23 May - Twenty-first annual conference and wreath laying ceremony
This event marks the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. It comprises an all-day conference hosted by the Royal United Services Institute and in association with the United Nations Association of the UK. It pauses at 1.30pm for the ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Both are open to the public. The conference programme will be published here together with details of registration. A film of the 2022 ceremony can be seen here.
15-19 April - Study Visit the UN Centre, Vienna
The programme will include meetings with several UN agencies based in the UN Centre and leading NGOs based in this charming city. Participants will arrange their own travel, but hotel accommodation and evening meals will be included. Further information will be posted here. A short report of our study tour to Vienna in 2015 can be read on our news page (see 10 October 2015)
TBA March - Twenty-first annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
This lecture will be held in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, hosted by the Centre for International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and in association with the Bar Council of England and Wales. The event is open to the public. Click here for information on previous speakers.
28* February - “The Continuing Search for Truth: Next Steps for the UN Commission of Inquiry into the death in 1961 of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld”
This all-day conference will review the progress of the re-opened UN Inquiry seeking to determine the cause of the plane crash in which Dag Hammarskjöld and sixteen others perished. It will be held in the Senate Room, Senate House, University of London.
*Alternative date 29 February
TBA January - “Universal Human Rights: universal moral values or mere political construct?”
This meeting will mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Speakers will be announced shortly. The meeting will be preceded by the Westminster UNA annual general meeting to which all are welcome. Only registered Westminster UNA members may vote on procedural resolutions.
10 December - “Not forgotten: UN personnel who have died in Palestine, 1948-2023”
Wreath laying ceremony to remember the more than one hundred UN employees providing humanitarian support in Gaza who have lost their lives since the atrocity of 7 October.
For full information, click here.
United Nations Green faces Westminster Abbey and Central Hall Westminster which hosted the first UN General Assembly meeting in January 1946.
15 November at 6.30pm - Meeting: “When our cultural heritage is destroyed, our children are dispossessed.”
Speaker: Professor Peter Stone OBE
UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace,
Newcastle University, and President, International Blue Shield
Host: Baroness Garden of Frognal
Now in Ukraine and earlier, in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, targeted shelling and explosives have destroyed cultural sites, many registered by the United Nations and thus deemed the common heritage of all humankind. The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict identifies the obligations on all nations which have ratified it. But what should they actually do? In the UK, the National Committee of the Blue Shield, a cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, works with the government and military to implement legislation such as the Cultural Property (Armed Forces) Act to set out what must be done. But under what international law can those who destroy tangible artefacts be brought to justice - and where?
6.30 pm Room 1, House of Lords, London SW1A 0AA
Admission free bit you must register here
6 October from 6.30pm - Westminster United Nations Association Young Professionals - Meeting: The Feathers, opposite St. James's Park station
The Westminster UNA Young Professionals has organised events and campaigns which focus on human rights, human security, development, climate change and the environment. We have co-hosted events with the Young Barristers and the Young Diplomats in London, and we have good links with other organisations and of course the United Nations. So please join us to discuss priorities, choose topics, and set up a leadership team to make it all happen. And enjoy a good buffet!
Please send an email to email@example.com if you’re coming.
12 July - 'Who cares about human rights beyond the horizon?'
Speaker, David Hammond, Chief Executive, Human Rights at Sea
This century saw a sharp rise in piracy in the Indian Ocean, leading to the capture for ransom of passing cargo ships. This revealed a shocking truth, well-established mechanisms for valuing and negotiating the release of a ship’s hull and its cargo, but none for securing the safety of its crew, destined to remain hostage in appalling conditions, sometimes leading to their death.
David Hammond will review progress towards international policy change and introduce the new Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea which sets out to extend human rights engagement under existing international law.
