24 September 2021, New York, USA. - The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth, has concluded his working visit to New York, which took place from 13 to 22 September 2021.
Under his direction and during the final days of his stay, Mr. Seth had meetings with high-level United Nations (UN) officials such as Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed. Mr. Seth informed her of UNITAR’s desire to engage in new and productive learning activities for the development of communities with a deficiency in access to education.
During his official working mission, Mr. Seth participated in the third conference of the Group of SIDS’ Leaders entitled “SIDS and Technologies of Communication & Information”. Supported by the Delegations of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Seychelles to UNESCO, the Delegation of Solomon Islands to UNESCO and FAO, the Delegation of Dominican Republic to FAO, and with the exceptional support of the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, the purpose of the conference was to advance the aim of universal access to information technology and communication. Mr. Seth outlined the work of the UN Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), a part of UNITAR, and who have used satellite remote sensing capabilities to support the Government of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in order to build resilience in the face of devastating climate change and improve access to climate finance. In addition, Mr. Seth briefed officials attending the conference on the Common Sensing Knowledge Hub (hosted on UNOSAT’s CERN server) about the benefits to alumni and regional stakeholders of providing learning materials, user manuals and innovative methodologies across the four thematic areas: a) Food Security, b) Climate Information, c) Disaster Risk Reduction, and d) Climate Finance.
On Monday 20th September, Mr. Seth spoke at the Road Safety Event “Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit- The Immersive Virtual Experience” chaired by UNITAR and Mr. Michel Doukeris, CEO of AB InBev. He highlighted the important collaboration with partners around the world in supporting countries to implement practical solutions and concrete action to help reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries. Both principals are strongly aligned on achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDG 3.6, and thus, on responding to the needs of countries in difficulty, women, and other vulnerable groups.
Mr. Seth. also had meetings with two other high-level officials, namely, Mr. Courtenay Rattray, High Representative for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Controller of the United Nations. The Executive Director confirmed UNITAR’s adhesion and reaffirmed the Institute's support for activities and actions focused on providing people with the relevant knowledge and learning solutions.
The Executive Director also visited Mr. Alexandre Zouev, Assistant Secretary-General of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, and Mr. Volker Türk, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, where they exchanged views on refining environments for new initiatives related to sustainability. Mr. Seth underscored UNITAR’s good relationship with these two offices and their approach towards consolidating new actions to ensure improvement of education activities.
UNITAR is a trusted and reliable partner of the government of Japan and in that regard, Mr. Seth also had a meeting with the Permanent Representative to the United Nations H.E. Kimihiro Ishikane. Mr. Seth expressed appreciation for all the support provided by the Government of Japan over the years which is focused on mobilizing resilient social entrepreneurs to address food insecurity and unemployment for youth in Iraq and women in Afghanistan, amongst other great initiatives.