23 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers: 16th annual conference and wreath-laying ceremony
International Day of UN Peacekeepers: 16th annual conference and wreath-laying ceremony
UNA Westminster, together with UNA-UK and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) will organise the 16th annual conference to be held at RUSI and the accompanying diplomats’ wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. All are welcome to attend both events. Details will follow.
13 April (TBC) - Have Commonwealth countries developed their strategies to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
Have Commonwealth countries developed their strategies to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
This meeting, to be held at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in London, will be organised jointly with the UNA London & South East Regional Council and the School of Commonwealth Studies at London University. UNA Westminster has already shared its disappointment with UK government delays in setting out its own national strategy to promote and implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to which it committed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (News Item 1 July). Parliamentary committee reports point to its lack of direction and strategy. There are concerns that many Commonwealth countries are ‘behind the curve’ also and the proposed meeting will take advantage of their attendance at CHOGM to focus on this issue.
22 February - 16th Annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
2 February - Westminster Young Professionals launch ‘Meet the Ambassador’ programme
Westminster Young Professionals launch ‘Meet the Ambassador’ programme
Westminster Young Professionals will launch the first of their planned monthly ‘Meet the Ambassador’ meetings on 13 March, to be kindly hosted by the law firm Ashfords LLP. The event will feature the longest serving ambassador in London, HE Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan. As Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, he represents all diplomats in London, liaising with government.
The meeting room will be open from 5.30pm from when Ashfords will kindly provide tea, coffee and soft drinks. The ambassador will give a brief overview to be followed by open discussion. The meeting will end at 7pm after which all are invited to join the Westminster Young Professionals at a nearby location for a networking session and more. The fee will be £5. To register, click here
1 February - UNA Westminster announces autumn study tour to European cities
UNA Westminster announces autumn study tour to European cities
UNA Westminster plans to lead an autumn study tour to The Hague, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, Europe’s three cities principally linked with the exercise of law, and also to Paris to visit UNESCO. Starting on Saturday 22 September from central London, the tour group will return on Saturday 29 September.
In The Hague, as well as the chance to learn about the work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, the group will visit the great Peace Palace financed by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The group then travels to Luxembourg which hosts the European Court of Justice and then on to Strasbourg to visit the European Parliament which will be in session, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.
The group will travel to Paris to visit UNESCO to hear presentations on several of its key programmes. After a visit to the striking Fondation Louis Vuitton designed by Frank Gehry, the group will travel to Compiègne for their last night and farewell dinner. On the way to Calais, they will visit the Clairiere de l'Armistice which hosted the 1918 Armistice and was used by Hitler to accept France’s surrender in 1940. The group will reach London by 7pm. For an outline of the planned day-by-day programme, click here.
To receive updates without commitment, register here
5 December, Room 4A, House of Lords at 6.30pm - The UN, the UK and people with disabilities: who's listening?
The UN, the UK and people with disabilities: who's listening?
Baroness Campbell of Surbiton DBE and fellow Human Rights and disability experts will review the UK's progress in implementing the recommendations of the latest UN report. All welcome but please register here.
13-24 November - 12th We The Peoples Film Festival to screen in 11 venues in London
12th We The Peoples Film Festival to screen in 11 venues in LondonUNA Westminster, organiser of the annual We The Peoples Film Festival, has announced the opening of registration for seats at 11 venues throughout London. The ever popular Young Film-Makers Day at the BFI Southbank on 18 November will include invitations to London’s many refugee communities, encouraging them to consider film as an exciting medium to share their ideas.
“The submissions came from 132 countries and thus offer a valuable overview of the issues that their directors see as important” says David Wardrop, Festival Director. “Geographically, they have tended to move from crisis areas such as Afghanistan, Syria and central Africa, following the millions who have moved away, hearing their stories. Their perilous journeys by land and sea and then travelling through an often hostile Europe has offered directors rich material. Also this year, there have been many more films on transgender issues and we are proud we commissioned ‘The Swimming Club’, our 2015 #TweetaPitch winner which tackles this important issue."