6.30pm, Room 1, House of Lords (kindly hosted by Lord Teverson)
11 July - Book launch and signing: “How two cartoonists portrayed international cooperation with wit and satire”
Tuesday 11 July, 3pm – 4.30pm
Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate SW1H 9NH
From James Gillray, “the father of the political cartoon,” to Martin Rowson of The Guardian, cartoonists have used wit and satire and great artistry to portray events of the day. In the years between the two World Wars, the partnership of Alois Derso and Emery Kelen was without rival. Their humour managed to capture the zeitgeist of an era that witnessed the creation of the League of Nations, the rise of fascism and the creation of the United Nations. And yet, no proper account of their work and lives has been published until now.
Join us for the launch of “The Political Cartoons of Derso and Kelen: Years of Hope and Despair”. Hear the co-authors speak about the book, buy a signed copy at a discounted price. Also, view the remarkable collection of United Nations memorabilia held in Methodist Central Hall Westminster, host of the first session of the UN General Assembly in January 1946.
For more information and to reserve a place, click here.
25 May - 20th Annual Wreath-laying Ceremony to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
The ceremony will be held at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, attended by representatives of government, the armed services and police, and members of the international diplomatic community. The Band of the Royal Marines will provide music support. The event will commence at 1.15pm and all are welcome to attend.
23 May - 20th Annual Conference to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
The keynote Folke Bernadotte Memorial Conversation will be held between Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute and Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan.
There will also be a Panel Discussion on Peacekeeping Training worldwide.
This online event is jointly organised with UNA-UK and the Royal United Services Institute.
The free event is open to all. Please register here.
2 May - “Towards Press Freedom: New hope or false dawn?”
Lord David Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Chair of the High Level Panel of Experts on Media Freedom; former President of the UK Supreme Court (invited)
Lord Black of Brentford, Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group
Amberin Zaman, UK-based Turkish journalist, Al-Monitor international correspondent; Coalition of Women Journalists press freedom ‘Hero’
Marianna Spring, BBC Disinformation and Social Media correspondent (invited)
Chair: William Horsley, UK Chair, Association of European Journalists
Public meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and also the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.
On the eve of leaders meeting at the UN and UNESCO, our speakers will present bold but practical pathways to reclaim the information sphere for unhindered journalism, open public debate and free and fair elections.
Room 4A, House of Lords at 6.30pm. Free admission by registration only.
1 April - Biennial Conference of the United Nations Association of the UK
Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA, 10am to 4.30pm
The conference is open to all UNA members and supporters. Please see the UNA-UK website for details, to be posted in February.
15 March - 20th Annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0AL
“Brexit, the Good Friday Agreement & the Constitutional Future of Northern Ireland”
Speaker: Professor Colin Harvey, Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Human Rights Centre in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast and a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.
This event is open to all and will commence at 6.30pm. The lecture will be followed by a Q & A session and a reception. This is a joint project of the Westminster United Nations Association, the Bar Council of England and Wales, and the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Admission to the lecture and the reception following it is free, but we ask you to register here.
12 January - Public Meeting 6.30pm to 8pm - “Finding and funding the path to both climate justice and social justice”
What path can we take to achieve global net zero - and still leave no-one behind?
Sara Shaw: Climate Justice & Energy International Programme Co-coordinator, Friends of the Earth International
Benny Dembitzer: International Development Economist and member, 1985 Nobel Peace Prize winning team
followed by discussion and reception.
PLEASE REGISTER HERE
CPA Room, Westminster Hall
Houses of Parliament, SW1P 3JX
17 July - 2nd “Summer Party on The Green”
United Nations Green, marking also Nelson Mandela Day (18 July)
Walk the world-famous Mandela Mile here in London, ending at United Nations Green to join the patty and to earn your Mandela Mile badge.
June TBA - “Is there a place for the voice of Faith in international negotiations?”
This hybrid event will be held in Methodist Central Hall adjacent to United Nations Green and co-hosted with Twickenham & Richmond and Wandsworth UNAs.
In recent years, much foreign policy attention has focused on the role of religion in contributing to strife across the globe. In many fragile states, such as Myanmar, Congo and Sri Lanka, religious divisions do exacerbate strife, even where religion may not be the root cause of the conflict. Religion, however, can play an important role in peace-making and conflict prevention and resolution. More details follow.
