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July 2021

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


Welcome to the July newsletter. UNANZ is keeping busy this month and we have been working towards many exciting things happening soon. The National Speech Award is in full swing and entries will close on the 30th of July. The flagship programme started 38 years ago and has been such a great way to hear from young people around New Zealand. I personally cannot wait to hear from this year’s winner!


The annual National Conference is also around the corner. With this year’s theme being ‘Building Back Better’ I am very excited to hear people from various different sectors speak on how we can be building back better rather than back to the status quo. With the last year being so affected by the COVID-19 pandemic it is a great opportunity to ensure that we improve as we look forward to what is ahead. Make sure you get your tickets via the link further down this email!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

UNA NZ Events Officer 

 United Nations Association of New Zealand Annual Conference 2021- tickets now available!

Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou katoa.

A warm welcome to the United Nations Association of New Zealand 2021 Conference.

UNA NZ is hosting its annual National Conference this August. This event is hosted at the New Zealand Parliament by Vanushi Walters MP.


The conference is our flagship event. It is a chance for our hundreds of members across the country to convene, for citizens to raise their voice, for the diplomatic community to engage with the broader society, and a place for fostering understanding of and engagement with the United Nations. 

This year's theme, adopted from the United Nations itself, is 'Building Back Better'. As we are well into our second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference will explore how to build back from COVID-19 to create a better world that has less inequality, poverty, climate degradation and more cohesion, prosperity and sustainability - the core focuses of the United Nations.

Our 2021 conference is a momentous occasion as it marks UNA NZ's 75th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a cocktail evening on Friday 13th August (5.30pm-7pm). 

The full-day conference on Saturday 14th August (9.15am-4.15pm) will consist of a range of speakers, panellists, and an interactive workshop.

This conference will provide insights from academic experts, politicians, and notable practitioners from sectors such as engineering, employment rights, and international diplomacy.

We are excited to be having the Conference in person again: come and enjoy a weekend of great discussions, learning, networking and collaboration!

The ticket price includes attendance and catering for both days. 

A full programme will be announced soon.

Highlights include:

  • Keynote speech by the Honorable Nanaia Mahuta
  • Memorial address given by Ambassador Dell Higgie
    • Dell Higgie is a career diplomat within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Her more recent roles were as a NZ Ambassador for Disarmament and a Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
  • Speech by Dr Mere Skerrett, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education - Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka
  • Interactive SDG focus workshop
  • Panel including:
  • Chris Dunlop, Central Regional Manager Central - Beca
  • Dr Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner - Human Rights Commission 
  • Megan McCoy, General Manager Global Health and Director-General Advisory - Ministry of Health
  • Professor Siah Hwee Ang, Professor of International Business and Strategy, Chair in Business in Asia at Victoria University of Wellington and Director of the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence

Get your tickets here.



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.

 United Nations High-level Political Forum 


The 2021 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) remains a key annual review of progress, challenges and lessons learned. The two-week Forum brings together all levels of governments, civil society, businesses and many others to look at how different sectors can advance the Sustainable Development Goals – making it the world’s largest gathering on the most defining issues of our time. The ministerial segment of the Forum took place from 13 to 15 July. 



Media Advisory:


 Former UNA NZ President leading session at SDG Summit 2021 


Our aim is to provide an opportunity to strengthen the linkages between SDG 16 and WPS (Women Peace and Security).  He maurea kai whiria. 

We are a team of seven presenters with a wide range of specialisation and knowledge: Professor Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, Caroline Herewini MNZM, Dr Darren Brunk, Dr Negar Partow, Dr Gill Greer CBE MNZM, Seraya Amirthalingam, and Joy Dunsheath JP (lead).

At the Aotearoa SDG Summit 2021 at Canterbury University there will be a session where we aim to unpack the statement that, there can be no peace without development and no development without peace. Our goal is to provide, within the short timeframe, a discussion about solutions, successes, and challenges in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.

The UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was adopted in 2000 was ground-breaking. It was followed in later years by six complimentary UNSC resolutions. New Zealand had a National Action Plan for the implementation of these Resolutions from 2015-2019. 

The session will focus on the following: promoting good governance, the Rule of Law and anti-corruption; strengthening institutions and participatory decision- making processes; sustaining peace and conflict prevention; data and SDG 16 -measurement the key to tracking progress. Also, within our focus will be pandemics and climate.