To view the full programme and to register for screenings, please click here
24 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers, 15th annual conference and ceremony
International Day of UN Peacekeepers, 15th annual conference and ceremony
Major General (retired) Patrick Cammaert, former UN Force Commander of UNMEE and also UN Force commander in the Eastern DRC will give the keynote address at this year’s annual peacekeeping conference which will ‘look for better peacekeeping and how to make the most of UN missions.’ The conference will take a deep look at the practical and theoretical questions which arise when we seek to turn the Ministerial Summit’s 3P agenda into a plan of action. The three sessions will between them cover the issues of leadership and accountability, the tension between protection of civilians and mission security, and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The conference annually provides a meeting ground between the UN, the Military Community, the Academic community, and Non-Governmental organisations. More details of the programme will be posted here.
To register for this popular event, click here.
7 March - "Should we be worried about the health of international law?"
"Should we be worried about the health of international law?"
Professor Françoise Hampson has chosen this title for the 14th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohan International Law lecture to be delivered on 7 March. To support her concerns, Professor Hampson will draw attention to certain states announcing their intention to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; the use of torture by US and UK agents in Iraq and Afghanistan disregarded both human rights law and the law of armed conflict; and, in the UK, threats by the government to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. The lecture is open to all and registration to attend can be made here. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and the Bar Council of England and Wales. A reception will follow the Q & A session.
Françoise Hampson was an independent expert member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (1998-2007) and acted as a consultant on humanitarian law to the International Committee of the Red Cross. She is currently working on autonomous weapons, investigations into alleged violations in situations of armed conflict and on the use of an individual petition system to address what are widespread or systematic human rights violations.
4 October - Francoise Hampson to deliver 15th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
Francoise Hampson to deliver 15th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
On 7 March 2017, Emeritus Professor Francoise Hampson of the School of Law at the University of Essex will give next year’s International Law Lecture at the Brunei Theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Professor Hampson was an independent expert member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights from 1998-2007 and acted as a consultant on humanitarian law to the International Committee of the Red Cross. She has successfully litigated many cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and, in recognition of her contribution to the development of law in this area, was awarded Human Rights Lawyer of the Year jointly with her colleague from the Centre, the late Professor Kevin Boyle.
This annual lecture is held in association with the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and the Bar Council of England and Wales.
29 June, Open Meeting: The UN’s drugs policy; right at last or so, so wrong?
The UN’s drugs policy; right at last or so, so wrong?
Wednesday 29 June at 6.45pm
Room 4a, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW
Baroness Meacher, Co-Chair, Drug Policy Reform All Party Parliamentary Group
HE Mr Nestor Osorio, Ambassador of Colombia
Steve Rolles, Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Anne Marie Cockburn, Anyone's Child
Chris Ford, International Doctors for Healthier Drugs Policies
The Drugs Crisis has it all; crime, torture, capital punishment, human rights violations, Cold War echoes, missed Sustainable Development Goals, rival interpretations of international law and escalating HIV and overdose deaths. The UN’s three drug conventions are both revered and reviled. The UN General Assembly accelerated its review process, aiming to tackle the crisis with a special session in April. Some call its Outcome Document a human rights 'win', others claim they were excluded from the debate. Some countries called for drugs to be decriminalised or legally regulated - saying that major countries remain in denial. So will some now walk away? Our expert speakers will help you make sense of one of the UN’s most intractable challenges.
Please enter by the Cromwell Gate and allow 30 minutes to negotiate the security checks
25 May 2016, International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 14th Annual Conference
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 14th Annual Conference
Jean-Marie Guéhenno to be keynote speaker in 14th Annual Conference to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers: registration facility now open
Our annual conference, organised in association with UNA-UK and our hosts, the Royal United Services Institute, offers the public the best opportunity to learn about developments in UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It is attended by diplomats from many countries, the military and academics as well as UNA members and the public. The keynote address will be given by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President and CEO, International Crisis Group, and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. The conference begins at 10am and will include the diplomatic wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph, to be held at 1pm. All are welcome to witness the ceremony.
With the UK to host the next UN summit on peacekeeping this year, it’s time to examine the content of peace-operations reform, its political and bureaucratic prospects, and the role the UK can play in driving the process forward.