26 May - 19th Annual wreath-laying ceremony to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
This annual event, the largest assembly of diplomats worldwide to mark this UN anniversary, will take place at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, commencing at 1300. Wreaths will be laid by government ministers and representatives of the armed forces and police and many members of the diplomatic community. Units from four army regiments returned from UN peacekeeping duties will participate and the Band of the Grenadier Guards will provide musical support. The ceremony is coordinated by Westminster United Nations Association liaising with the United Nation Association of the UK and the UK’s UN Peacekeeping Joint Unit. All are welcome to attend.
26 May - 19th Annual Conference to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
This year’s conference titled Enhancing the UK Contribution to Peacekeeping, to be held online between 1100 and 1515, will comprise three sessions. The morning session titled How effectively does the UN address the challenges of Peacekeeping? will review the 6th Peacekeeping Ministerial (December 7-8, 2021) held in Seoul. That event set out to achieve practical solutions to improve peacekeeping operations focusing medical support, enhancing technology, and the recent A4P+ Agenda initiative.
The second session, the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Conversation, will comprise a dialogue between Karin von Hippel, Director of RUSI and Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, who will review the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative launched in 2018. Together with the Declaration of Shared Commitments, this outlines the strategy for strengthening peacekeeping, including practical improvements as to how mandates can be delivered more effectively.
The final session, named after former UN USG Dame Margaret Anstee, is titled The Digital Transformation of Peacekeeping. This will review the UN’s Strategy for Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping (2020), assessing how digital advancement could present a risk to operations e.g., cyberattacks, but also ways in which technology and digital transformation could be a key element in advancing peacekeeping missions. The panel will explore ways in which the digital transformation of peacekeeping could improve UN mandates and missions, as well as issues that arise from the complexity of the additional intersectionality, such as a need for training, capacities of contributing states, and security.
The conference will be hosted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the United Nation Association of the UK and Westminster United Nations Association.
This online event is open to all. Please click here to register.
8 April - "Celebrating Indigenous Languages - Defending Endangered Languages"
2.00-5-00, Aga Khan Centre, Kings Cross. In-person and online event (Details to follow)
10 March - 18th Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture, 7pm Brunei Lecture Theatre at SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0AL
Speaker: Sir Howard Morrison QC, CBE, KCMG, until recently the UK judge to the International Criminal Court (ICC) will speak about its role as the court of last resort for the prosecution of serious international crimes, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Despite this, many countries have not accepted it, Russia has withdrawn over Ukraine and African states seek to establish a rival. All this while we seek to achieve justice for all, to end impunity, and to deter future war criminals. Join us, listen and ask questions. Please register here
18-28 - November The We The Peoples Film Festival
The We The Peoples Film Festival
The We The Peoples Film Festival will once again select venues across London to screen exciting and interesting films on subjects not tackled by other film festivals. Since 2006, the festival has screened more than 400 films from about one hundred countries. The annual festival is a project of the Westminster United Nations Association. See the dedicated website for further information.
16 September - Online meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death
Online meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death
This online meeting titled The UN Inquiry into Hammarskjöld’s death: Last chance to reach the truth? will be co-hosted by the Westminster United Nations Association and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at London University. Speakers will include Dr Henning Melber, Emeritus Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation; Asa Theander, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden (tbc); The Rt. Revd. Trevor Musonda Mwamba, Former Bishop of Botswana, Sydney Sekeramayi, Former Minister of Defence, Zimbabwe (tbc) and David Wardrop, Editor, HammarskjöldInquiry.info. The meeting will be chaired by theRt Hon Lord Boateng PC, Former High Commissioner to South Africa.
Registration details are here.
21 August - “Welcome United Nations Green” party
“Welcome United Nations Green” party
Westminster UNA will organise a party for UNA members and friends to welcome the ‘arrival’ of United Nations Green, the lawn facing the QE2 Centre, Westminster Abbey and Methodist Central Hall. This was renamed on 10 January 2021 to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN’s inaugural meeting in 1946 held in Methodist Central Hall, following five years lobbying by Westminster UNA (News item, 10 January 2021).
