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June 2021

Ka nui te mihi kia koutou katoa - UNA
Dear Members and Supporters of the United Nations Association

June has been a busy month for UNA NZ, our AGM is this weekend and we look forward to seeing many of you online, we have extended the deadline for our speech awards to give young people time over the holidays to complete their entry, we have visited embassies, drafted a new diversity and inclusion policy, hosted an event across two cities and had four new interns join us, just to name a few things!

There are no signs of slowing down with the launch of our annual publication UNA NZ news, our national conference, marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Association of New Zealand and more exciting events just on the horizon. Keep an eye on your emails to hear about how you can be involved in these activities as they occur. 

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou.

 United Nations Association of New Zealand Annual General Meeting 


Our AGM will take place on Saturday 26 June from 10:30am until 12:00pm

The meeting will take place on Google meets- you can access the meeting here.   

If you have any questions please contact or if you have technical issues on the day please contact 



United Nations Association of New Zealand Speech Awards Close 30 July! 

The United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) is excited to launch our Secondary School Speech Award for 2021. 

The United Nations Association of New Zealand has held regional secondary school speech awards for over 35 years. This year the competition will again be held online in light of the ongoing COVID19 situation.


Students must speak for a minimum of 6 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes and must make a particular reference to the aims, work and aspirations of the United Nations. The topic that students are asked to address is:

“The role of the United Nations (and its broader system, including for example, the WHO) in addressing global challenges such as COVID-19 reinforces the need for governments, NGOs, the private sector and people everywhere to support and develop the United Nations. What should this support and development look like?”

We suggest that the UN Website and UNA NZ website be explored. Students are encouraged to do their own research, though, and add their own perspective. Certificates are awarded to all who participate. The deadline for entries is 30 June 2021.

We invite you to share this announcement widely and encourage a wide range of students to apply by submitting a recording of them delivering their speech via our online form:

For any queries please contact or

Submit your entry here.


 Save the date UNA NZ conference 2021 

Please see the below save the date for our 2021 conference, programme and ticket information to follow. 

 Current and past Presidents Visit the Irish Embassy 


On the 11th of June our current President Gaya Paranisamy and past President Joy Dunsheath met with the Irish ambassador Peter Ryan. 

Ambassador Ryan Tweeted: "Delighted to welcome President Gaya Paranisamy and former president Joy Dunsheath of the New Zealand United Nations Association to the Embassy today and Learn more about their valuable work"


    Wellington and Auckland branch host successful Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development event

The event titled "Unleashing Potentials: Transition to a Sustainable Marine Economy" was hosted in both Wellington and Auckland, connected via zoom on 9 June. 

The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

"It was a great start with a very engaging session with some of the key scientists from the sustainable seas Challenge in New Zealand, Economists, and business strategy developers coming from various backgrounds including academics, government, industry, NGO, community and media."


  Aotearoa SDG Summit Series - Working Together for Change (Online Hui 3).

Collaborating, connecting, and working together has never been more important than right now.  Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, is our collective way forward. Join us for the next part in the 2020-2021 Aotearoa/New Zealand Sustainable Development Goals Summit Series and see how by Working Together for Change, we can create the world we want, and the world that we need!

This final online hui in the 2020-2021 Summit Series will build on kōrero from Hui#1 and Hui#2, and will be made up of panel discussions, an interactive workshop stream and a creative moment.

With topics for you to delve into ranging from Intergenerational Conversations and Justice, to the SDGs within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, this third online hui will create an opportunity for more in-depth discussion and more time in small workshop groups, to explore and unpack our learnings.

WHEN: Thursday 24 June, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

WHERE: Online

Secure your ticket here.

Panel event: Gender Equity in Health

Get your tickets here


Website launched in response to UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 

This month some of our National Executive Committee were thrilled to attend the launch of Te Tini a Tangaroa at Parliament. 

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO in its press release said it has developed a new website - which showcases the outstanding work currently taking place in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific in the ocean science space.