Renewed momentum on peace operations has been prompted in response to the substantial challenges faced by the international community in containing and preventing relapse into conflict. Last year marked the UN’s 70th anniversary and saw important reviews to strengthen peace operations, improve peacebuilding capacity and tighten the organisation's approach to women, peace and security. Also, the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping witnessed member states pledge over 40,000 additional personnel to peace operations worldwide. How will these reviews be reconciled and implemented as we look forward to potential future operations in places such as Libya and Syria and how will the UK perform here?
The full list of speakers will be announced here shortly.
Standard registration fee £15, Student £6. To register, click here
21 March 2016, ‘A Solemn Duty’: Dag Hammarskjold and Conflict in the Congo
‘A Solemn Duty’: Dag Hammarskjold and Conflict in the Congo
A review of the latest developments in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history. Will Ban Ki-moon manage to persuade the UK and US governments to accede to his requests for transparency, as supported by the UN General Assembly? Click here for chronology and progress to date.
Monday 21 March, 1730-1930
Senate House, Room G37 (Ground Floor)
University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Professor Henning Melber, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Dr Roger Lipsey, author of Hammarskjöld: A Life
David Wardrop, Chair, United Nations Association Westminster Branch
Open to all but please confirm your attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org
“This is our solemn duty to the distinguished former Secretary General, Mr Dag Hammarskjold, to the other members of the party accompanying him, and to their families.” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reporting, on 6 July 1915, the findings of a UN panel of experts and calling for a further inquiry or investigation into the fatal crash.
New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history. It suggests that the plane carrying the UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld was deliberately brought down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). These findings challenge the official version of an accident and raise questions of a cover-up over the 1961 crash and its causes. Susan Williams’ Who Killed Hammarskjöld?, and the subsequent findings of an independent commission of jurists led to a report by a UN panel of experts published in May 2015 which verified that new evidence had come to light. The Secretary General firmly endorsed the need for further official investigations to remove the lasting obfuscation, linked to global geopolitics and competing interests.
Initiating a panel discussion on the continuing questions and the continuing relevance of the clouded events surrounding the death of the second UN Secretary General on 17-18 September 1961, Professor Henning Melber will summarise Hammarskjöld’s approach to the conflict in the Congo and offer an overview of the efforts to establish the circumstances of the plane crash. Dr Roger Lipsey witnessed the UN General Assembly sessions which led to Ban Ki-moon’s bold initiatives.
This event is jointly organised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London and the United Nations Association Westminster Branch
14 March 2016, 14th Annual International Law Lecture, Brunei Lecture Theatre, SOAS - Chasing Religious Persecution in Law: bloodshed, concerted attack or maintaining representation?
14th Annual International Law Lecture, Brunei Lecture Theatre, SOAS - Chasing Religious Persecution in Law: bloodshed, concerted attack or maintaining representation?
The 14th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture will be given by Dr Nazila Ghanea, Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. She is a member of the Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief for the Organisations of Security and cooperation In Europe (OSCE).
Admission is free but we ask you to register here.
Dr Ghanea was the founding editor of the international journal of Religion and Human Rights and now serves on its Editorial Board as well as the Advisory Board of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. She has been a visiting academic at a number of institutions including Columbia and NYU, and previously taught at the University of London and Keele University, UK and in China. Dr. Ghanea's research spans freedom of religion or belief, the protection of identities in international human rights, and human rights in the Middle East. Her publications include nine books, five UN publications as well as a number of journal articles and reports. Nazila has acted as a human rights consultant/expert for a number of governments, the UN, UNESCO, OSCE, Commonwealth, Council of Europe and the EU. She has facilitated international human rights law training for a range of professional bodies around the world, lectured widely and carried out first hand human rights field research in a number of countries including Malaysia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. She is a regular contributor to the media on human rights matters.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and the Bar Council of England and Wales. A reception will follow the Question & Answer session.
Admission is free but we ask you to register here.
5 March 2016, United Nations Association – UK Annual General Meeting
United Nations Association – UK Annual General Meeting
4pm Ravensbourne, 6 Penrose Way, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0EW
For full details see here.