Click here for information and to register
21 August - “Walk the Mandela Mile”
“Walk the Mandela Mile”
Inaugurated on 18 July 2018, the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, Westminster UNA will again encourage all to walk from Nelson Mandela's statue in Parliament Square to his bust at the Royal Festival Hall, close to an exact mile, as if in the company of the great Madiba himself. In 2019, this idea spread to many cities worldwide (news item, 21 August 2019). This year, the Mandela Mile walk route will be reversed, starting at Nelson Mandela’s bust at the South Bank Centre, crossing to South Africa House in Trafalgar Square and arriving at Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square. All who can show photos of both the bust and the statue will receive a Mandela Mile badge.
16 June - Westminster Young Professionals mark the Youth Production Network's 10th anniversary
Westminster Young Professionals mark the Youth Production Network's 10th anniversary
Westminster UNA Young Professionals will be one of ten civil society organisations chosen worldwide to share in the UK-based Youth Production Network’s 10th anniversary celebration Westminster UNA has worked closely with the YPN, dating back to the early days of the We The Peoples Film Festival, a Westminster UNA project since 2006 and also the UK Peacekeepers Day ceremony held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
YPN is preparing its online launch online on 16 June, responding to Nelson Mandela’s call to action to “Amplify the voices of the unheard”. Founded in 2010, the Youth Production Network was born in the home of Nelson Mandela in Soweto Township, South Africa. The Westminster presentation will be watched along with those from community organisations in South Africa, the Caribbean, Lithuania, Brazil, Kenya, Panama, Ethiopia, Palestine and India as well as the UK.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
27 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers, online conference and diplomats’ wreath-laying ceremony
International Day of UN Peacekeepers, online conference and diplomats’ wreath-laying ceremony
Our 18th annual conference, jointly organised with the Royal United Services Institute and UNA-UK, has established itself as one of the UK’s most authoritative reviews of UN peacekeeping activities. Marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the conference is both an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice made by those who have died in the service of humanity, and to analyse developments in peacekeeping operations.
Due to COVID-linked restrictions, the traditional diplomat’s wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph will not take place but a small event will be held prior to the conference and filmed for screening after the keynote address.
The UK government’s recently-released Integrated Review sets the context for this year’s discussions. The document casts the UK as a problem-solving and burden-sharing country with a global perspective, and invokes the country’s responsibilities as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. It also promises to play a more active part in sustaining the international order and protecting human rights and global norms.
While the ambition is welcome, details about how such objectives might be achieved remain scarce. Our conference aims to consider how the UK might match its ambitions with action. It will reflect on the lessons from the deployment of UK forces to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, and assess how this might influence future contributions to peacekeeping. Building on this experience, the conference will address opportunities for the UK to engage more with peacekeeping, both in terms of the capabilities it provides as well as how it could harness its interest in training and partnering to greatest effect. We will also assess how peacekeeping itself is changing to a more human-centred approach.
The conference starts at 10.00 and ends at 15.30. To register, click here
24 May - Meet the Ambassador: HE Mr Omar Al-Nahar, Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Meet the Ambassador: HE Mr Omar Al-Nahar, Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Westminster UNA Young Professionals will host a Zoom meeting with HE Mr Al-Nahar to which all are invited. The meeting will commence at 6pm when the ambassador will introduce his country, its achievements and challenges, for about 20 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated Question and Answer session, ending at 7pm. Priority will be given to questions submitted by members of the Westminster Young Professionals. To join Westminster Young Professionals, contact email@example.com
Registration is free. Register now to ensure you are updated on developments and receive joining instructions.
25 March - Westminster UNA Webinar on Climate change challenges and the Commonwealth’s path towards COP26
Westminster UNA Webinar on Climate change challenges and the Commonwealth’s path towards COP26
Westminster UNA is joining up with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and the Commonwealth Foundation to explore how the Commonwealth can use its experience in mitigating the impact of Climate Change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This event seeks to galvanise action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in June in Kigali, Rwanda, and then at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.
Sir Ronald Sanders Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and to the Organisation of American States; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Former High Commissioner in London and member and Rapporteur, Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010–2011).