The website has been developed to highlight Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030).

The UN Decade of Ocean Science (the Decade) aims to reverse the global decline in ocean health and campaign for transformative ocean science to inform solutions that will contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is leading New Zealand’s response to the Decade.

“The ocean is integral to the lives and wellbeing of all people of the Pacific. Therefore, we are making the Decade of Ocean science a priority. We want to showcase and support activities that weave together different knowledge systems, enabling multidisciplinary research and the promotion of mutual learning, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and globally,” says New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO Chair Robyn Baker.

 New Zealand supporting UN aid agencies in Bangladesh and Myanmar 

"Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, in a statement issued on Monday, said the Government would send $5.5m to the United Nations’ agencies and non-governmental organisations assisting the Rohingya in Bangladesh, and $2.75m for displaced people in Myanmar."

"More than 700,000 Rohingya, an ethnic group that lived in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, fled across the border to Bangladesh in 2017 as the Tatmadaw waged a brutal campaign against them. A United Nations fact-finding mission in 2018 said the country’s top military generals, including Min Aung Hlaing​, who seized power in the coup, should be prosecuted for genocide. "

Read more here

 New Zealand Housing charity responds to UN report 

Last month the United Nations (UN) released its final report and recommendations on the Special Rapporteur’s visit to New Zealand in February 2020. The report acknowledges the government is not sitting on its hands but offers 27 recommendations to address  New Zealand’s housing shortage.

"The UN report acknowledges that New Zealand has ratified most international human rights treaties but has not yet enshrined in law the right to adequate housing despite being bound to do so in international law. It also highlights the need to develop and implement a National Rights-Based Housing Strategy. A national housing strategy would provide the foundation for sustained, long-term, and bipartisan housing investment.

The Shift Aotearoa – Aotearoa’s #right2housing conference resources are already up on the website. Registration is required to access exclusive conference content and material produced during Community Housing Aotearoa Event Series from June – September." said  Community Housing Aotearoa 

Read the full press release here.

  UN Chief adds voice to Samoan constitutional crisis


UN Chief adds voice to Samoan constitutional crisis "He urges the leaders in Samoa to find solutions to the current political situation through dialogue in the best interest of the people and institutions of Samoa." 

The statement goes on to say that the UN "stands ready" to provide support for the island nation - but only if requested to by the two main political parties: Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) and the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP).

You can read the full story here.

 Goal of the month: Environment

There has never been a more urgent need to revive damaged ecosystems than now, according to the UN Environment Program who will launch the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration this month. In June, as the world marks several days, events and campaigns relating to restoration and conservation of our natural environment, the Goal of the Month editorial looks at Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life under Water) and 15 (Life on Land).

World Environment Day and Ecosystem Restoration 
What to expect on World Oceans Day
First draft of the new Global Biodiversity Framework

Read more here.
 Don't forget you can read our annual publication online!

Our annual publication UNA NZ NEWS has launched! Only online for now, but printed copies will become available soon, production and distribution of these has been delayed due to COVID-19. 

A great thanks is owed to our former National Administrator Chris Vogliano and our design intern CJ who spend considerable time curating the publication. We are grateful to our intelligent and experienced special officers who made valuable and informative contributions to the publication regarding their respective fields.

You can read it online here via a pdf on our website or on Issuu here


UNA NZ Education Portal Resources

Curious to know what our education portal actually is? 

The UNA NZ Education Portal is an excellent web page for UN-related resources.  

The resources on this site are designed for primary school aged children. If you are an educator please use these resources as you wish. We also encourage educators, students and parents to contribute to the portal to help it grow. Find out how you can contribute here.

Check out our about page to watch an introductory video, read updates, learn how to contribute and most importantly, how you can take advantage of these resources to make learning exciting for your students. 

Click here to learn more.

Check out our newly updated website!
Want to Join the United Nations Association?

Learn more and complete the form to secure your membership by clicking here.
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