RMIT Europe recently took part in a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at an event in Barcelona, Spain.
The European hub for RMIT recognised the milestone at a UN event at the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista, an impressive art nouveau complex in Barcelona's centre.
The panel of speakers included:
- Parvati Nair, United Nations University Institute on Globalisation, Culture and Mobility
- Tamas Evetovits, World Health Organisation Barcelona Office
- Dan Lewis, City Resilience Profiling Programme/UN-Habitat
- Faraj El-Awar, Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance/UN-Habitat
Professor Nair, Director at the United Nations University Institute in Barcelona, reflected on the moment in 1945 when world leaders came together in a common pledge for peace, tolerance and dignity.
“In 2015, we have yet to achieve these goals across the globe but nevertheless, the UN family, to which the United Nations University is proud to belong, plays a unique role in multilateral cooperation,” Nair said.
“The recent adoption of the sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda confirms the United Nation’s efforts to work with member states towards establishing the founding values and vision of the United Nations.”
As the world faces its largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, Nair spoke of the urgent need to reformulate the language and the very concepts through which migration is debated and understood.
“There are nearly 60 million war refugees in the world today, many on opposite shores of the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, North Africa and Western Asia,” she said.
“Migration is clearly here to stay – more to the point, it is set to be a rising phenomenon in the years to come.”
Nair highlighted that many of the sustainable development goals address pressing needs in migration.
"It’s a global, regional and local issue that calls for better understanding, governance and international cooperation," she said.
A musical performance, which followed the addresses by UN agency representatives and other distinguished guests, featured songs from around the world including Spain, Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Australia and South Africa.
A visual display also marked the milestone, with the main facade of Sant Pau Recinte Modernista illuminated in United Nations blue.
RMIT Europe’s Professor Jo Tacchi, Director of Research and Innovation, congratulated the United Nations on its milestone of seven decades and its tremendous work in issues confronting humanity in the 21st century.
“RMIT has formed strong partnerships with the United Nations over many years through research collaborations with agencies including UN University, UNICEF, UNESCO and UN Habitat,” Tacchi said.
The event in Barcelona was just one of the worldwide activities to celebrate the United Nation's 70th anniversary this year.
Story: Karen Matthews