10 January 2016, Mark the 70th anniversary of the Inaugural Meeting of the UN General Assembly
Mark the 70th anniversary of the Inaugural Meeting of the UN General Assembly
Sunday 10 January at 11am
Methodist Central Hall Westminster
Storey's Gate, London SW1H 9NH
The service will take place where the UN General Assembly first met on 10 January 1946. It will feature elements which link to the development of the United Nations over these last seventy years. A reception will follow the service. All welcome.
Please register here.
6 December 2015, Annual Human Rights Day Service
ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY SERVICE
Sunday 6 December, 11am
Golders Green Unitarian Church
31 Hoop Lane, London N1 9LY
Welcome: Reverend Feargus O’Connor, Golders Green Unitarians
Introduction: Dr Kishan Manocha, Chair, British Chapter, International Association for Religious Freedom and Vice-Chair, UNA London and South East Regional Council
Keynote address: Dr David Kirkham, Academic Director, Brigham Young University London Centre, and Senior Fellow, International Centre for Law and Religion Studies, J Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
Music: London Baha’i Choir and Catherine Pluygers (oboe), Chair, United Nations Association London and South East Regional Council
Refreshments will follow the service. Organised by the British Chapter, International Association for Religious Freedom and the United Nations Association London and South East Regional Council with the kind support of Golders Green Unitarians.
24 November 2015, The Pain and the Passion: The Privilege of making a difference through local partners on front lines of freedom around the world
The Pain and the Passion: The Privilege of making a difference through local partners on front lines of freedom around the worldSpeaker: Baroness Cox of Queensbury
Room 4A, House of Lords
6.45pm (ends at 8.45pm)
Baroness Cox is the founder of HART which combines aid with advocacy working with communities in active conflict zones including Burma, Nigeria, South Sudan and Sudan; post-conflict areas still devastated by war like Nagorno-Karabakh, northern Uganda and Timor Leste; or areas where people are marginalised, oppressed and exploited for cultural, political and economic reasons such as the Dalits and Temple Prostitutes in India. Baroness Cox’s humanitarian aid work has taken her on many missions to conflict zones, allowing her to obtain first hand evidence of the human rights violations and humanitarian needs. We are delighted that as one of our Joint Patrons, Baroness Cox can join us.
We will elect our Officers and Executive Committee and welcome new members. Please contact email@example.com for information.
Please read our annual reports for 2013-14 (click to site on page) and 2014-15 (click to site attached). These are posted on this site under Annual Reports. The Annual Accounts will be tabled at the meeting.
The AGM will start at 6.45pm and Baroness Cox will speak at 7.15pm. The meeting will end before 8.45pm.
November 2015, BFI SouthBank and other venues throughout London - 9th We the Peoples Film Festival
9th We the Peoples Film Festival
For latest information, see here
28 October 2015, Celebrating the UN’s 60 years in Vienna
“Celebrating the UN’s 60 years in Vienna
The Austrian Embassy in London, the City of Vienna, UNA Westminster and London Academy of Diplomacy welcome all to the opening of a photo exhibition showing the work of UN organisations based in Vienna, to be followed by a reception. All welcome but please register.
London Academy of Diplomacy, 102 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EZ
6pm (ends at 8.30pm)
The Austrian Embassy in London, the City of Vienna, UNA Westminster and London Academy of Diplomacy welcome all to the opening of a photo exhibition showing the work of UN organisations based in Vienna
London Academy of Diplomacy, 102 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EZ
Dr Martin Eichtinger, Austrian Ambassador
Dr Oskar Wawra, Director for International Relations, City of Vienna
David Wardrop, Chairman, UNA, Westminster Branch
Prof Charles Chatterjee, Acting Director, London Academy of Diplomacy
Keynote speech “70 Years of United Nations – A view from the UK”
Douglas Wilson, Legal Director, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
To be followed by a Q&A session and cocktail reception.
