brothers and sisters – and for all humanity.  Thank you.

***

UN supports implementation of JCPOA

TEHRAN, 17 January 2017 (UNIC) -- Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday that the United Nations welcomes the first anniversary of the achievement of “Implementation Day” under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (or JCPOA), which marked a significant milestone in the historic agreement reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July 2015 and endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 2231 of 2015.

He added that the agreement underscores the importance of diplomacy in ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful, while also promoting peace and security in the region.

He said that the United Nations welcomes the reaffirmation by all sides of their strong commitment to the continued full and effective implementation of the JCPOA, including in the meeting of the Joint Commission held in Vienna on 10 January 2017, and encourages all Member States to support its implementation in its entirety.  It is of the utmost importance that the JCPOA works in the interest of all its participants, including by delivering tangible benefits to the Iranian people.

The United Nations shall continue to support the implementation of the JCPOA, in accordance with resolution 2231 (2015) and other relevant decisions of the Security Council.

 

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UNDP expert supports Iran in preparation for forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals report in UN New York

Following its decision to deliver its own self-assessment report, in July 2017, on progress made on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Iran has engaged in consultations on the way in which the report will be prepared. On 9 January, here in Tehran, Iran’s National Committee on Sustainable Development (NCSD) – the entity overseeing SDG implementation in Iran – consulted extensively with civil society organizations, academia, the private sector and the United Nations, on the contents of the report and how Iran would, in future, hold itself accountable to the international community on SDG implementation.  
Dr. Joseph D’ Cruz addressing the audience

Following its decision to deliver its own self-assessment report, in July 2017, on progress made on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Iran has engaged in consultations on the way in which the report will be prepared.

On 9 January, here in Tehran, Iran’s National Committee on Sustainable Development (NCSD) – the entity overseeing SDG implementation in Iran – consulted extensively with civil society organizations, academia, the private sector and the United Nations, on the contents of the report and how Iran would, in future, hold itself accountable to the international community on SDG implementation.

The SDGs are a set of universal goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, ensuring prosperity for all and promoting partnerships. Iran has now committed to showcasing its progress towards SDG attainment by delivering a report – called the Voluntary National Review (VNR) – at the next High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in 2017.
 

 

Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator addressing the audience

To help set the tone for the discussions and draw inspiration from useful examples of similar VNRs which had already been shared – for the very first time in July 2016 – Iran invited UNDP’s Bangkok-based regional expert on SDGs, Dr. Joseph D’ Cruz, to act as a resource person during three sets of discussions during the day. Dr. D’Cruz leads a team of professionals experienced in supporting countries prepare their VNRs.

The first of the three sessions was attended by government ministries, academia, private sector, NGOs and UN Agencies in Iran. In this, Dr. Maknoon, Head of NCSD provided an overview of what has been done to date by the NCSD on the SDGs. Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Iran, spoke about the way in which the UN’s ongoing and future programmes in Iran – as articulated through the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) – is aimed at helping Iran to plan and implement strategies to secure the SDGs.

Dr. D’Cruz himself presented an overview of how countries can use the VNR process to clarify how they will establish baselines and goals to achieve the SDGs by the year 2030. The session concluded with a question-and-answer session (photo below) in which the audience had opportunity to pose questions to the key speakers.

 

From left to right: Ms. Niloofar Sadeqi, Programme Officer for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, Joseph D’Cruz, UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Regional Team Leader for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, Dr. Fahmi, Deputy of Water and Waste Water Macro Planning Bureau of Ministry of Energy, Dr. Reza Maknoon, Deputy of NCSD, Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative
The second session had a more focused participation and looked at specifics of the report Iran is to present at the HLPF. Participants were able to engage in discussions with Dr. D’Cruz and seek his expertise and experiences in approaching different elements of the sustainable development agenda.

The day ended with a final meeting with the core NCSD ad-hoc VNR group – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Environment, Budget and Planning Organization and Statistical Center of Iran – and the United Nations where timelines and responsibilities were assigned.
 
 
 
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Call for entries: Through young eyes - photo competition for UN World Wildlife Day 2017

Geneva, 14 January 2017 – The United Nations World Wildlife Day 2017 (WWD2017) will be celebrated on 3 March under the theme “Listen to the young voices”. The CITES Secretariat, as the facilitator for the global celebration of the Day, launched today a photo competition for the youth around the world titled “Through young eyes”. CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said: “World Wildlife Day 2017 is a day when we actively engage with the world’s youth in how to better protect the world’s wildlife. It provides an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and to take actions to support wildlife conservation. The photo competition is one way for the youth to show their passion for wildlife.”  
World Wildlife Day is commemorated on March 3rd

Source: CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) 

Geneva,  14 January 2017 – The United Nations World Wildlife Day 2017 (WWD2017) will be celebrated on 3 March under the theme “Listen to the young voices”. The CITES Secretariat, as the facilitator for the global celebration of the Day, launched today a photo competition for the youth around the world titled “Through young eyes”.

CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said: “World Wildlife Day 2017 is a day when we actively engage with the world’s youth in how to better protect the world’s wildlife.  It provides an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and to take actions to support wildlife conservation. The photo competition is one way for the youth to show their passion for wildlife.”