Revd. Guy Hewitt Former High Commissioner of Barbados in London and its representative on the International Maritime Organisation; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Governor, Board of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Gabrielle Swaby Jamaican-born researcher into global climate diplomacy, policy and governance at the International Institute for Environment and Development, helping the Least Developed Countries Group in the UN climate change negotiations with particular attention to mitigation and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Vanessa Nakate Ugandan-born First Fridays For Future climate activist and founder of the Rise up Climate Movement which aims to amplify the voices of activists from Africa. (invited)
Welcome: Professor Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
As the organisers of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) set out its priorities, we can expect the launch of a wide range of initiatives, all seeking to raise public awareness of the challenges facing our planet. Globally, the UN’s new Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030) sets out to reverse the decline in ocean health and create sustainable development programmes for coastal states; and locally, the UK-based Climate Coalition will highlight the impact of climate change on public health.
The Commonwealth, which has chosen Delivering a Common Future as its theme for the 2021 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), has a great opportunity to contribute to the outcome of COP26. With 54 member states, its extraordinary diversity enables it to speak without regional or economic bias. From the Langkawi Declaration, issued at the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM (1989) which first recognised the threat of climate change and sea level rise, the challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have been a priority as so many of these are Commonwealth members.
So, what experience can these bring to COP26 and share to wider benefit? What message should they take to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in June and how might its outcome link to the UN Conference in November? Our speakers will welcome dialogue from participants worldwide.Registration is free but you must register here.
18 July - Nelson Mandela’s Birthday
Nelson Mandela’s Birthday
Westminster UNA, together with other organisations, will host celebrations in Trafalgar Square for a programme of music and talk, including a series of Speakers’ Corner-type dialogues around the square. The event will be live streamed to other cities participating in the Mandela Mile project, pioneered by Westminster UNA in 2018. For details as they develop, see Mandela Mile here.
26 June - Join us mark the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter
Join us mark the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter
Westminster United Nations Association will create a unique display marking this historic anniversary. A giant depiction of the UN flag will be laid out on Broad Sanctuary Green, outside the QE2 Centre, into which we will ‘plant’ the flags of all 193 UN Member States. The display will be open to the public until Sunday 28 June. Information boards will assist visitors as they view the display.
It was less than a month after the last V2 rocket landed on British soil, delegates from 50 nations were already in San Francisco, to negotiate the Charter of the new organisation. They had been preparing for this moment for three years. Despite participating in the most damaging conflict in history, the wartime record of the UN provides a powerful reinforcement of its mission. The UN system we know today was created in wartime as a necessity for winning war and preserving peace, not as a liberal accessory to the military victory. Nearby Central Hall Westminster hosted the inaugural meeting of the United nations in January 1946. London was chosen to host the meeting because it was war-torn, bombed out. What more poignant backdrop before they entered Westminster Central Hall for the first time, determined to ensure it could not all happen again.We are grateful to the management of the QE2 Centre for their kind cooperation.
21 May - 17th conference and wreath-laying ceremony to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
17th conference and wreath-laying ceremony to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
The conference (10am to 4.30pm) will be hosted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Whitehall, close to the Cenotaph. It will break for the Cenotaph ceremony at 2pm. Soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment who have served with the UN in South Sudan will join the parade to be led as customary by members of the UN Veterans Association who will provide the colour guard. Registration for the conference is open to all UNA members and the public. Programme and registration details will be posted on this page and also on the RUSI events page.
28 November - Westminster UNA marks centenary of foundation of the League of Nations
Westminster UNA marks centenary of foundation of the League of Nations
To mark 2019, the centenary of the foundation of the League of Nations, Westminster UNA and the British Association of Former United Nations Civil Servants will host a meeting to review the League’s performance and how Eric Drummond, its first Secretary-General (1919-1933), created ‘an international secretariat, lifted above all national contexts’. It is widely agreed that he deserves recognition for having conceived a new permanent element of world life – impartial multilateral cooperation. Drummond and his senior colleagues showed that the way towards building a better world was through nations acting together. They set a pattern of international governance which today’s international civil servants follow in the UN and other international bodies.