All welcome but please register at firstname.lastname@example.org
23 October 2015, Panel Discussion: 1945 and 2015: the UN and the Global South, then and now
Panel Discussion: 1945 and 2015: the UN and the Global South, then and now
Marking the United Nations at 70
Winnie Byanyima Executive Director, Oxfam International
Valerie Amos Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
Thomas Weiss Leading scholar on international relations and the UN
Dan Plesch Director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy
Natalie Samarasinghe Executive Director, UNA-UK
Moderator Zeinab Badawi BBC newsperson and Presenter Hard Talk
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, Thornhaugh Street. WC1H 0XG
7pm (ends at 8.30pm)
Registration here is required
Marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations on Friday, 23rd October, the eve of “UN Day” that marks the entry into force of the Charter. Does multilateralism, the bedrock of the world organisation, matter in today’s increasing fragmenting world? Why did it matter in 1942-45? Was the post-World War Two global order truly multilateral?
10 October 2015, UN at 70: Multi Faith Service with music and reception
UN at 70: Multi Faith Service with music and reception
Temple Church, London EC4Y 7BB
5pm (doors open at 4.30pm)
For full details, click here
5-9 October 2015, UNA Westminster Study Tour to UN in Vienna - FULLY BOOKED
UNA Westminster Study Tour to UN in Vienna
Join our interesting visit to this important ‘UN City’, host to important UN agencies and programmes, and the OSCE. Meet and discuss their priorities and challenges.
We will hold briefings with senior staff members from six UN agencies and also visit the headquarters of the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We will hear about the priority issues of the UK Mission to Vienna which handles all UN agencies as well as the OSCE, in this enchanting and compact city. We will make time to explore the city also, from its Schönnbrun and Liechtenstein Palaces, its museums and concert halls to its famous cafes. Read on to learn about this exciting, informative and enjoyable programme. The cost of £425 (shared room) and £520 (single occupancy) does not include flights so you can choose and from which airport you fly from – and to. Linz and Bratislava are two attractive nearby cities to consider.
Study Tour to Vienna
To offer maximum flexibility, tour party members will travel to Vienna independently. Some will prefer to travel direct to Vienna, others may choose to fly to nearby Bratislava in Slovakia or to Linz, Austria. Travel to and from Vienna is easy from both.
We will meet up in the highly praised Hotel Magdas which is run by refugees.
Travel to the Vienna International Centre (VIC) will be by metro or by taxi for those unable to tackle the ten minute walk through the park to the metro station.
Sunday 4 October Arrive and register at Hotel Magdas [note 1]
Monday 5 October Morning Take sightseeing bus through Vienna
Afternoon Lunch in VIC cafeteria, then meeting with UNIDO
Tuesday 6 October Morning Meeting with IAEA, then lunch in VIC cafeteria
Afternoon Visit Schönbrunn Palace [note 2]
Evening Reception with UK Mission (TBA)
Wednesday 7 October Morning Visit UNODC, then lunch in VIC cafeteria
Afternoon Visit UNOOSA [note 3]
Into evening Visit Museum Quarter [note 4]
Evening Orchestral concert [note 5]
Thursday 8 October Morning either tour UN art or visit CTBTO, then lunch in VIC cafeteria
Afternoon Visit OSCE
Evening Formal event with City of Vienna [note 6]
Friday 9 October Morning either visit UNCITRAL or INCB, then visit city centre
Afternoon either visit peace Museum or Military Museum [note 7]
Evening Liechtenstein City Palace [note 8], then farewell dinner
Saturday 10 October Depart independently
All UN agencies are located in the Vienna International Centre (VIC)
CTBTO Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
UNODC UN Office of drugs and Crime
UNIDO UN International Development Organisation
UNOOSA United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
UNCITRAL United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
INCB International Narcotic Control Board
CTBTO Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation
OSCE Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (central Vienna)
How much will it cost? £425 each for a shared room, £520 for single occupancy
INCLUDES - hotel breakfasts, metro/bus ticket for tour period, visit to Schönbrunn Palace, Wiener Kursalon orchestral concert, entry to Military Museum and evening meals.
NOT INCLUDED - air flights (return flights from £116 at time of writing) or lunch in the excellent VIC cafeteria to offer maximum flexibility for diets and time for our meetings.
We hope to arrange receptions hosted by the UK Mission; the City of Vienna and the Liechtenstein family.
