Busy times for UN House Scotland

With several events back-to-back within the last week of November and the first weeks of December, UN House Scotland is entering the festive season with a lot of enthusiasm. Since its establishment in 2012, the civil society organisation UN House Scotland has worked with strengthening the implementation of the UN goals and values at grassroots level. This is done through initiatives such as organising regular seminars and conferences addressing various issues and through the organisation’s Intern Programme. Five years after its inception, it is evident that UN House Scotland has established itself as a major force in Scottish civil society. The end of this year marks one of the organisation’

UNHS Presentation on Aid Effectiveness submitted to Zambian High Commissioner to the UK

H.E. Muyeba Chikonde with Atishay Mathur at Zambia House in London In a flattering letter to Lorenzo Medici, Machiavelli anxiously offers him one of his greatest possessions – his political critique of the world. What came to be known as ‘The Prince’, a comment on the realpolitik, may be seen as a cheap (yet, clever) act of advocacy. Often, furthering one’s findings and critiques can be a daunting task – finding a foothold in what may seem to be an otherwise slippery rampart. But, every so often, one finds oneself in a situation with the drawbridge lowered and gates wide open. On the 2nd of November, I presented and submitted my research findings to H.E. Muyeba Chikonde, the Zambian High Com

The Developing Rohingya Crisis- Parliamentary One Pager

Sent to MSPs on 20 November, 2017, this POP (Parliamentary One-Pager) aims to bring the Scottish Parliament's attention to the developing crisis in the Rakhine State and Bangladesh. Using the most up to date information on the worsening humanitarian conditions, UNHS has made recommendations to Parliament for publicly addressing the crisis and raising the profile of the persecution of the Rohingya people. Questions regarding this POP may be addressed to #rohingya #bangladesh #myanmar #burma

Thinking About Poverty in Scotland

"Mothers protest at homelessness" says the placard at a demonstration in Edinburgh. I wonder: At what point do we all say, enough is enough?? No longer can we, should we, must we accept raving inequality - not just the inequality of finances but also the inequality in life experiences and life chances. Surely there must be a reckoning about the gaping and growing divide between the Global North and South, and between those with and those without in each country, even in the 'rich' Global North countries. With 85 people owning the same wealth as 95% of the world's population, with two billionaires trying to out do each other in a personal space race, with global health services - malaria, po

World Food Day Report Available Now

UNHS is proud to release our latest report, following our participation in World Food Day 2017. The report includes background on global hunger and nourishment as a part of sustainable development, as well as an in depth examination of Scotland's food system. Queries and requests regarding this report are welcomed, and may be sent to The full report is available here. #worldfoodday #famine #globalhunger #scotlandhunger #scotland

Modern Day Slavery: A 2017 Update

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently released their new report, the 2017 Global Estimates on Modern Day Slavery, and the updated figures show that the practice of slavery is alive and thriving around the globe. According to the report, on any given day in 2016 roughly 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern day slavery. Forced labour accounts for 24.9 million people, and 15.4 million people (mainly young girls), were entrapped in forced marriages. Breaking the numbers down even further, the report shows that within forced labour, 4.8 million people were victims of forced sexual exploitation. A further 4.1 million people were victims of imposed state expl

Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery: Introducing the Socio-Ecological Model

Human trafficking is a multi-faceted challenge with social, political and economic dimensions, affecting various countries around the globe, and Scotland is no exception. A research study conducted by the Scottish Government along with several organisations including Police Scotland and Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA), revealed that victims of human trafficking were found in most major cities in Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and several smaller towns (BBC, 2017). The Scottish Government has been aiming to address the problem by introducing the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act of 2015, and launched the Trafficking and E

UN Warns: Yemen Faces World's Largest Famine

Photo Courtesy of Thana Faroq Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, has warned that unless aid deliveries are resumed, seven million Yemenis will face the world's biggest famine. More information on the causes, possible solutions, and impacts of the famine are available here. UNHS continues in the fight to prevent humanitarian disaster in Yemen through education, collaboration, and events. We are committed to a peaceful solution to this conflict. #yemen #famine #conflictinyemen #saudiarabia

Nicola Sturgeon to Speak at UN Climate Change Conference

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to speak at the COP23 Climate Change Conference this week in Bonn, Germany. Sturgeon was invited to speak at high level plenary sessions by UNFCCC Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and will be speaking on behalf of states, regions, and devolved governments around the world. More information on the event is available here. UNHS stands with the First Minster and Scotland in its commitment to tackling climate change and making Scotland a safe and healthy environment for all. #climatechange #nicolasturgeon

Hope and the Democratisation of Governance

Gordon Brown Speaking at McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh Speaking at the University of Edinburgh on a Sunday evening, Gordon Brown remembered officially loaning (from the Government Art Collection) ‘Hope’, a painting by George Frederic Watts, to Barack Obama. The painting, which is also displayed at the Tate, had inspired Obama’s book ‘The Audacity of Hope’. Perhaps, even his famous ‘Hope Campaign’. Having studied art history, one is often reminded of the unfortunate fact that art appreciation is a privileged activity and is enjoyed by ‘the very few’. I remember arguing with a friend once, if the democratisation of art means bringing the art to the masses, or bringing the masses to the

UN House commissions Presentation on Effectiveness for Small Aid Programmes

United Nations House Scotland has commissioned a presentation with Atishay Mathur's research findings on the case of Scotland’s new international development policy to Rwanda, Malawi, and Zambia. This presentation has so far been made to UNICEF UK, the Zambian High Commissioner to the UK, Scotland’s International Development Alliance, and further presentations to DfID, the Scottish Government, and Scotland-Malawi Partnership are to follow. The presentation is available here. Please check back soon for a more detailed post on effectiveness in small aid programmes. About Atishay Atishay Mathur works on Governance at the United Nations House. He is a member of the Cross Party Group on Internati

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The United Nations House Scotland is part of the United Nations Association Scotland, a charity registered in Scotland (SC048547).