The keynote address titled 'Britain and the Century of the International Civil Servant: the Legacy of Sir Eric Drummond' will be given by Professor Patricia Clavin, Professor of International History, Jesus College, University of Oxford and the response by David Macfadyen, co-author of Eric Drummond and his Legacies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
The meeting, to be held in Room 4a, House of Lords, at 3pm, will be chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General. A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations. Admission is free but registration is required.
Please register here.
23 September - Peace Prize laureates to mark UN International Day of Peace, discuss Nigeria peace initiatives
Peace Prize laureates to mark UN International Day of Peace, discuss Nigeria peace initiatives
Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa, Laureates of the Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention and twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize will be making a rare visit to London in September to join others for the twentieth anniversary of Peace One Day.
Lauded for their work for peace in Nigeria since 1995, they became known worldwide through the film The Imam and the Pastor. Their only other engagement will be on Westminster UNA’s invitation to discuss Nigeria’s challenges in its north eastern states, challenged by Boko Haram and other non-state actors.
They will be joined by Dr Musa Aliyu, lecturer in Journalism and Media, Coventry University;
Dr Alan Channer, Director & Producer, The Imam and the Pastor; Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye, President, Creators of Peace, Geneva; and Vivien Kwande, Co-Founder, Life Aid International Initiative, Nigeria. The meeting will be chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. The meeting is jointly organised by the Westminster United Nations Association and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. The venue will be the Woburn Suite G22/26 in Senate House at the University of London.
Admission is free but registration is required. Please register here
18 July - Walk the Mandela Mile #forKofi
Walk the Mandela Mile #forKofi
Join us in Parliament Square as we remember Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan.
Here’s the story. On 18 July last year, to mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, thousands marched in Johannesburg, led by Kofi Annan and fellow members of The Elders. To support this, Westminster UNA set up the Mandela Mile, the route between his statue on Parliament Square and his bust at the South Bank Centre; yes, it’s a mile! Individuals and groups who walked the Mandela Mile received a special Mandela badge.
In 2019, in memory of Kofi Annan who died exactly a month after the Johannesburg march, cities round the world will host a Mandela Mile #forKofi. There will be TV link-up between cities and wall-to-wall social media updates.
Come and join us! Register here to receive all information you will need. It’s FREE!
19 June - “It’s my language, it’s my life!”
“It’s my language, it’s my life!”
Marking 2019, the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, the meeting will review progress of the UN Action Plan in the UK and worldwide and the challenges facing isolated communities determined to preserve their culture and show how the United Nations and its agencies, together with international organisations are seeking to protect them.
Films will be screened from 1pm to 2pm and all are invited to enjoy their own refreshments as they watch. From 2pm to 5pm, three sessions, some using film, will address different aspects of the international strategy.
Jointly organised with the Foundation for Endangered Languages and Survival International. Brunei Gallery at SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
For full details, click here
Free entry. Please register here
23 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Ceremony, The Cenotaph
International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Ceremony, The Cenotaph
Please join diplomats from a hundred countries, representatives of the government, the military and police and civil society as we honour those who have died in the cause of peace and those now serving with UN peacekeeping units. The Band of the Parachute Regiment will provide musical support. The parade leaves RUSI at 1315.
23 May - International Day of UN Peacekeepers, conference
International Day of UN Peacekeepers, conference
17th annual conference, jointly organised with UNA-UK and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), providing the UK’s most authoritative public review of UN peacekeeping activities. 0945 to 1630. For more information and to register, click here.
19 March - Westminster calls meeting in parliament to review UK support for UN Inquiry
Westminster calls meeting in parliament to review UK support for UN Inquiry
The Westminster United Nations Association has called a meeting at 3pm on 25 April in the House of Lords, London, to provide an update on the UN Inquiry’s progress and to share its disappointment in the UK government’s continuing unhelpful attitude towards the UN’s efforts. Its claim that all relevant archives and files are already in the public domain continues to be questioned by experienced researchers, knowing that MI5, MI6 and GCHQ were operating in the Congo at the time when Hammarskjöld’s plane crashed.
