The work of the UN and its staffers media activity in March was dominated by tweets, photos and outcries on the war in Syria as it entered its eighth year.
Chris Reardon, Chief of Content for the UN Refugee Agency, tweeted a reminder that for children 7 years old and younger, Syria has never not been at war. His tweet included a link that profiles seven of the young refugees from Syria to have never known their country at peace. That means seven birthdays and all memories have been spent in or avoiding their war-torn homes. Yet, the children have been given a chance to learn languages, do maths and dream about future careers in their new homes, instigating hope for their success.
Over 1 million young refugees from Syria have never known their country at peace. We profiled seven 7-year-old children whose entire lives have been shaped by war: https://t.co/ofIJModyu0
— Chris Reardon (@scoop_reardon) March 9, 2018
Kent Page, Strategic Communications Office at UNICEF, shared a powerful photo of a child being carried in a bag by its father away from fighting in Eastern Ghouta. More than 1400 civilians are believed to have been killed since government forces attempted to flush rebels out of Eastern Ghouta a month ago.
A loving father carries his most precious possession away from fierce fighting in Eastern Ghouta, #Syria. #UNICEF is on the ground providing emergency assistance. #ChildrenUnderAttack v/@unicef pic.twitter.com/8Or5doF0II
— Kent Page (@KentPage) March 17, 2018
Melissa Fleming tweeted from nearby Lebanon, where UNHCR has registered nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. That makes up around 25% of the population – a figure made more remarkable considering the 2% portion that refugees make up in the EU.
I am in Lebanon, where UNHCR has registered almost 1 million refugees from Syria, or 25% of the population. By contrast, refugees represent only 2% of Europe's population. Perspective. pic.twitter.com/7ignCH1Wif
— Melissa Fleming (@melissarfleming) March 9, 2018
March was also characterised by great support and declaration for International Women’s Day, which is marked on March 8th.
Bringing the refugee crisis and support for women together, UN High Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, sent a cue that refugee women have a voice, we just need to listen to it.
— Filippo Grandi (@RefugeesChief) March 8, 2018
The Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina J. Mohammed, celebrated the transforming power and activism of women and girls, declaring this time a pivotal moment for women’s rights. Amina also used the hash tag #SDG5 – a reminder that gender equality is required to end poverty and ensure prosperity for all.
On #InternationalWomensDay we celebrate the activism & transformative power of women & girls.
We are at a pivotal moment for women’s rights.
Everywhere, women are saying “#TheTimeIsNow” — for respect, equality and opportunity. #SDG5 pic.twitter.com/56gTPpm0e2
— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) March 8, 2018
The Deputy’s senior, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, told of the meeting of women heads and deputy heads of UN peace missions, who met in their highest numbers in the history of the UN. As the UN works towards gender parity, it is satisfying to see women’s inclusion rising within the UN, enabling their leadership qualities and work to flourish.
Women heads and deputy heads of UN peace missions gather for the first time – highest numbers in UN history. Their leadership qualities are key to achieve sustainable peace and security. With inclusion comes greater effectiveness #genderparity pic.twitter.com/cd0l3l4iXs
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 10, 2018
Finally, the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance was held on March 11th in New Delhi. French President, Emmanuel Macron, and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, were among the leaders present. The ISA’s mission is to reduce the cost of solar power to bring countries with rich solar resources prosperity, energy security and sustainable development.
Erik Solheim – Head of UN Environment and number 2 on the UNSocial500 leaderboard – was also at the conference, where he tweeted a quote from Prime Minister Modi entailing the myriad of benefits that solar offers. Modi used the event to announce a 10-point action plan to promote the use of solar energy, including proposals centred on inclusiveness and framing regulations.
"Solar energy is not just needed for electricity, but for transportation, farming, irrigation, home cook stoves and many other uses." Prime Minister Modi's 10 point agenda for the #InternationalSolarAlliance provides a roadmap for us to make the sun shine brighter! pic.twitter.com/UwPhqiOyb9
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) March 11, 2018
UN staffers activity on social media allows the work of the UN and the important issues they are supporting to spread across the public, thereby increasing awareness and prompting support and action to address problems and increase prosperity.