“HERstory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations” exhibition at UN Headquarters

The Group of Friends for Gender Parity, a coalition of over 60 like-minded Member States committed to advocating for gender parity in the United Nations, organized an exhibition, “HERstory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations”, which was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Germany, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The exhibit was launched on 13 December 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Please visit the exhibition through the UN News Centre article below: :
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55871

Here is a link to other UN Exhibits, which include another two exhibitions on women at: http://unexhibitsny.org/explore

#UNICrecap: UNIC Windhoek highlights its successes on social media

2016 has been a successful and exciting year for the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek! In celebration of its accomplishments, UNIC Windhoek will highlight its 2016 programmes on social dsc_0498media from Monday, 19 December through Saturday, 31 December through its #UNICrecap campaign.

The National Information Officer to Namibia, Anthea Basson, says that many new initiatives were started in 2016.

“The UNIC Windhoek team worked very hard throughout the year. Not only did we expand our existing programmes, including Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) and UN4U, we introduced creative initiatives such as the Namibia Agreement, the High School Practicum facts-1-10Programme and #PeacePals while at the same time raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Basson said.

The Namibia Agreement, an agreement to take climate action signed by Namibian students on 22 April when world leaders were signing the historic Paris Agreement, was one of the many initiatives that focused on addressing climate change that UNIC Windhoek implemented this year. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates mother and dedicated student Natalie Kamati

natalie-wcwIn order to promote women’s empowerment and to generate awareness of the importance of gender equality, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments each Wednesday.

For this week’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Natalie Kamati, a dedicated student who has embraced being a teenage mother.

Check out Natalie’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about how she has grown from the challenges she has faced as a teenage mother, her career goals and women’s empowerment.

1.) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a normal teenager currently in high school and aspire to pursue a career once I finish school. I regard myself as easy going however as most teens I am guilty of sometimes thinking I know all answers. Life has taught me to be humble and being the only girl among boys has taught me to be assertive. I am often told I have a big heart, and I am always willing to help.

2.) What are your thoughts on women’s empowerment, and why it is important?

I have been blessed to be in a family with very strong women. My grandmother raised 6 children by herself and all her children managed to get an education. Additionally, I was raised by my mother.

The women in my family taught me the importance of working hard and standing on your own two feet. Especially in Namibia where passion killings are constantly on the rise. I think it is important to teach girls to work hard and not rely on sugar daddies making them vulnerable to passion killings. It is important we empower our fellow women in accordance with the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

3.) Could you tell us about your experience being a teenage mother? Have you faced any challenges? What has been the best part of being a mother?

It was by far one of the hardest challenges I had to face in life. Coming from a strong Christian family emotions range from shame to excitement and regret. However my son has been such a blessing. Being a teenager with no financial means or the maturity to raise my son I have to thank my parents for being a strong support system and being there every step of the way. My son is motivating me to work harder, finish school and pursue a college degree in order to give him a better life. I constantly remind myself that no matter what people say and fingers pointed at me, he is my silver lining and not my end or downfall. Life of a teenage mother is filled with constant challenges but I am forever grateful for my Heavenly Father for strengthening me through the challenges and giving me a very supportive family.                                  

4.) How do you balance between being a young mom and attending school?

I would be the first to admit that finding the right balance is a daily challenge. I have support from my mother. She encourages me to work hard at school so that I have a shot at a great future. My son stays with a nanny during school hours and after hours I spend time with him. My mom usually takes care of him in the evening to give me a chance to do homework or study for exams. It is a constant juggling act especially when he is sick.

5.) After you finish with secondary school, what do you plan to do next?

As a teenage mother, having my son has encouraged me to work harder in order for me to provide him with a better future. I foresee a career as a social worker or a psychologist in order to help teenage girls and the elderly.

6.) What is your advice to teenage mothers?

I know as a teenage mother we always think we know and have all the answers. I want to encourage all the young people to listen to your parents and value their advice. I pray to God that pregnancy does not happen to other young girls, for those that did, I pray that they get the love and support that I got from my family. Our parents’ advice is best no matter the challenges, it will be hard, but we will make it. Remember you are the creator of your own destiny our first lady is a perfect example.

7.) Who is your mentor/role model and why?

My role model is my mother. Seeing her work really hard and getting up every day just to make sure her children are happy and have what they need, makes me proud to have her as my mother and she inspires me to want to do many great things. May I add that she’s still pursuing her studies at her age (just completed her Honours degree). Now that is the type of encouragement a teenage mother needs.