See notes on following page
1 The Hotel Magdas is run by refugees and highly praised by Caritas. The nearest metro station, Praterstern, is 15 minutes’ walk and a bus can make it in 4 minutes. From there, the VIC is reached in 4 minutes. *Taxis are easily arranged.
2 Direct to the Schönbrunn Palace (below) by metro, then 10 minutes’ walk to entry.
3 Our visit coincides with World Space Week which might influence the programme.
4 Tour members can choose from the many museums here and pay for their preferred options.
5 The Salonorchester "Alt Wien" performs Viennese favourites in the Wiener Kursalon (below), one of the city’s most beautiful concert venues.
6 We hope to mark Austria’s 60th anniversary as a UN member.
7 See Archduke Ferdinand’s car and bloodstained jacket! Or choose where you want to visit.
8 We will visit the extraordinary, baroque Liechtenstein City Palace (below) owned by the princely family of Liechtenstein.
21 September 2015, UN International Day of Peace
UN International Day of Peace
Organisations worldwide will be marking this event in different ways. In 2013 and 2014, UNA Westminster organised “Flights for Peace” in association with the London Boroughs Faith Network. We used the Emirates Air Line linking Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks to bring together people of different faith, ethnicity and age to take the opportunity to ask ‘those questions they had always wanted to ask’. Please see our 2014 event here. We hope to run “Flights for Peace” in 2016.
21 September 2015 Emirates Air Line terminal, Greenwich Peninsula - “Flights for Peace”
“Flights for Peace”
To mark the United Nations International Day of Peace, we use the Emirates Air Line, the cable car service which links the O2 Arena and the Royal Docks, to bring together people of different faith, ethnicity and age to take the opportunity to ask ‘those questions they had always wanted to ask’. After check-in at the Greenwich Peninsula Prayer Space, small groups take off for the north side and then take tea and biscuits at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel. Then they return to be presented with a Flight for Peace Certificate of Airworthiness. This popular annual event will be one of several events coordinated by the London Boroughs Faith Network.
Further information and registration details will be posted here during the summer.
For a report on the 2014 ‘Flights for Peace’, see News Item 21 September 2014
16 July 2015, University of London - “Sowing the Whirlwind: Nuclear Politics and the Historical Record”
“Sowing the Whirlwind: Nuclear Politics and the Historical Record”
Organised jointly with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London Conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic age which has overshadowed humanity
16 July 2015
10am to 5.30pm
The Chancellor's Hall
Senate House, University of London
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
The decision taken 70 years ago to use untried technology to speed the end of the war introduced Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the international lexicon. “Yesterday we clinched victory in the Pacific, but we sowed the whirlwind" wrote Hanson Baldwin in the New York Times. That whirlwind touched all humanity, redefining fear, fuelling misinformation and secrecy and encouraging denial. It led to unlikely alliances of nations, some of these of sworn enemies and others joined only by that new fear borne of inability to imagine their own worlds after another Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Over these years, efforts have been made to return us from the brink, to wind back from only minutes to midnight, the hands of the historic Doomsday Clock. From the chambers of the United Nations where states, the powerful and the powerless, have sought to drive the narrative, from regions, towns and individuals, people have cried out for rational debate. This most dangerous period in the ascent of humankind has been variously recorded but can we now assemble the facts into a coherent historical record?
The conference will consider the contestation over knowledge about nuclear bombs and warfare, including the impact and roles of misinformation and secrecy, from the start of the Second World War until the present day. The last 70 years have seen a number of moments – such as the Cuban Missile Crisis – when it seemed that the horror of Hiroshima would be repeated, but the key actors pulled back from the brink. This will be explored, as well as efforts by campaigners and the UN to prevent such a great catastrophe. A concluding Round Table will provide an opportunity to review where we are now, and where we are going.
