The UN is coming to town, the real mining future, and L’Oréal

Media bulletins

In two weeks Australia will play host to a major UN conference focusing on global health and the Millennium Development Goals. More than 70 countries and over 300 organisations will be represented. There will be many compelling stories that matter to Australia and our region. I’m holding briefings for ABC staff at Ultimo today at 3.30 pm and at Southbank on Monday at 12.30 pm. I’m happy to do the same for other major media.

Also coming up next week: Will we run out of minerals? How much more mineral wealth is still to be found? Do we have the technologies to find it and extract it safely?

An Australian Academy of Science forum will tackle these issues in Canberra on 19 and 20 August. The media are invited to day one and the speakers are available for interview.

L’Oréal Australia’s For Women in Science Fellowships will be presented on Tuesday 24 August – the 2010 winners are from Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

More details on both of these next week.

And if you’re Melbourne-based join me for a free brunch with the Naked Scientist, Chris Smith, tomorrow, Saturday morning at 10 am at the Clare Café, 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton. I have five free tickets for this informal conversation.

But the big one is the United Nations NGO conference from 30 August – 1 September.

The conference, entitled Advance Global Health – Achieve the Millennium Development Goals, brings together more than 300 non-governmental organisations from over 70 countries. Some 1,500 delegates will explore the challenges of meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The conference comes at a critical time:

  • for the Millennium Development Goals which have been set back by the global financial crisis. The UN Secretary-General has called world leaders to a summit in September to accelerate progress
  • and for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which will be seeking a further $20 billion in October.

Officially the Melbourne gathering is the 63rd Annual UN Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations Conference or 63rd UN DPI NGO. It runs from Monday 30 August to Wednesday 1 September.

The conference will provide an impressive array of speakers, many issues relevant to Australia and our region, and lots of human stories that bring the Goals to life.

You can read more about the conference online at

And a summary of the workshop topic and speakers is at

Access to the conference is limited to accredited delegates and media only. Accreditation details are on the conference web. The process is coordinated by the UN Information Centre in Canberra.

This is a UN conference. The key media contact will be Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte, the Information officer, NGO relations at the United Nations, Department of Public Information, in New York.

I am assisting her as chief of staff at the media centre in Melbourne, as well as coordinating Australian media requests. My contact details are below.

We’re holding two informal briefings for ABC staff – at ABC Ultimo today at 3.30 pm on the Dot Strong Terrace and at ABC Southbank on Monday at 12.30 pm in the Level 5 large conference room. We are happy to hold similar briefings for other major media.

The speakers at the briefing will be:

  • Professor Phil Batterham, Conference Co-director
  • Niall Byrne, Creative Director, Science in Public and conference media centre CoS

I should note that this is not a formal briefing on behalf of the UN. This is an informal opportunity to give you a heads-up and help you plan for the conference.