See: Aotearoa SDG Summit 2021 at Canterbury University Home / | Aotearoa New Zealand SDG Summits 

     Launch of the Parliamentary Handbook for Security and Sustainable Development

In June our Special Officer for Peace and Security Alyn Ware was involved in the launch of 'Assuring our Common Future: Parliamentary Handbook on Disarmament for Security and Sustainable Development'

The event included short presentations by:

  • Hon. Phil Twyford MP, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, New Zealand
  • Moetai  Brotherson MP, Member of the French National Assembly (from Tahiti)
  • Philip Alpers, Adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney School of Public Health. Programme Director for the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction. Founder of
  • Shatabhisha Shetty, Director of the Asia Pacific Leadership Netw​ork (APLN)
  • Alyn Ware, PNND Global Coordinator and editor of the parliamentary handbook

Assuring our Common Future is a resource for parliaments to support disarmament for security and sustainable development. The handbook provides background and examples of effective policies and parliamentary actions on a wide range of disarmament issues including weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, small arms and light weapons, future weapon technologies and disarmament in outer space and cyber space.
It follows UN Secretary-General António Guterres 2018 report, Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, which outlined a set of goals and practical measures across the entire range of disarmament issues, including weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms and future weapon technologies.
View the handbook at Any questions can be directed to or

A message from our special office for Humanitarian Affairs Jean-Paul Bizoza to mark World Refugee Day


Sunday 20th June marked World Refugee Day. The theme this year was “Together we heal, learn and shine". The World Refugee Day (WRD) aims to honor refugees' courage, contribution to host communities, resilience and highlights their plight to the world.  If you need to understand the refugees' experience, please read the book:  Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Read the full message here.

Member Annie Wu reflects on Wellington branch event a roundtable on the Israel Palestine conflict, 


On Thursday 24 June 2021, the Wellington Branch of UNANZ arranged and hosted a roundtable discussion on the conflict between Israel and Palestine at St Andrews on the Terrace. This was in response to the escalated conflict between Israel and Palestine earlier this year. During such conflict the UN called for a ceasefire. Even though the conflict stopped in May, this is an ongoing issue, so our topic of the discussion was ‘Israel and Palestine, an ongoing current issue. When can it be resolved?’ This event was linked to goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) of the Sustainable Development Goals.  


Four speakers addressed the audience. The speakers provided short addresses that outlined the legitimacy of claims and grievances felt by both parties.


After the speeches we had social networking with food and drink, and then followed up with the round table discussions. Participants actively presented their views and perspectives on human rights, history and the role of UN Security Council and the Middle East countries to support resolving this issue. 


It was a very successful event. There were lots of open, constructive, meaningful and informative comments. After this event, I have received many positive feedbacks to this event from a speaker and our branch members. I specially thank Robin Halliday, who made a valuable contribution to this event and offered kind support. 


Annie Wu

Committee member of the Wellington Branch of UNANZ



Before the pandemic, progress was being made on the implementation of some important areas of the Sustainable Development Goals – including on reducing poverty; improving maternal and child health; increasing access to electricity; and advancing gender equality.

But more than a year since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, its devastating socio-economic impacts have threatened to eradicate years of development progress. Despite the challenges, the Report highlights the need to use the pandemic as a much-needed wake-up call to spur a decade of truly transformative action.

Latest Figures at a Glance: 

  • Up to 124 million people have been pushed back into poverty in 2020.
  • An equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs have been lost.
  • Violence against women and girls has intensified and child marriage is expected to increase.
  • Over 100 million additional children and youth lack minimum reading proficiency.
  • Inequalities continue to worsen between and within countries.

Website (coming soon):

Read more here.

 Special anti-corruption session of the UN General Assembly 2021

"In early June the United Nations General Assembly held its first ever session on Anti-corruption (UNGASS-21). Due to COVID-19, the main session consisted of a series of pre-recorded speeches from relevant senior politicians across the globe providing country statements on anti-corruption.  The sessions were streamed “live” on UN Web TV. Unfortunately for New Zealand participants they occurred throughout South Pacific nights."

Julie Haggie, Chief Executive Officer Transparency International New Zealand discusses what New Zealand contributed to the session and the Collective Political Declaration.
Read her comments here.

Left: Hon Kris Faafoi Minister of Justice Right: Craig Hawke Head of New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York
 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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