New Zealand Permanent Mission Geneva, Switzerland

UN Handbook Launch for Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference

Ambassador Amanda Ellis

United Nations Handbook Launch -  Speech delivered by Ambassador Amanda Ellis at IPU Conference on 7 October 2013

Thank you, Mr. President Traoré.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker Ethuro.

Enga mana, enga reo, nō tea Ao whānui.
Nga mihi kio koūtou.
Mai te whenua o Aotearoa ki raro.

In the language of our indigenous Māori, respectful greetings to you all from the land of the long white cloud downunder, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Secretary-General, distinguished Members of Parliament and guests who have travelled from many parts of the world to be here. Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you during this session concerning the UN.

As you may know, for many years – 51 in fact – New Zealand has produced the UN handbook; and we are delighted to share it with you today as a useful reference guide to what can seem to be a very complex UN system.

As a small island nation from the South Pacific, committed to multilateralism and wanting to effectively engage with the UN, our New Zealand UN handbook started out quite simply. It began as a folder with a few photocopied notes of important UN contacts, for use by our own UN mission personnel. As it evolved, others caught on and began asking for copies. We bound all information into a book, which our predecessors thought might be useful for navigating the UN; and, now, we present you with the completed 51st edition. The Handbook has come a long way.

Each year, we’ve tried to introduce new features, a modern layout and more information. Today, we are really pleased and, as you can imagine, rather proud to launch the first UN Handbook App.

You can download the App for free at the App Store or through Google Play. There is a handout in the back of the room with instructions on how to download the application, and I encourage you all to take one for reference.

As a small country, we are always looking for innovative ways to do things.  We hope that by introducing an App version of the UN Handbook, it will become an even more useful and accessible reference tool for you, your fellow members of Parliament, and the public at large.

I invite each of your delegation’s to pick-up a hardcopy version of the handbook during this break or, if preferable, at the end of your afternoon session here today.

No reira, tena koutou katoa.

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