8.) What is your wish for young girls in Namibia?

Namibia as a democratic country provide us with many opportunities which we can pursue for our own success as the sky is the limit. I want to encourage young girls not to get encouraged by temporary flashy stuff but to empower ourselves to become strong woman. We hear about passion killing and gender based violence, we should stand strong and soar in order to contribute to woman empowerment in the country. Their circumstances should not compel them into becoming what they are not destined to be, they can make it if they want to, BUT, there are no short cuts in this life, work hard and always put God first. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

UN Namibia #MondayMenu: 12 – 18 December

monday-menu-12-18-decemberWhat’s cooking at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 12 – 18 December!

Today at 5 p.m. (10 a.m. NY time) the General Assembly will meet on the appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations; including a tribute to the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the oath of office of the Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres, in the General Assembly Hall. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2grSESg

The WHO Regional Office for Africa, is hosting the First Regional Forum on Strengthening Health Systems for the SDGs and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).  Scheduled to take place at Safari Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek from 12-13 December 2016, the meeting is organised under the slogan: “Healthy Systems, Healthy People” and is expected to attract over 200 participants including senior health systems technical leaders and policy makers of ministries of health and key stakeholders from 47 countries in Africa and around the globe.

The meeting aims to provide a regular platform for senior health systems technical leaders and policy makers of ministries of health and key stakeholders to review, discuss and coordinate country and inter-country health systems strengthening efforts towards attaining the health SDGs. The Forum is preceded by a high-level technical opening meeting, held on 8-9 December.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) and UNFPA will be hosting the Demographic Dividend Study and National Transfer Accounts (NTA) Workshop from 13-16 December.

UNDP together with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will launch a carpentry workshop in Okongo, under the NAFOLA Community Forest Project. This will include the official handover of NAFOLA project equipment as well as a visit to the production site.

18 December is International Migrants Day. Learn more about this United Nations International Observance: http://bit.ly/1bywqXU

 

SG’s message on International Anti-Corruption Day

The Secretary-General

Message on International Anti-Corruption Day

9 December 2016

 The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s inspiring new manifesto for transforming our world and building a better future for all. But as we undertake this crucial journey of implementation, a broad barrier stands in our path: corruption.

No country is immune, and every country bears a responsibility to end it. Corruption strangles people, communities and nations. It weakens education and health, undermines electoral processes and reinforces injustices by perverting criminal justice systems and the rule of law. By diverting domestic and foreign funds, corruption wrecks economic and social development and increases poverty. It harms everyone, but the poor and vulnerable suffer most.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Corruption: An impediment to the Sustainable Development Goals”. Goal 16 urges substantial reductions in corruption and bribery and the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. The UN Convention against Corruption, buttressed by its peer review mechanism, is mobilizing action for honest, transparent, accountable governance, but far more is needed.

On International Anti-corruption Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to ending the deceit and dishonesty that threaten the and our efforts to achieve peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.

“If we’re to truly beat corruption, we need to instil a culture of lawfulness today”

IACD2016_logo_ENBy Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

9 December 2016

 Each year, on 9 December, the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day. We treat this not only as a means to raise awareness, but also as an opportunity to showcase innovative ways that people and organizations can work together to counter this scourge.

Corruption affects each and every one of us: our healthcare suffers when funds for medical equipment are stolen; our education systems are hit when school budgets are illegally siphoned off; and our political institutions are undermined when bribes are paid and kickbacks sought.

The transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which the world committed last year, has put efforts to fight corruption in context and has given us a new perspective. Preventing and fighting corruption is an essential investment to the infrastructure that we need to put in place to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Our challenge is to create and sustain effective, transparent and accountable institutions at all levels.

The task that we have ahead of us therefore is to develop a new norm – one where corruption is not seen as part of life, or as a part of doing business, or where impunity is accepted.

But what can we do to achieve this? Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates social entrepreneur Ndahafa Hapulile

ndahafa-wcwIn order to promote women’s empowerment and to generate awareness of the importance of gender equality, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments each Wednesday.

 For this week’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Ndahafa Hapulile, an advocate for gender equality who received recognition as an Emerging Entrepreneur at the Namibian Business Hall of Fame induction.

Ndahafa is currently employed as an Assistant to the Secretary General of the SWAPO Party. Additionally, she is an elected board member of the National Youth Council (NYC) of Namibia, chairing the Programme Oversight Committee.

