Now that September is drawing to a close, let’s look at the social media activity that generated the most interest this month.
Not surprisingly, some of the most popular tweets came from members of the UN Social 500 with large followings and big announcements to make. These included Gary Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator for Iran, who announced the major appointment of Asma Jahangir as the new UN Human Rights Rapporteur on Iran. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), shared some great news about international cooperation on climate change. At the 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a historic agreement to combat climate change. The Paris Agreement will enter into force when at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the agreement. This September, this first of these thresholds was met.
The topic that stimulated the most engagement this month was the refugee crisis and refugee children in particular. Melissa Flemming, Chief Communications & Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), shared beautiful images of refugee children starting their first day of school in Greece. The photos, which reflected the excitement and apprehension of kids starting school all over the world, remind viewers that refugee children are children before they’re refugees, with the same rights and needs as children everywhere. Kent Page, Senior Communications Advisor for UNICEF (and subject of our UN Social 500 monthly interview; check it out here) shared the message of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and UNICEF that refugee children are children first.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 23, 2016
When a major American presidential campaign is comparing refugees to Skittles candy that might “kill you”, it’s important to have the counterweight message that 65 million children – among the most vulnerable people in the world- are on the move, escaping poverty and violence in search of a new home. UNICEF’s Children First Campaign and associated hashtag remind all of us that migrant children and women, especially those without documentation, are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including trafficking. UNICEF is working to ensure that the rights and needs of children are prioritized in the search for a sustainable solution to the refugee crisis.
Next month we’ll be scanning the UN Social 500 for the stories, tweets, and hashtags that generated the most public engagement in October. We’ll share the story behind those campaigns and highlight UN staff who have used their social media accounts to connect the public with the important work that all of you do. See you next month!