Interviews

Sustainability goals can be the ‘wind under the wings’ of the UN at 75: deputy chief

2020 marks the beginning of the UN’s Decade of Action.

In an interview with Conor Lennon from UN News, Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General, outlined the many reasons to be positive about the impact the Agenda is having on people’s lives, even if progress has not been as fast as hoped.

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8'24"

10 years on, Michèle Montas recalls the day no Haitian can forget

In the days following the earthquake ten years ago that killed around 220,000 Haitians, the sounds of praying, shouting and yelling filled the streets and a sense that “this was the end of the world”.

That’s one of the powerful memories from survivor Michèle Montas, the former UN Spokesperson who had just returned home to live in her native country, when disaster struck. She spoke to UN News’s Cristina Silveiro.

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11'45"

Biodiversity must ‘move up international agenda’, following Australia bushfires 

More than 100 wildfires are still raging across Australia, with record-breaking temperatures and drought contributing to the loss of more than six million hectares of land that is home to some of the most unique plants and animals in the world.  In an interview with UN News, John Scanlon, Special Envoy for the African Parks non-profit organization and former Secretary-General of CITES - the UN-backed Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - said that the increasing threat to biodiversity must be “lifted up to the international agenda”.  

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10'15"

From child bride to UN human rights officer: one Iraqi woman’s journey

An Iraqi woman who was forced to marry as a teenager and denied access to formal education, is speaking up for victims of human rights abuses. 

Jamila Mahdi  spoke to Shirin Yaseen about her incredible journey, her work with Yazidi women victims of ISIL, and her hopes for an Iraq where everyone enjoys their human rights. 

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4'15"

Tackling climate change ‘more crucial even than disarmament’, says UN Geneva chief  

While nations continue to grapple with major global issues as the new year dawns, such as disarmament and climate change, there is reason to hope that they will work together to resolve the biggest threats to humanity. 

That’s the message from Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations in Geneva. 

In a wide-ranging interview recorded last year with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Ms. Valovaya explains how she sees the geopolitical situation from her vantage point at the UN’s European headquarters. 

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11'13"

Sustainability starts with protecting nature: Environment Assembly president

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the world must first address critical challenges affecting nature.   

That’s the opinion of Ola Elvestuen, president of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.  

Mr. Elvestuen, who is Norway’s environment minister, spoke to Ben Malor and laid out the critical reasons why everyone must mobilize to protect the planet. 

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5'39"

‘Passion and story-telling’ central to wine business

“Passion and story-telling” are two of the key ingredients to become a wine expert according to Michelle Gueydan, a certified sommelier based in New Orleans in the United States. Ms. Gueydan transitioned from politics to event management and then became one of the minority of female sommeliers currently working in the US. 

She spoke to the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of a photography project to mark the centenary of the establishment of the UN agency. The project called “Dignity at Work: The American Experience” documents the working life of people across the United States. 

Kevin Cassidy, the Director of the ILO’s office for the United States, sat down with her during a tasting event at a wine bar in New Orleans. 

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9'56"

Restaurant business is a ‘labour of love’

A woman chef in New Orleans in the United States has been telling UN News how the restaurant business and cooking over a hot stove, has been a lifelong ‘labor of love’ for her. 

Roseann Rostoker decided she wanted to be a chef at age 14 and ultimately opened her own restaurant nine years ago.  

She spoke to the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of a photography project to mark the UN agency’s centenary. The project called “Dignity at Work: The American Experience”, documents the working life of people across the United States. 

Kevin Cassidy, the Director of the ILO’s office for the United States, sat down with her following a busy shift at her restaurant, Red Gravy, in New Orleans. 

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19'12"

‘Pride and dignity’ of the American worker highlighted in ILO project

What does a crawfish farmer have in common with a taxidermist, or a voodoo priestess, or a long-haul heavy-load truck driver….?  

The answer, according to the Director of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) office for the United States, is a quiet dignity and pride in their job. 

The ILO is currently undertaking a photography project called “Dignity at Work: The American Experience”, which is documenting the jobs of hundreds of American workers in around 100 cities across the United States.  

The ILO, a specialized United Nations agency, which is celebrating its centenary this year, focuses on advancing social justice and promoting decent work not just in the US but across the world. 

Daniel Dickinson spoke to the ILO’s US Director Kevin Cassidy during a visit to the southern US state of Louisiana and asked him to explain what the project is hoping to achieve. 

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11'5"

Last 30 years have seen major progress in fight against corruption: senior UN official

The UN is committed to fighting corruption, which affects all countries.

Ahead of a conference in Abu Dhabi, to discuss issues relating to the Convention, John Brandolino, Director of the Division of Treaty Affairs for UNODC, spoke to Elena Vapnitchnaia, about the ways that thinking about corruption has evolved.

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7'18"