25 September 2012 – The UNITAR affiliated International Training Center for Local Actors in Scotland - CIFAL Scotland - has joined forces with other agencies to open a new UN centre in Edinburgh, which aims to become the voice of the United Nations in Scotland. CIFAL Scotland is one of the key partners in the new shared centre - named UN House Scotland - which was officially opened on the 20th of September 2012 by the Minister for External Affairs and International Development of the Scottish Government.
UN House Scotland, the first of its kind in the UK, brings together eight UN affiliated organizations working to support and promote the values of the UN in Scotland, including CIFAL Scotland, the UN Association Scotland (UNA Scotland) and the UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO Scotland Committee. The new centre aims to raise awareness of the work of the UN in addressing issues such as health, child welfare, women’s rights, nuclear non-proliferation, water scarcity, green jobs and climate change.
Ms. May East, Chief Executive of CIFAL Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Edinburgh, the home of Scotland’s Parliament, has been chosen as the location for the UK’s first UN House. Scotland’s world leading climate change legislation shows that we can have a wider impact on the international sphere and our aim, as a leading member of UN House Scotland, is to ensure that others follow where Scotland has led, not just in climate change matters, but across every sphere of the wide sustainability agenda.”
Mr. Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: "I am proud to welcome the opening of UN House Scotland. The agencies and organizations who will work here already make a significant contribution to civic life in Scotland. By bringing their combined expertise and experience together, their impact can only be enhanced.”
The opening of UN House Scotland has been well received by politicians across Scotland and the UK, with Motions of support tabled by Members of the Scottish and UK Parliaments. A message of support was also recorded in a video format by Alex Mejia, Manager, Local Development Programme at UNITAR’s Geneva Headquarters.
Click here to view Mr. Mejia’s video message.
UN House Scotland is located at 4 Hunter Square, Edinburgh EH1 1QW.
Angus Robertson, Member of Parliament; May East, CEO of CIFAL Scotland; Humza Youssaf, Member of the Scottish Parliament, Minister for External Affairs and International Development