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BLM: Why Education Is Essential

By Grace Broad The only way we can achieve real, societal change is by taking ownership of our ignorance when it comes to racism. As a white woman speaking; it is clear to me that we have become so absorbed in our own bubble of privilege that we have made minimal effort to change our ways. Learning of the unconscious bias and racial inequality that takes place seems optional but as human beings, it is our responsibility to speak out as they happen. The dangerous custom of keeping quiet has meant that in Scotland, racism remains a taboo subject formed around opinion; rather than fact and responsibility. The global support for Black Lives Matter does not signal that this is the end of the conv

Glasgow Incident 26 June 2020

Used by the BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-53195939 Message by Positive Action in Housing Yesterday’s tragic incident in Glasgow underlines our concerns about the conditions in which vulnerable asylum seekers are forced to live. The Park Inn Hotel is one of several in Glasgow used by the Mears Group - a Home Office sub contracted asylum landlord with a multimillion pound contract to accommodate asylum seekers in Scotland and elsewhere across the U.K. In April, 370 asylum seekers in Glasgow were forcibly moved by Mears, with only an hour or so’s notice,  four or five to a van, into cheap hotels where social distancing is impossible and also had their meagre allowance o

The 75th Anniversary of the Declaration of the UN Charter

Today, 26 June 2020, is the 75th Anniversary of the declaration of the UN Charter. You can watch the following UN ceremonies:  https://www.un.org/pga/74/un-charter-day/ The General Assembly’s official Charter Day commemoration will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT), and will have three parts: 1. Solemn Charter Commemoration This segment will start with a video looking back at the UN’s 75 years.. 2. Interactive dialogues on the Charter’s relevance today and in the future 3. Closing Ceremony There will be a musical performance reflecting the words of the Preamble of the UN Charter

CSW64 Beijing +25, Covid-19 and the Soroptimist Sisters

By Candace Thomas Taken from https://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw64-2020 The Commission on the Status of Woman (CSW) is a functional intergovernmental body that was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946. It was created to promote the enhancement of universal gender equality and the empowerment of Woman and Girls worldwide. CSW is also responsible for documenting the global experiences of Women and Girls, bringing under-represented issues to the forefront: such as state violence against indigenous women; the stratification of trans people as a human rights abuse; recognising rape as a weapon of war; the role of woman in humanitarian action – an eclectic, ongoing list

Statement from the UNA-UK Team

Yesterday, Tuesday 16 June, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to merge the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Foreign Office (FCO) to create a new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. You can see our full statement in response to this announcement here.  For many years UNA-UK has argued that a strategic and integrated foreign, security, and defence policy is essential and that public engagement and input into the policy is vitally important. UNA-UK welcomed the previous announcement, 26 February,  that expertise from both inside and outside government will feed into the upcoming Integrated Review of the UK’s foreign, defence, security, and

BLM: Campaigning for Change in Scotland

By Grace Broad Photo Taken by Jackob Bowd in Edinburgh In Scotland, anti-racism protests have gone forward in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Protests in Edinburgh and Glasgow have appeared to keep safety at the forefront, with many attendees opting to wear face masks and keeping their social distance. At Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, many of our interns – whether as on-lookers or protestors – showed their support for the campaign live in action. Our photography intern, Jackob Bowd, attended the protest and shared his powerful words on the demonstration: "Having attended the Edinburgh #blacklivesmatter protest outside the Queen’s palace – a very real monument of systemic injustice

UNHS: A Simple Guide to Sustainable Living

Whether or not you have just been introduced to the idea of sustainable living or have been trying to better your lifestyle for a while now, this guide will be a great resource for you! If you’re just starting out, you can find all of the basics right here and do more research on topics that you are curious about. If you’re already a Sustainable Development Goal champion, have a look through and perhaps you’ll find something you’ve never considered before or get even more ideas to improve your lifestyle. "Wow this is great – I really struggle in some groups to relate the SDG to their real world this is so good" "This FANTASTIC RESOURCE. I will be sharing it widely. Who thought such a treasur

Racism, Police Brutality and Justice

By Pat Black, Soroptimist International Advisor 2019-2021 Recent events especially in the USA have highlighted issues related to racism, police brutality and the justice system. These issues are not singular to the United States but have been brought to prominence through specific events involving the way in which the police have dealt with individuals of colour, both male and female and their resulting deaths. In the USA there is specific legislative protection for police officers which has meant that many in civil society feel that justice is not being served. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights starts with the immediate sentence “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and o

In Our Hands: A Documentary by Robert Richter

Taken from http://richtervideos.com/InOurHands/ At the UN Second Special Session on Disarmament, 38 years ago today, 1m people marched outside the UN Building.  The film in the link is of that march. BUT, although 1m people marched outside, from inside where States Parties Presidents and Leaders met, not one word was mentioned about the protest.  Our commitment to ending nuclear weapons continues and, now, especially with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).  Once 50 countries ratify the Treaty, it comes into force: Currently, 38 countries have signed.  Let us at UNHS take the message to leaders in all the countries where we live and are based.  Good luck everyone! Link t

ICAN: Good News!

