World Refugee Day Preview of “Where the Children Sleep,” a Photo Exhibition, Co-hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, UNHCR – the United Nations Refugee Agency, and The New York Public Library


Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster

The Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) initiative published June 10:

Global Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster

Publication of the guidelines comes on the back of two years of international consultations with the private sector, civil society, migrant organisations, and governments. The initiative was co-led by the United States and the Republic of the Philippines.

June 12: World Day Against Child Labour


The World Day Against Child Labour was launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002. The theme for 2016 is:

End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business!


The UN and ILO calculate the number of children still in child labour to be 168 million. To assist companies in enhancing their knowledge of and compliance with international labour standards relating to child labour, the ILO and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) have jointly created the Child Labour Guidance Tool.

To support businesses in their actions to remove child labour from supply chains, the World Day was marked this year on June 8 by a high-level event that took place during the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference in the Human Rights Council room of the Palais des Nations.






The 6th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting, June 7 2016

The 6th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting was held on June 7 2016 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. It was co-chaired by H.E. Simon Philip Merrifield, Ambassador of Australia to ASEAN, and H.E. U Min Lwin, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN. Members and representatives of the Committee of Permanent Representative to ASEAN (CPR) attended alongside the ASEAN Secretariat. Strong commitment to further strengthening strategic partnership was reaffirmed on the back of an acknowledgement of progress to date. Instruments of cooperation highlighted included:

  • The ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action (2015-2019).
  • The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA)—including the Economic Cooperation support Programme which has been extended to run until June 2018.
  • The ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II (AADCP II) which Austrade has extended to run until December 2019, pledging a financial contribution of up to AUD 57.8 million.
  • The Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) which, following establishment in Australia last year, is targeting further development of institutional linkages in education, arts and culture (building on existing programs such as Australia’s regional scholarship allocation that benefits over 3000 ASEAN students each year).
  • Australian promotion of business opportunities in ASEAN, for example through DFAT’s 2015 publication: “Why ASEAN and Why Now?”.

Flagging the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 policy outlook, prioritization of the so-called three pillars, as well as what is referred to as the “ASEAN centrality” principle—the direction of forthcoming ASEAN-Australia engagement looked to deepening Australian cooperation with key ASEAN led regional mechanisms. Specifically the mechanisms identified were: East Asia Summit (EAS); ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus); and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF). The meeting also looked forward to the first biennial ASEAN-Australia Leaders’ Summit in September 2016 (to be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR).

Warmest wishes to all observing the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen’s Birthday is observed in a number of countries where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, including: the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects in the spirit of the tradition and wish for a joyous day. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne at a very dark time for gender equality; her enduring presence as a woman, and a leader, has been a beacon of hope for those seeking to address gender discrimination and gender violence—her reign has coincided with a great deal of positive reform. Her Majesty is the longest serving female Head of State in modern history.