The meeting will feature speakers from several countries including Dr Henning Melber, Director Emeritus, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Sweden; Johan Berglund, Counsellor, Embassy of Sweden; the Rt. Revd. Trevor Mwamba, former Bishop of Botswana; Sir Stephen Sedley, Chair of the Independent Hammarskjöld Commission; Maurin Picard, Author and journalist for Le Figaro (Paris) and Le Soir (Brussels); Ian Martin, former UN Special Representative to several countries; and David Wardrop, editor of the Hammarskjöld Inquiry website.
The meeting will be followed by a discussion led by Dr Henning Melber on Dag Hammarskjöld’s role in the decolonisation of Africa during the era of the Cold War. Dr Melber will show how Hammarskjöld used his office to act on the basis of anti-hegemonic values, including solidarity and recognition of otherness.
The meeting is open to the public but registration is required. Please register here.
6 March - 17th Annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
17th Annual Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture
“In Search of the International Law of Cyberspace: A Travelogue”
Michael Schmitt, Professor of Public International Law, Exeter Law School
Free entry but register here.
As the world struggles to introduce and seek ratification of laws to contain the excesses of conventional warfare and its cruel humanitarian consequences, governments are already embarking on developments in cyber warfare and defence. Who is going to define the limitations of this new universe of humankind’s capacity to exploit technological advances only for further destruction? Who will then draw up laws within which humanity must work, even if only to maintain a sense, however tenuous, that humanity itself still has a place in tomorrow’s world?
Professor Schmitt is a Senior Fellow at the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Senior Research Associate at Hebrew University, Affiliate at Harvard's Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, and General Editor of both International Law Studies and the Lieber Studies series.
He serves also as the Howard S. Levie Professor at the United States Naval War College's Stockton Centre for International Law and Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar at the Lieber Institute of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served 20 years in the United States Air Force as a judge advocate specializing in operational and international law.
The lecture is held jointly with the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. It will be followed by a Q & A session and a reception. All are welcome but registration is required.
27 February - UNA Westminster Young Professionals to host Algerian ambassador
UNA Westminster Young Professionals to host Algerian ambassador
For their third ‘Meet the Ambassador’ event, UNA Westminster Young Professionals will host HE Amar Abba, Ambassador of Algeria and Dean of the African Union Heads of Mission in the UK.
Before coming to the UK, Mr Abba served as Algeria’s ambassador to Angola, Brazil and Switzerland. He is fluent in Tamazight, Arabic, French, English and Portuguese. He will speak for 30 minutes on “Algeria and Multilateralism” and then answer questions until 7pm. After the meeting, all are invited to meet up in the nearby ‘Draft House’.
The event to be hosted by Ashfords LLP in New Fetter Lane where its meeting room will open at 5.30pm for refreshments. All are welcome. To register, please click here.
6 December, 11am to 5pm - Conference: 'Hands Off Africa!!’ The 1958 All African People’s Conference: Its Impact Then and Now
Conference: 'Hands Off Africa!!’ The 1958 All African People’s Conference: Its Impact Then and Now
This conference will mark the 60th anniversary of the All African People's Conference held in Accra, Ghana. Driven by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of newly-independent Ghana, it set out to advance the ideology of Pan Africanism through non-alignment, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism and African unity. It has been hailed as a watershed moment in the history of Africa’s liberation from colonial rule and white supremacy. Our speakers, some of whom participated in 1958, will examine the role of the AAPC within the framework of the Pan-African movement and will assess its significance and impact. Organised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and UNA Westminster.
The Senate Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
For further information and to book your ticket, click here.
November 11-28 - The 13th We The Peoples Film Festival
The 13th We The Peoples Film Festival
The 13th We The Peoples Film Festival will screen films from round the world in nine venues. To mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the film 'The Uncondemned' will be screened at Clifford Chance LLP on 21 November. The popular Young Film Makers Day at the BFI South Bank will take place on 17 November. See here for all programmes, venues and times
18 July - UNA Westminster leads campaign to ‘Walk the Mile’ for Mandela at 100
UNA Westminster leads campaign to ‘Walk the Mile’ for Mandela at 100
On 18 July, the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, UNA Westminster will coordinate with other organisations, encouraging people worldwide to walk a mile in the causes Nelson Mandela espoused; peace, health, justice and equality.
