German and Spanish Views on Brexit

With the 31st October looming just ahead of us all, the dreaded B word can’t help but be spoken about. But the news we read, as we fly through the calendar toward the end of the month, focusses mainly on the impacts that leaving the EU would have on Britain. We don’t tend to hear what may happen to, say, Spain or Germany, when arguably one of the most influential EU members eventually exits stage right. Translating more local new articles can give us an insight into what stance these two countries may be taking on the whole Brexit situation we’ve found ourselves in. “Time is running out”, states Spiegel Online. The opening sentence of one of the leading German-language news website’s most re

Conference on Women's Mental Health

On Wednesday the 9th of October United Nations House Scotland (UNHS) co-hosted a conference with Soroptimist International at the Albany Conference Centre in Glasgow. Ninety attendees gathered to listen to talks from a variety of mental health experts and to engage in expert-led discussions. The engagement with and sharing of diverse perspectives made for a fascinating day. Teresa Midhurst, Deputy Director for Adult Mental Health in the mental health directorate began the day by providing an informative overview of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy and its implementation to date. Attendees developed an understanding of the means and techniques employed to bring improvements to

Reflection on the UK’s VNR

“The Voluntary National Review process has brought the spotlight from what we do abroad to what we do at home. We have made progress. On climate for example, we have now committed to net zero by 2050. We have achieved remarkable employment figures, some of the best employment figures we have ever had historically. Over the last 10 years our education system has improved with more children in good and outstanding schools than ever before. But there are also very significant challenges in the development of Britain.” - Rory Stewart On July 16th, the former International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, flanked by representatives from business and civil society, took to the world stage in Ne

Friends of Earth Scotland: Plastic and the Climate Emergency

In Friends of Earth Scotland's new blog post they seek to explore the lessor known effects of plastics on climate change. They discuss how the growth of fracking in the US has created an abundance of cheap gas which then is used to create wasteful plastic products. Ineos even ships fracked gas across the ocean to Grangemouth much of which eventually becomes the single-use plastics we use here in Scotland and across Europe. Plastic waste is often the end point of a long and polluting pipeline of fossil fuel extraction, production, a short-life span and then being thrown away. That’s why Friends of Earth Scotland is pushing for a change in the law to create a more 'Circular Economy' so co

UN House Scotland Mental Health Awareness Event

UN House Scotland and Soroptomist International will be hosting an afternoon of talks and expert-led discussion on Women’s Mental Health on the 9th of October, at The Albany Learning and Conference Centre in Glasgow. It is preceded by a short blog series on the UN House Scotland Website, which explores issues from mental health and single-parenthood to the effects of oral contraceptives on mental health in women. With good health and wellbeing playing a major role as one of the UN’s sustainable development goals, the event will bring together a number of experts from charities and industry to share their knowledge on the issue of mental health. Teresa Midhurst , Deputy Director for Adult Me

Opposing Pro War Policies and Modern Day Threats such as Climate Change

The Scottish Peace Network is hosting the event entitled "Opposing Pro War Policies and Modern Day Threats such as Climate Change" this Friday October 11th - doors open at 6:30 pm. The venue is located in Room LG 10 of the David Hume Tower, University of Edinburgh, George Square Edinburgh EH8 9 JX. The event will feature the short film-War no More-which features Bruce Kent and others arguing the case against using war as a way to resolve tensions between countries. There will also be a screening of an extract from the David Attenborough's film-The Truth About Climate Change. This film underlines the threat that climate change poses to our planet. The event is free and open to any who wish to

Climate Change Meets Politics

Please join lecturer David Warrilow, President of the Royal Meteorological Society on “Climate Change Meets Politics” at 6 p.m. on Friday 11th October at the Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street. President Warrilow will review how the subject of climate science became centre stage in an increasingly fractious debate on the environment, development and wealth. He will look at how science has fed into the policy process, has become the battleground of environmentalists and free marketeers and the complexities and importance of science in the development of a global response to climate change. The talk will be free to all participants and will include tea/coffee. Hop

Mental Health and Single-Parenthood

The final blog post in our series on women's mental health, ahead of our upcoming conference, is from our intern Esther, and looks at the impact that being a single parent can have on mental health. In the past couple of decades, family structures have transformed from the conventional two-parent family, to lone parent families. Today, there are roughly 2.9 million single parents in the UK, an increase of 18.6% since 1996. Yet, 90% of lone parent households are headed by women. Whilst state provisions have attempted to cater for these new trends - such as through the introduction of 30 hours free childcare - single parents face many challenges. Societal constructs have deeply embedded the st

Looking forward: Men’s Mental Health

With World Mental Health Day and the Conference on Women’s Mental Health on the 9th of October approaching, UNHS already wants to look forward to the next year Conference, this time dedicated to mental health issues specific to men. While it is true that women are more likely to report and suffer from a wide range of mental health issues, many of the serious problems that men suffer from are often undiagnosed and undiscussed. As a result of this stigmatization surrounding men’s mental health, men are unable to receive the help that they need. Probably the most striking statistic is that over 75 % of the 6,507 suicides in Great Britain were men. Suicide represents the largest cause of death f

Women's Mental Health: Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse

As part of our blog series about women’s mental health for the upcoming conference on the 9th of October, UN House Scotland and Soroptimist International have turned their focus towards issues of sexual and domestic violence in relation to women’s mental health. Sexual violence (SV) and domestic abuse have consistently been one of the most difficult societal issues to address and eliminate. Due to cultures of patriarchy and male dominance, women have been ostracized for speaking out against these forms abuse until the rise of the Me Too Movement. The Me Too Movement has given voice to the survivors that have endured physical and psychological trauma. The Movement has underlined the strong co

ICAN: UN General Assembly First Committee Starting Next Week

As you may be aware, the UN General Assembly First Committee starts next week on Monday, October 7 and runs through November 8. Delegates will be delivering statements up until October 31 and they will be voting on resolutions from November 1-8. Civil society and governments will host events on the sidelines of the First Committee, including the launch of the 2019 Ban Monitor report from the Norwegian People's Aid on October 16. ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) is trying to get as many positive references on the TPNW and on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons as possible in this year's statements and resolutions. You can help them calling on your government to

Conference on Women's Mental Health: Delegate Pack

As we quickly approach the date for our upcoming conference on the 9th of October, UN House Scotland and Soroptimist International Scotland South Region have prepared a delegate pack about the event and its speakers. To download the pack click here. Tickets are free to the event and you can sign up on Eventbrite now. We hope you all can join us next week but if not we hope the delegate pack will serve as a powerful resource. #DelegatePack #ConferenceonWomensMentalHealth

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