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Joint UNNGO conference in Australia to focus on global health

29 August 2010The joint conference of the United Nations department of public information and non-governmental organizations, which gets under way in Australia tomorrow, will this year focus on global health in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), aiming to attract greater participation of civil society from the Asia-Pacific region. The joint conference of the United Nations department of public information and non-governmental organizations, which gets under way in Australia tomorrow, will this year focus on global health in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), aiming to attract greater participation of civil society from the Asia-Pacific region.Thed annual DPI/NGO Conference, which will take place in the city of Melbourne, has attracted more than 2,200 participants from some 70 countries.The effort to give priority to non-governmental organizations in the Asia-Pacific region in the annual DPI/NGO conference and increase geographic diversity bore fruit when an unprecedented number of the region’s NGOs joined the department on 30 June.In all, 41 such organizations from the Asia-Pacific region were associated this year, including 32 from Australia, one from Fiji, five from the Philippines, and three from the Pacific Islands.The new UN policy to offer association to non-governmental organizations in the region where the conference is being held also presents a chance for “solidifying the trend of increasing geographic diversity and greater networking opportunities for NGOs affiliated with the Department of Public Information,” said UN Chief of NGO Relations Maria-Luisa Chavez.Holding the Conference away from United Nations Headquarters “offers a unique opportunity to intensify and strengthen our partnerships with the NGOs and civil society different regions of the world, in this case, the Asia-Pacific region,” she said.Ms. Chavez noted that this year the Conference has been organized against a backdrop of challenges posed by a 15-hour time difference, geographical distance and even the elections in Australia. Despite this, she declared the list of participants “impressive”.“This Conference will be different because it is the first time that a UN Conference of this size has been hosted in Australia. We are very excited to meet in this part of the world and to have the strong participation of NGOs from this country,” said Kiyo Akasaka, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.Setting the stage for tomorrow’s opening of the conference, which will last until 5 September, will be a series of public events in Melbourne under the banner “Making Health Global.”The programme is directed by Professor Philip Batterham, Convenor of the Australian NGO Focal Group.“Melburnians already play a role in global health. We give, we volunteer and our medical researchers are tackling the big killers like HIV, malaria, diarrhoea and dirty water,” Mr. Batterham said.World Vision Australia, the Australian Football League and Melbourne Football Club, among others, hosted an event on today at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to mark the end of the football season before the finals in a game that saw Melbourne versus North Melbourne. The game was dedicated to raising awareness around the issue of child health.A media event featured statements and a question-and-answer period with the press and Mr. Akasaka, Tim Costello, the Chief Executive Officer of World Vision, Jim Stynes, President of the Melbourne Football Club, and Glenn Archer, former North Melbourne champion. read more

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Cuvée 2018 toasts 30 years of excellence in Ontario wine

With the Cuvée Grand Tasting celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, organizers have pulled out all the stops to highlight the best VQA wine and food Ontario has to offer.Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the Cuvée Grand Tasting is the largest celebration of Ontario VQA wine and food of its kind. This year’s event takes place Friday, March 23 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, with the Cuvée en Route passport program once again extending the wine celebration all weekend long at participating wineries.Cuvée is the most prestigious and largest celebration of Ontario wine, with more than 750 people attending last year’s gala. Proceeds from the weekend support grape and wine scholarships for Brock’s oenology and viticulture students as well as industry-driven research initiatives at CCOVI.Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic said the Grand Tasting allows guests to enjoy wines from 48 of Ontario’s top winemakers, and culinary delights from celebrated local chefs. Exclusive tastings will be available from up-and-coming wineries and restaurants, as well as the favourites guests have come to know and love.“We always strive to bring a mix of new and unique wine and culinary partners to Cuvée, as well as highlight the event’s long-standing partners,” Tatarnic said. “This year will be a true testament to that commitment, as we ring in 30 years of winemaking excellence with our best event yet.”Each of the 48 wineries will present two of their winemakers’ favourite wines at the Grand Tasting, offering a rare chance to learn about each selection directly from the winemaker who created it.The gala will also feature 12 of Niagara’s top chefs, who will showcase deliciously creative dishes at live cooking stations. A new addition this year is The Restaurant at Bench Brewery, a soon-to-open eatery in the historic Bench Brewing Co. building in Beamsville led by Chef Erik Peacock.“He brings culinary talent as well as his philosophy for ‘going local’ to The Restaurant at Bench Brewery,” Tatarnic said of Peacock. “The restaurant doesn’t open to the public until June, so we’re thrilled that we can offer guests of Cuvée an exclusive sneak peek of what they can expect when it opens this summer.”Established culinary partners, such as Scotiabank Convention Centre’s Centreplate, are also putting a fresh spin on things this year.“Being able to showcase a dish for the 30th anniversary celebration of Cuvée at the Scotiabank Convention Centre is a true honor,” said Chef James Price, of the homemade miso he will be serving this year. “For an event like this, I like to present something unique and hand-crafted. I also can’t wait to see what all of the other talented chefs are going to bring to the table this year.”Yvonne Irvine, Assistant Winemaker at Creekside Estate Winery, is excited to present two of Creekside’s favourite wine selections and its new-to-the-market Rood Apples Cider at Cuvée.“Cuvée is one of the highlight events of the year and it is always filled with inventive and delicious food from Niagara’s top chefs with some of the best wines that Niagara has to offer,” she said. “As a consumer, this is a really great opportunity to sample Niagara’s best.”The newly created Winemaker of Excellence Award will also be part of the celebration this year, paying further tribute to the talented people who propel the industry forward. The winner will be announced before the kickoff to the evening’s Après Cuvée after party, which features live music from the Associates, Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.“The Winemaker of Excellence award will appropriately round off the evening as we celebrate excellence in Ontario winemaking,” said Tatarnic.This year’s culinary stations include:The Restaurant at Bench Brewery (new to Cuvée)Benchmark, Niagara CollegeCentreplate, Scotiabank Convention CentreHob Nob Restaurant and Wine BarJackson Triggs Niagara EstateKarma Kameleon (new to Cuvée)Taris on the Water (new to Cuvée)The Righteous Monger – Artisan Ontario – Pingue, Hand and DuncanTreadwell Farm to Table CuisineZees Grill / Shaw Club HotelCriveller CakesItalian Ice CreamA complete list of participating wineries can be found at cuvee.caTickets that include both the Friday night Grand Tasting and the weekend-long en Route passport are available online at cuvee.ca/tickets for $200 per person. Tickets for the en Route passport only are $30. read more