In central London, UNA Westminster is encouraging all to walk from Nelson Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square, towards Trafalgar Square and across to his bust alongside the Royal Festival Hall. A reception desk will be located on Queen’s Walk, by the river, where people can obtain their ‘I Walked the Mandela Mile for Mandela 100’ badges. Visitors will be encouraged to view the free entry Mandela exhibition in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
A second Mandela Mile will take place in Docklands, starting at the Excel Centre, to be coordinated by the University of East London.
The project, put together in less than three weeks, involves The Elders, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Kinship of Kush, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the Youth Charter, the Youth Production Network, the University of East London and the Greater London Authority’s Community Engagement team.
The Mandela Mile website encourages people round the world to choose their own walks and share these on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
11 July - Public Meeting: Poaching, Trafficking and Security; threats posed by the illegal wildlife trade
Public Meeting: Poaching, Trafficking and Security; threats posed by the illegal wildlife trade
11 July 2018 Public Meeting Poaching, Trafficking and Security: threats posed by the illegal wildlife trade
Speaker: Mary Rice, Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency
Room 18, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Wednesday 11 July at 6.30pm
Free entry. Please register here
In October 2018, the government will host an international conference, bringing together global leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction. This will follow up its conference in London in 2014. It will seek to strengthen networks, build coalitions and close down markets. Our meeting will identify the major challenges to be expected at the conference and will review the effectiveness of existing initiatives.
The illegal wildlife trade (ITW) is worth £17 billion, the fourth most valuable illicit crime after arms, drugs and human trafficking. Illegal ivory trade activity worldwide has more than doubled since 2007 and increases in rhino poaching in Africa reached 1,338 in 2015, the worst on record. As few as 3200 wild tigers remain across their Asian range, more than a 95% decline from just over 100 years ago and about 277,000 pangolins have been illegally traded since 2000, most in the last ten years. The lives of those working hard to protect endangered wildlife are also at risk; in the last year, over 100 rangers have died in the line of duty, many at the hands of poachers.
This meeting will start at 7pm, following our Annual General Meeting (see below) which starts at 6.30pm. This will review our activities over the past three years and preview our programme for the coming year. All are welcome to attend this also.
Please enter by Cromwell Gate to allow 25 minutes for security check.
For further information: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0207 385 6738
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
1] Apologies for absence
2] Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 24 November 2015 (see following page)
3] Matters arising
4] Presentation of composite report of activities over the last three years, ending March 2018.
Note: Separate reports for each of the three years will be available and are posted in Event Reports on the branch website
5] Presentation of the composite accounts for the last three years.
Note: Separate financial reports for each of the three years will be available at the meeting.
6] Appointment of Examiner for the year 2018-2019
7] Election of Officers and Committee Members for the year 2018-2019
The following posts were held at the year-end:
Joint Presidents: Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Lord Judd of Portsea, Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC
Joint Vice-Presidents: Juliet Colman, HH Prince Mohsin Ali Khan
Chairman: David Wardrop
Vice-Chairman: Paul Mrazek
Honorary Secretary: Vivienne Eka
Honorary Treasurer: Perri Mahmood (from 2018)
Catherine Pluygers, Ludre Stevens, Angela Viano, Kishan Manocha, Martin Grixoni,
Karin Pointner, Ranjit Rana, William Say.
Co-options, Peter Greaves, Salem Mezhoud
We welcome nominations by email to email@example.com or at the meeting.
8] Outlook for 2018-2019
9] Any Other Business
The AGM to end at 7.00 pm to be followed by an address by Mary Rice, Executive Director, Environment Investigation Agency. The meeting will end at 8.15pm
Accounts and Annual Reports
The annual reports for the years ending March 2016, March 2017 and March 2018 are posted in Event Reports.
If you are a paid up member of UNA Westminster wishing to view the annual accounts, please request these through firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.