Background

Habitat loss, climate change and poaching are among the most alarming challenges faced by wildlife today. Poaching and trafficking of wildlife is now the most immediate threat to many species, whether charismatic or less known.  The fate of the world’s wildlife will soon be in the hands of the next generation.  The pressing need for enhanced action to ensure the survival of wildlife in its natural habitats must be imparted from generation to generation, and the youth should have the opportunity to communicate the conservation goals to a wider society.

WWD2017 will focus on motivating, engaging and empowering the youth in wildlife conservation issues, responding to a call to better engage with youth  from the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17). The photo competition is aimed to raise awareness of wildlife conservation, including the challenges facing many of the world’s endangered species, and to inspire the youth across the globe to add their visions and to use their artistic talents to galvanize other youth and citizens around the world.

What to enter

WWD2017 will be a day to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants, to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that wildlife provides to people, and raise awareness of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, in particular, the role of the youth in this cause. We would like to see expression of all of these through your eyes!

You can either show us the beautiful features of wildlife using your artistic skill or to depict how the youth is actively engaged in the conservation of these amazing species that people are sharing the ecosystem with.

The following submissions will be considered ineligible:

·         Photographs of pets or domestic animals.

·         Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright.

How to enter

All photos must be submitted through the photo submission page on the website of the World Wildlife Day at the URL below:

http://wildlifeday.org/content/submit-your-photo

Entry period

Competition begins: 14 January 2017

Contest Ends: 13 February 2017

Who can enter

Anyone aged between 10 and 24, which is the age range defined by the United Nations as “youth”,  can participate in this competition. Those below the age of 13 will need to have their parents’ permission, and will need to have parents (or a legal guardian) help with their submissions.

Sponsor and prize

The competition is supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

One grand prize winner will be provided free air ticket to travel to New York as well as two-day accommodation in New York to attend a high level event at the United Nations Headquarters on 3 March to celebrate WWD2017. 

Judging

Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to wildlife and/or the role of the youth in wildlife protection. Judging will be conducted by a panel composed of representatives from national governments, UN agencies, the civil society and the youth. The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and select 10 finalists and 1 grand prize winner.

All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

The organizer will notify the finalists and winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry.

Specifications

As all photos must be fully original, no entries will be accepted or considered if they are deemed to use in whole or part derivative images which could be considered plagiaristic.

Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .jpeg, .jpg, or.png format. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable.

Once selected, the winning designer must be able to work with the organizer to adapt the winning design into various formats for the promotion and use the photo.

The maximum size of the file to be uploaded should be no more than 2 megabites at the time of entry. Higher resolutions files will be requested should an entry be selected as a finalist.

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted.

Legal note

Competition entrants will retain the rights of the photograph. However, by entering the competition, you grant the CITES Secretariat and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible.

Contacts

For queries from the media,  please contact:

Liu Yuan of the CITES Secretariat at +41 22 917 8130 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For technical questions concerning the photo competition, please contact Amy Reid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  
 
 
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Finding UN Information and Documentation on Women Issues

United Nations Information Centre in cooperation with Iranian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS) held a workshop on “Finding UN Information and Documentation” with focus on women issues for some 25 participants at the UN building on 9 January 2017. UNIC Reference Assistant Ms. Nazanin Ghaemmaghami elaborated on some basic facts about the UN such as the main organs including General Assembly and its resolutions as well as declarations and conventions on women; Security Council and its landmark resolution 1325 adopted in 2000 on Women, Peace and Security; Economic and Social Council and Commission of the Status of Women as one of its subsidiary bodies and the women judges of the International Court of Justice.  
Members of IAWS learning about UN and gender issues

United Nations Information Centre in cooperation with Iranian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS) held a workshop on “Finding UN Information and Documentation” with focus on women issues for some 25 participants at the UN building on 9 January 2017.

 

UNIC Reference Assistant Ms. Nazanin Ghaemmaghami elaborated on some basic facts about the UN such as the main organs including General Assembly and its resolutions as well as declarations and conventions on womenSecurity Council and its landmark resolution 1325 adopted in 2000 on Women, Peace and Security; Economic and Social Council and Commission of the Status of Women as one of its subsidiary bodies and the women judges of the International Court of Justice.

 

Finding UN information and documentation workshop participants

Then she addressed the participants on UN Women, its internship programmeTraining Centre services, and publications. Women among global issues and UN Secretary-General’s Campaign, “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” webpages were reviewed. The New UN Secretary-General António Guterreswebpage and the women in his senior management team including Deputy Secretary-GeneralAmina J. Mohammedand Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti were introduced.

 

Learning how to find UN information and documents on "Women issues"

At the end of the session the deputy head of IAWS Ms. Zahra Davar expressed her satisfaction with the workshop and hoped that the Association can have more training progrmmes with UNIC.

Workshops “Finding UN Information and Documentation” are regularly organized by the UNIC for all interested groups. For more information about how to attend these workshops and learn how to navigate the UN web site, please contact UN Information Center: Reference Assistant Ms. Nazanin Ghaemmaghami (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – Tel. No.: 0098 21 22873837

 

 
 

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