March Digital News Recap

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.