The UN works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.
The United Nations Association of New Zealand focuses its efforts in eight areas - Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, the Sustainable Development Goals, Peace and Security, UN Renewal, Climate Change and the Environment, UN Security Council, and Education - and appoints a Special Officer to each of these areas. Special Officers are subject matter experts and advise both the UNA NZ and the New Zealand public on current issues in their field. We also appoint a Special Officer to liaise with and stay up-to-date with WFUNA, and our Membership. You can browse our news and events page if you want to find out more about the specific areas, or contact the special officer directly.
Human Rights is about protecting the rights inherent to all human beings.
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Dr Paula Pereda-Perez
Humanitarian Affairs focuses on humanitarian operations around the world working to administer aid to the people who need it the most.
Humanitarian Affairs, and in particular the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), are an important sector of the United Nations work and a focus for the UNA NZ.
Sustainable development was defined in 1987 by the World Commission of Environment and Development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". A big focus for us is supporting the achievement of the Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals in New Zealand, as the UN’s to-do list for people, prosperity and the planet.
Dr Pedram Pirnia
Climate change, land degradation and desertification, species extinction, many varied pollutants, as well as the rapid increase in the melting of polar ice caps, rising sea levels, destruction of forests, declining fish supplies and intense storms are real and growing sources of insecurity.
NGOs, industries, scientists, the UN and other IGOs have been at the forefront in fighting for environmental security and in promoting new thinking about the economic, social and environmental aspects of resource management, the global commons and ultimately the links between environment and development.
Dr Ivan Chirino-Valle
The UN Education portal is an exciting new project and supports the New Zealand education community to provide high quality learning opportunities about the United Nations, its many institutions, programmes and how to get involved. It has a wide range of resources suitable for primary and secondary-aged children, university students and the general public. Visit the portal website here.
Maintaining peace and security is the primary purpose of the UN and the Security Council has primary responsibility and the authority to act on behalf of all members of the UN. Yet the veto power of the five permanent members has always been controversial among small states (including New Zealand) and middle powers and Security Council reform has been a topic of wide discussion.
Dr Negar Partow
The Charter of the United Nations, premised in the name of "we, the peoples", established the UN with the aim of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
The United Nations Association of New Zealand, committed to realising the vision of the charter, seeks to promote international peace and security. We are committed to promoting such through the UN principles of dialogue, multilateralism, and collective security.
The United Nations Association of New Zealand upholds and supports the principles articulated in the UN Charter. However, we will often be the first to admit that the UN is not perfect and needs change in order to fulfil its potential. And what a great potential it has. A key project in this area has been the joint project between UNA NZ and the Centre for Global Studies that produced the Discussion Paper "Time to Upgrade Our Global Institutions: A fresh vision from Aotearoa New Zealand" You can view a copy of the report here.
Dr Kennedy Graham