Register here: £20 and £10 (students and concessions)
Refreshments and post-conference reception included
1000 Session 1 After Hiroshima: redefining fear, living in denial
Chair: Professor Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies,
School of Advanced Study, University of London
Professor Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, Washington
"The 'Greatest Thing in History' or the Most Reckless? Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”
Professor Matthew Jones, Department of International History, London School of
Economics and Political Science
“The legacies of Hiroshima for US-Asian relations in the early Cold War”
1050 Q and A
1140 Session 2 Back from the Brink – So Far
Chair: David Wardrop, Chairman, United Nations Association Westminster Branch
Andreas Persbo, Executive Director, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)
“Recognising the dangers: nuclear states agree new rules” TBC
Bruce Kent, Vice-President, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
“Opposition voices, national and international”
1230 Q and A
1300 Keynote address
Chair: Professor Henning Melber, Director Emeritus, Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Uppsala
Dr. Akiko Mikamo, President, US-Japan Psychological Services, author of Rising from the Ashes: A True Story of Survival and Forgiveness from Hiroshima
“Rising from the Ashes - Under and Beyond That Mushroom Cloud”
1330 Q and A
1500 Session 3 What is the historical record? The contestation over truth
Chair: Dr John Y. Jones, Director, Voksenåsen Networkers South, Oslo
Dr Susan Williams, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
“Blank pages of history: Congolese uranium and the Manhattan Project”
Dr Walt Patterson, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, Founding Member, International Energy Advisory Council, Visiting Fellow Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
“Whose history? The nuclear kaleidoscope”
1550 Q and A
1645 Round Table
Chair: Professor Mary Kaldor, LSE (invited)
Dr. Knox Chitiyo, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Professor Peter Kuznick , American University, Washington
Andreas Persbo , Executive Director, VERTIC
1750 Open discussion
1830 Reception to 1930
27 June 2015, Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road - Summer Conference
The United Nations Association London & South East Regional Council (LASER) will hold its Summer Conference to which all UNA members are invited. The programme is not yet settled. Please watch for details here or on LASER’s website here.
23 May 2015, Uniting for Peace: 2015 Summer Conference
Uniting for Peace: 2015 Summer Conference
Click here to see more.
20 May 2015, The Cenotaph, Whitehall - Wreath-laying ceremony at 1pm.
Wreath-laying ceremony at 1pm.
Diplomats for many countries, along with representatives of HM government, the military and police and others will pay homage to those who have died in the cause of peace. The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas will provide musical support and members of the UN Veterans Association will lead the parade. We welcome those from all countries to join us for this free event.
20 May 2015 Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall - “Rich states in UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?”
“Rich states in UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?”
13th Annual Conference to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
Speakers: HE Mrs Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador of France; Major-General (Ret’d) Robert Gordon CMG CBE MA, former Force Commander, UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea; Richard Gowan, Associate Director, Managing Global Order, Center on International Cooperation, New York University; Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG, Chairman, UNA-UK and former UK ambassador to the United Nations; Professor Michael Clarke, Director-General, Royal United Services Institute
16 May 2015, Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road - United Nations Association UK Policy Conference and Annual General Meeting
United Nations Association UK Policy Conference and Annual General Meeting
This day-long event is an opportunity for UNA-UK members to meet each other and debate the global issues that matter to them.
Everyone is welcome to attend the policy conference but anyone wishing to vote must have been a member of UNA-UK for at least three months prior to the start of the conference.
For more information, click here
21 March 2015, Wesley’s Chapel, 49 City Road - “Britain’s Global Role in a Changing World”
“Britain’s Global Role in a Changing World”
Annual General Meeting of Uniting for Peace. Experts and party candidates will discuss and answer questions on peace and disarmament, responding to Jihadist extremism and violence and the UK’s role in the European Union.
The event starts at 10.30am. For more information, click here.
25 February 2015,
Brunei Lecture Theatre
– 12th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
“The United Nations Special Procedures systems and the challenges of human rights implementation”
12th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
“The United Nations Special Procedures systems and the challenges of human rights implementation”
Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Iran. Click here for full information and for your free reservation.
25 November 2014, Westminster Arms 8.30pm – Book Launch “Ukraine’s long road to the EU”
Book Launch “Ukraine’s long road to the EU”
Luckshan Abeysuriya, UNA member, will introduce his new book (£15) in the downstairs wine bar of the Westminster Arms. 9 Storey Gate, London SW1P 3AT (opposite QE2 Conference Centre).
