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Busy times for UN House Scotland

UNHS Interns participate in NYC Women's March Against Nuclear Weapons

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’s busiest periods to date, with the Scotland Launch of the UNESCO Global Monitoring Edinburgh Report, a Model United Nations Event in Dunfermline, the UN House Scotland Charity Dinner and a Reception for Nobel Peace Prize winners ICAN all within the space of 10 days. On top of this, UN House Scotland will also be present with a stall at the Scottish Parliament from 4 to 8 December.

The highly active period starts with the Scotland Launch of the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report at the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh on 29 November. UN House Scotland is together with Link Community Development and UNESCO a joint organiser of this event. The Report focuses on assessment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals of quality education and reduced inequalities. At the Launch, the Report will be presented along with a high-level expert panel.

The day after the Launch of the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, UN House Scotland will continue its work with improving education by organising a Model United Nations for primary school pupils for the first time ever in Scotland. The event will take place in Dunfermline, where children will learn about diplomacy, international relations and the UN through simulating the proceedings of the UN. As well as this, UN House Scotland is also working on organising the world’s first Model United Nations event in a prison in Glasgow. The organisation really is addressing SDG4 in its educational activities!

On 7 December, UN House Scotland will mark a new milestone in its history by organising its first Charity Dinner. The Caledonian Hotel has provided the venue for what the organisation expects to be a night of fun, socialising and networking. Prominent people from different parts of Scottish civil society will be present at the event which will be an opportunity for individuals working on issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals to exchange ideas while also learning more about the important work UN House Scotland does with promoting the Goals in Scotland.

There will barely be time to recover from the Charity Dinner before a new major event will be hosted by UN House Scotland. Earlier this year, the civil society organisation was delighted to learn that their partner organisation ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize. UN House Scotland Interns Amy Christison and Dagmar de Medeiros were working closely with the organisation this summer in New York when the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons was agreed. On 8 December, only two days before ICAN receives the Peace Prize, UN’s Scottish affiliates will have the pleasure of welcoming ICAN representatives to the UN House Scotland offices in order to celebrate their massive achievement.

UN House Scotland Executive Director, Dr Gari Donn, is delighted with the tremendous support received from partner organisations, collaborative charities and, especially, the large number of volunteers: we are so grateful for this enthusiasm from all our friends and partners. "We all know that change happens 'from below' from people saying 'enough is enough' as they make sure society moves to become more just, equitable and socially inclusive. We are part of a mass movement forcing political and diplomatic actors to embrace change. It isn't easy but we continue to know that it will happen."

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