A UN4U Photo Exhibit

17 October 2010
UNIC Ankara opens an exhibit displaying a brief photo history of the United Nations

UNIC Ankara opens an exhibit displaying a brief photo history of the United Nations

On 17 October, at the Panora Shopping Mall, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Ankara opened an exhibit displaying a brief photo history of the United Nations.
The exhibit which is titled “UN4U” includes 20 pictures from San Francisco’s Confer- ence to the latest UN General Assembly High Level Meeting. The Photo display also emphasizes the role of Turkey in the UN system, such as Turkish police in Haiti and Turkey’s temporary United Nations Security Council seat.

The Secretary General’s photographs with Turkish President Abd- ullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan are also part of the exhibit. The exhibit can be visited between 17-22 October 2010.

One thousand cranes to Hiroshima

06 August 2010
UN Staff members folding origami cranes for the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

UN Staff members folding origami cranes for the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima, dozens of staff members in New York City Headquarters and Tokyo folded a thousand origami cranes for the upcoming visit of the Secretary-General to Hiroshima in early August.

This is the first time in UN history that an incumbent Secretary-General will attend the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. The one thousand origami cranes will carry the good wishes of all UN staff to the people of the city of Hiroshima. Cranes, which symbolize longevity, are considered as mystical creatures in many parts of Asia. Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. In Japan, it is said that folding 1,000 origami cranes makes a person’s wish come true. People often send these cranes to those who suffer from illness or ill fort-une in hope that their lives will improve. They are also a popular good-luck gift for family members and friends.

Spearheaded by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka, the origami cranes project attra-cted much enthusiasm among staff members in New York and Tokyo. Staff from each duty station contributed 500 cranes, making the total number 1,000.

In Tokyo, around 60 staff members from UN Information Centre (UNIC) Tokyo, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations University (UNU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Food Pragramme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) participated in the project. The portion from New York was shipped to Tokyo to be chained together with the other half. More than three dozen staff members from various departments and offices contri-buted. Many of them were first timers and learned the art from their fellow Japanese colleagues. “It’s a good way to connect with people from diverse cultures,” said Edita Zulic, who learned how to fold origami cranes by participating in the project. “I think it’s a wonde-rful gesture that through this creative exercise, we could all contri-bute to the message of peace.”

The one thousand origami cranes became a symbol of world peace through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a little girl who was two years old when the first atomic bomb hit Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. After the incident, she suffered from various illness and eventually developed leukemia. When she was hospitalized, she started to fold origami cranes, hoping that she would recover from her illness and live a better life when completing one thousand cranes. Unfortun-ately, she was only able to make 644 cranes before she died at the age of 12. Sadako’s friends finished the rest of the thousand orig-ami cranes and buried them with her. From then on, the story of Sadako has become an inspiration to many people all over the world.

“The Secretary-General’s visit to Hiroshima is to be considered as an important step towards nuclear disarmament,” said USG Kiyo Akasaka. It comes at a time when global nuclear disarmament is highlighted as a top priority on the agenda of the Secretary-General. Following the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in May, the Secretary-General invited high level officials from all member states to a meeting in September to continue the disarmament negoti-ations. During his visit to Japan next week, the Secretary-General will make a speech and hand over the one thousand cranes to the Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, expressing the good wishes of all UN staff.

UNO Baku observes World Refugee Day

18 June 2010
UNO Baku observes World Refugee Day

UNO Baku observes World Refugee Day

On 18 June, senior officials from UN agencies, government officials, NGO representatives and the media gathered together as United Nations office (UNO) Baku observed World Refugee Day. The event was led by the State Committee for Refugees and The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 

The theme of this year’s observance is “Home” and the purpose of the event was to raise additional awareness of the problems facing those who have been forced to flee their homes. In the Secretary-General message marking the day, Ban Ki-Moon said, “On this observance of World Refugee Day, we must note a troubling trend: the decline in the number of refugees who are able to go home”.      

The event commenced with the showing of a video which featured an appeal given by António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Other videos were shown including one featuring Angelina Jolie, UN Goodwill Ambassador, who expressed here hope to bring protection to all refugees but especially women and children.

Ali Hasanov, the Chairperson of Republic Commission for International Humanitarian Aid, spoke about the programs that the Azerbaijani government is implementing with the goal of aiding refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).  He also expressed his gratitude to international organizations and the UNHCR for their efforts in resolving the problems facing refugees. 

Arun Sala-Ngarm, UNHCR’s representative in Azerbaijan, gave an address that capped the event by stressing the importance of utilizing the assistance of the international community in aiding refugees worldwide.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Uganda

31 May 2010


The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Uganda from 30-31 May 2010 to participate in the International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference. Working in cooperation with the UN Communications Group (UNCG) and the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) in Uganda to prepare for the visit, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nairobi coordinated media activities and information services for the Secretary-General.

In line with an agreement between the UNIC Officer-in-Charge Tetsuo Ohno and the Director of the Secretariat of the ICC Assembly of States Renan Villacis, UNIC Nairobi distributed an advisory to both Kenyan and Ugandan media announcing the Secretary-General’s press conference.

In preparation for the event, UNIC Nairobi created a folder with information and local news feeds to brief the Secretary-General. UNIC Nairobi provided the Secretary-General’s Associate Spokesperson with reports and background information, while Rachel Nendelenga, Chairperson of the UNCG, organized the delivery of leading local newspapers to the Secretary-General’s hotel. 

UNIC Nairobi attended the opening session of the ICC Review Conference and the Secretary-General’s press conference, recording both and successfully sharing the audio files with UN Radio. With the assistance of the RCO, UNIC Nairobi monitored and tracked all media in Uganda following the press conference. Streamlining public relations efforts, UNIC Nairobi clipped all related news stories, sharing articles and feature stories with the News Monitoring Unit, News Service Section, and UN Headquarters.