Image from https://www.icanw.org. A message from Tim Wright: Dear Campaigners, Lesotho has ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, becoming the 38th party! Only 12 more ratifications are now needed to bring it into force, and we know that several are very close (including Fiji's, as the parliament recently approved ratification). Congratulations to our African campaign team, in particular those who are doing outreach to members of the Southern African Development Community, or SADC. Lesotho is the second SADC member this year to ratify the TPNW, after Namibia. Here are two tweets about the ratification: https://twitter.com/nuclearban/status/1270110509614772224?s=20 https:/

'On Target for 2030?' Report

Please find below a report on whether Scotland is 'on target for 2030' by SDG Network Scotland alongside partners Oxfam Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland. http://uwsoxfampartnership.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/On-Target-July-2019-Web-FINAL.pdf

COVID-19 and Migration

By Chris Toward Image taken from UN Website: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/05/1063482 While it is without doubt that this global pandemic has had a profound impact on all of our lives, the effects of COVID-19 are being greatly exacerbated by underlying and unaddressed issues which face us as a local, national, and international society. These challenges, such as the continued plight of migrants and refugees across the world, are not only worsened by the coronavirus but are also increasingly overlooked by the media and our political representatives. Here are some really interesting articles from the last couple of months which focus on the current crisis from a perspective we are not imme

COVID-19 and Peacekeeping

By Chris Toward As mentioned in a previous blog, the vital contribution of women to UN peacekeeping missions has been formally recognised over the last couple of weeks through the devotion of World Peacekeeping Day to the female civilian and military personnel. On the topic of recognition, it is perhaps now a better time than ever to highlight some of the contributions of peacekeeping missions which have had to adapt quickly to significant challenges over the past few months. In particular, during this global pandemic, many peacekeeping missions have been instrumental in providing essential PPE and medical support, such as in Lebanon, where French and Ghanian peacekeepers have provided life-

PSR: Response to the Murder of George Floyd

PSR Image from https://www.psr.org/blog/2020/06/01/statement-on-the-killing-of-george-floyd/#:~:text=PSR%20stands%20with%20health%20professionals,are%20a%20public%20health%20issue.&text=We%20will%20never%20accomplish%20our,the%20dignity%20of%20all%20people. Dear PSR members and supporters, The murder of George Floyd and other acts of violence against African Americans in recent years are reminders of the deadly consequences of institutional racism in the United States. Tragically, the latest acts of violence by police directed at African Americans are occurring at a time when African Americans and other people of color are dying disproportionately from COVID-19, further illustrating the dama

America’s Criminal Justice System and the Problem of Mass Incarceration

By Hana Shono Used by 'The Berkeley Group' inhttps://insights.theberkeleygroup.org/mass-incarceration-and-inequality-in-the-united-states-77bc67f39c5d As someone who is not American but has lived there for the past 2 years, I feel very ignorant. I was unaware until recently about the issues that plague the country’s criminal justice system and the role it plays in criminalising and incarcerating African Americans. At present, roughly 2.2 million people have been imprisoned in America. That makes up roughly 25% of the world’s prison population. For a country whose population makes up 5% of the entire world’s population, that is an incredibly large percentage. Of those who are imprisoned, roug

Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace

By Louise Sjöblom Image from https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/women-peacekeeping This year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers fell on Friday 29th May and offered a chance to both pay tribute to civilian and uniformed personnel’s contribution to the Organization and to honour more than 3,900 peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. The day also allowed for reflection of the current challenges and threats facing peacekeepers and ongoing operations around the world. The theme for this year was “Women in Peace: A Key to Peace”, aimed to highlight the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The resolution called

Justice for George Floyd

By Grace Broad Image used by the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/world/asia/george-floyd-protest-global.html In light of the recent, traumatic events that have occurred in the United States, it is our duty as UNHS Scotland to use our platform for change. Through our work, UNHS practices the values of the United Nations; an organisation that ensures that peace, dignity and equality are maintained internationally. The key word here is equality. We must realise that racism not only exists in the United States of America but within our own society. Globally, we have failed to recognise the division we have created, through false media, dehumanising stereotypes and dangerous ig

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