She says, “As a social entrepreneur, I act as a change agent in my community by coming up with innovative ideas to improve systems and invent new approaches, with the hope of creating solutions to change society for the better.”

Check out Ndahafa’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about the career challenges she has faced due to her gender. Similarly, see her views on gender equality.

1.) Have you come across any challenges in your field because of your gender?

In every field, there are challenges. However, one of the more notable challenges I have experienced is [dealing with] the stereotypes associated with femininity [specifically when being ‘ladylike’ or ‘looking girly’].

In my field, I have noticed that women who look feminine tend to be thought of as “less brainy”. Beauty is seen as a form of weakness and vulnerability. Many women tone down their femininity to look and act more masculine in order to fit in.

However, as an advocate for gender equality [with experience in the] mining environment as a Metallurgist in training, I am determined to fight these stereotypes and draw inspiration from women like Hon. Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Rosalia Martins-Hausiku who maintained their ‘ladylikeness’ and still made wonderful strides in their respective fields. Continue reading

UNIC Windhoek attends Development Partnership Forum

dsc_0112UNIC Windhoek joined the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) and the UN System at the Development Partnership Forum on 5 December 2016 at Namibia’s Parliament building.

The forum aimed to “ensure effectiveness of development assistance in support of the [Government’s] national development plans [and the Harambee Prosperity plan], especially in line with [newly] adopted continental and international development agendas, such as the Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” (Press Release, UN System and GRN).

dscn4101Hon. Tom Alweendo, the Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), opened the Forum by recognizing the continued support of development partners and the successes of Namibia since Independence.

He then said, “Despite achievements, there is no doubt that [Namibia is] a developing economy and country,” emphasizing that Namibia needs to address income inequality and youth unemployment as well as to promote economic growth.

Namibia’s strategy going forward, Hon. Alweendo said, is to transform economy through #industrialisation. Continue reading

UN Namibia #MondayMenu: 5 – 11 December

monday-menu-5-11-decemberWhat’s on UN Namibia’s #MondayMenu for 5 – 11 December? Check it out!

The Government of the Republic of Namibia together with the UN System held a forum, the Development Partnership Forum, today with its cooperating development partners.

Today is World Soil Day! It is being commemorated under the theme, “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life”. The positive contributions of pulses to soil properties are many: they fix the atmosphere nitrogen and improve its biodiversity, fertility and structure. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1Q69aqt

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is also held each year on 5 December and is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work. Learn more: http://bit.ly/INyhyy

The Benguela Current Commission (BCC) 5th Ministerial Conference will be in Swakopmund on the 8th December 2016. The BCC’s mission is, “To foster cooperation between the Republic of Angola, Republic of Namibia and Republic of South Africa and work towards an integrated, science-based and regional approach for the conservation, protection and sustainable use and management of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME).” Learn more: http://bit.ly/2gYtZJk Continue reading

soildaylogosmall

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’s

MESSAGE ON WORLD SOIL DAY

5 December 2016

 In a modern world where the population is growing, cities are expanding, the climate is changing and more food is needed, we urgently need healthy soils to ensure the essential services they provide.

Sustainable management systems and practices will unlock the full potential of soils to support food production, store and supply clean water, preserve biodiversity, sequester more carbon and increase resilience to a changing climate.

Sustainable soil management will also advance progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It should become the worldwide norm in order to optimize our use of soil now and preserve and protect it over the long term.

Pulses, also known as grain legumes, can boost soil health while supporting healthier and nutritious diets. Dry beans, peas, lentils and other pulses combine with soil in a unique symbiosis that protects the environment, enhances productivity, contributes to adapting to climate change and provides fundamental nutrients to the soil and subsequent crops. Pulses can fix atmospheric nitrogen in their roots. By freeing soil-bound phosphorous to make it accessible and usable by plants, pulses also reduce the need to apply external fertilizer. These are all drivers of sustainable development.

The international community has identified collaborative and coordinated ways to protect and sustainably manage soils. There are valuable recommendations in the recently endorsed Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management developed by the Global Soil Partnership. Following these guidelines will help pave the way to boosting the health of soil and fully unlocking its potential to support mitigation and adaption actions in a changing climate.

On World Soil Day, I call for greater attention to the pressing issues affecting soils, including climate change, antimicrobial resistance, soil-borne diseases, contamination, nutrition and human health.

Let us build on the International Year of Soils 2015, the International Year of Pulses 2016, and all the activities supporting sustainable soil management to generate more hectares of healthy soils everywhere.