25 November 2014, Committee Room 4a House of Lords 6pm – “Who Rules the World?”
8 November 2014, BFI South Bank, 11am-7pm – Youth Day at the BFI
Youth Day at the BFI
The 2014 We the Peoples film festival opens with its Youth day at the BFI, screening films on key UN issues and providing professional guidance to young film makers. The We The Peoples Film Festival will continue for two weeks, screening films in various venues throughout London and, for the first time, in other cities.
9 October 2014, Hilton London Euston 6pm – Annual Erskine Childers Lecture ‘The Human Right to Peace’
Annual Erskine Childers Lecture ‘The Human Right to Peace’
Alfred de Zayas, UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur
This lecture is organised by Uniting for Peace in memory of Erskine Barton Childers (1929 - 1996) who was Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). He died suddenly on 25 August 1996, shortly after giving a speech at its 50th anniversary congress in Luxembourg. Hilton London Euston, 17-18 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0HT
21 September 2014, Emirates Air Line 12 noon to 5pm – Flights for Peace
Flights for Peace
To mark the UN International Day of Peace, mixed groups of Londoners of all faiths ages and ethnicity will learn about each other as they cross the Thames and meet in the Siemens Crystal. All travellers will receive a Flights for Peace certificate. This event is organised in association with the London Boroughs Faiths Network. See News item 22 September 2013 for a guide. Departures will be made from the south side, close to the O2 Centre. Booking is essential and can be made here.
15 September 2014, Putney Methodist Church 7:30pm – The UN Security Council - how it works and is it time for reform ?
The UN Security Council - how it works and is it time for reform ?
Speakers: Vijay Mehta and David Wardrop Putney Methodist Church, Gwendolen Ave, London SW15 6SN Contact: Robert Storey email@example.com
29 July 2014, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, (Imperial War Museum, SE1), 2pm-7pm – Music to Unite Nations
Music to Unite Nations
To mark the start of World War One, young musicians from different countries participating in the London International Music Festival will provide an afternoon of music in the park adjacent to the Imperial War Museum, re-opened only days previously. Accompanying attractions will include a themed Peace Path through the park.
The event is co-hosted by the Westminster and Streatham & Clapham UNA branches. More information follows.
July 2014, TBA, Parliament, 6.30pm – Kigali, Srebrenica and Aleppo; lessons learned or ignored?
Kigali, Srebrenica and Aleppo; lessons learned or ignored?
Branch meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and to follow Srebrenica Day (11 July).
More information follows...
28 June, Central Hall Westminster, from 10am – Can Britain still cut it on the world stage? UN Forum
Can Britain still cut it on the world stage?
Top UK and UN speakers will explore whether Britain is still a global power, and to what extent it can tackle the biggest challenges facing the world. Participants will engage with decision-makers, experts and campaigners at a time of profound domestic and global change. For draft programme, see http://www.una.org.uk/forum14-programme
To register, see http://www.una.org.uk/forum
26 June, Room 4A, House of Lords, 6.30pm – Does the UK have a credible race equality strategy or is a new vision required?
Does the UK have a credible race equality strategy or is a new vision required?
Lord Herman Ouseley, former Chair, Commission for Racial Equality; Rachel Zaltzman, Head of EHRC Human Rights and Respect Programme; Barbara Cohen, Former UK NGO delegate to CERD; Baroness Thornton (Labour Party); Lester Holloway (Liberal Democrats) and representatives of other major political parties will review policy on race and diversity in preparation for the 2015 general election.
For full details of meeting, click here.
To register, click here.
11 June 2014, Parliament, 6.30pm - Implementing the UN Chemical Weapons Convention
Implementing the UN Chemical Weapons Convention
Speakers Dr John Willaims, FCO Disarmament Department;Richard Guthrie, Chemical & Biological Warfare Events.
This meeting will follow closely on the scheduled removal from Syria of all chemical weapons and examine propsects for progress in this field. The meeting will be followed by the Annual General Meeting of UNA Youth. This event is organised by LASER, the UNA London & South East Regional Council Attendance is free but registration may be required. Details follow shortly.