Learning more about the United Nations through our UN4U outreach programme

 

UN4U-logoThe UN4U programme forms an important component of the mandate of the United Nations Information Centre Windhoek in terms of advocating and raising awareness on the activities and work of the United Nations. The UNIC team had already visited a few schools, and on the final stretch to reach the targeted 2000 learners in Namibia the team set off to Gammams Primary School Windhoek on 15 July 2014.

UN4U (77)Welcomed by 200 fifth grade learners the team was excited to teach the fundamentals of the United Nations. Commencing with the ordinary order of business, UNIC team started the presentation by explaining to the learners the importance of the United Nations in Namibia as well as the world at large. It was quite humbling to see that the learners of Gammams were already well versed on some international issues, as they knew exactly who H.E. Mr. Ban Ki Moon was when one of the slides with his picture popped up.

UN4U (73)The learners were very inquisitive as well; they wanted to know how they too can work for the United Nations one day. We were very pleased to see that the presentation not only informed them about the United Nations, but also sparked up interest to become potential employees. Continue reading

Secretary General’s Message on International Day of Friendship 30 July 2014

SG-BanKi-moon-OfficialPortrait This year’s International Day of Friendship comes at a time of widespread war, violence and mistrust  in many parts of the world. People who have previously lived in harmony find themselves in conflict with their neighbours; people who have no choice but to live together find themselves ever farther apart.

Whatever the cause, and however powerful the forces that drive animosity and armed violence, the human spirit is potentially much stronger. It is our solemn duty to see that it prevails.

In these difficult and unpredictable times, it is vital that we reach out to another in order to prevent conflict and build the long-term foundations of lasting peace.

On this International Day of Friendship, let us remember the ties that bind us together, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or borders. Let us cultivate solidarity as a single human family on our one and only planet. Let us pursue true and lasting friendship.

UNPAF Briefing Session with the UN Family in Namibia

unnamedThe United Nations Family in Namibia met on Friday 25 July in the multipurpose venue to be briefed on the latest developments of UNPAF (United Nations Partnership Framework) 2014-2018. Following the successful launch of UNPAF at last year’s UN Day in Namibia and the signing off of the action plan for UNPAF on 8 July 2014 by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Namibia and the National Planning Commission in Namibia, UNPAF is now ready for the implementation phase. Continue reading

Mini simulation with Academia Secondary School Model UN club

IMG_8191Academia Secondary School’s MUN club has received ongoing training after the 3rd Annual Model United Nations High School Conference held in June 2014. The excited Model UN delegates from Academia Secondary School are all new to the Model UN world and were thus very determined to religiously meet every week for two afternoons to practice and flex their MUN muscles.

IMG_8249Following a preparatory session on ICT regulation and an in depth discussion, the delegates were assigned countries and asked to prepare their position papers and draft resolutions for the mini mock classroom session which was held on 7 July 2014. The delegates proved that novice MUNers who were determined enough, could do a sterling job presenting their position papers as well as negotiate like real diplomats. It was a fun filled session with many key insights shared and a positive learning experience and moreover, practical experience for the learners.

At the end of the session, information kits were distributed in preparation for the next weeks simulation on 14 July to discuss global warming 2015. These promising delegates from Academia Secondary School remind the UNIC team what a difference the Model UN programme makes in the lives of ordinary high school learners, who become involved in a whole new world, where they transform into extraordinary, insightful young people.

UN Country Team in Namibia meet with UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs

A UN – SADC Interactive Dialogue was held from 18-19 July 2014 in the coastal town, Swakopmund. The dialogue was the first of its kind ever held, between the United Nations and SADC to exchange views and share best practices on conflict prevention and mediation efforts around the region. The dialogue was convened under the auspices of the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, the Executive Secretary of SADC and with the collaboration of the SADC member states and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Dialogue was attended by senior government officials from SADC member states, SADC Secretariat Staff, UN Resident Coordinators based in Southern Africa, senior UN staff from New York and the region as well as representatives of the African Union and respected regional think tanks.

IMG_00000205 On Tuesday, 22 July 2014, the United Nations Country Team in Namibia met with Mr. Taye-Brook Zerihoun- UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, for a breakfast meeting at the Hilton Hotel in the capital city, Windhoek. The UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs touched on the future plans of the Department for Political Affairs, as well as his views on the political aspect of the 20/30 agenda. He called upon the need to strengthen partnerships in order to unite and successfully engage peace and security clusters. He stressed the importance of dialogues to strengthen cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations. The breakfast meeting was followed by a diplomatic briefing held at the UN house, with the resident diplomatic corps also meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs

Nelson Mandela Day 2014

What does Nelson Mandela represent?

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Nelson Mandela was a world icon and represented the end of apartheid, an era which resonated not only in South Africa, but Namibia as well. With his passing, this year was the first commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day without the physical presence of our world leader. Although his physical presence can no longer be felt, his legacy and ideals he advocated has tread deep footprints in the hearts and minds of young and old.

67-minutes-of-grace-and-greatness-580x340This year, UNIC Windhoek took over two weeks to gather footage in the capital city from young people, asking them what Nelson Mandela symbolizes. The UNIC team collected footage from the general public on how Nelson Mandela touched their lives. Even those who were camera shy were willing to share their tale of the legend. UNIC posted awareness images and messages on twitter and Facebook in the run up to the big day, asking people what the day meant and what they would do to emulate Nelson Mandela. Continue reading

Second National Conference on Gender based Violence in Namibia

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Experts on Gender based Violence (GBV), the African Union, United Nations and other development partners converged in Windhoek for the second conference on Gender based Violence in Namibia 02-04 July 2014 at the Windhoek Country Club. The three day conference was organized by the Office of the Prime Minister and was aimed at seeking solutions to matters that have seen many lives, particularly those of women and children lost at the hands of their male counterparts.

President Hifikepunye Pohmaba, the President of the Republic of Namibia officially opened the conference. “We should spare no effort to ensure that we have a society where women and children are fully protected, where our men respect themselves and others, especially our women and children,” he said. Continue reading

Secretary General’s Message on Nelson Mandela Day 2014

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18 July 2014

Last year, the world lost one of its greatest leaders when Nelson Mandela passed away. We remember his legacy especially on his birthday, the 18th of July.

Nelson Mandela and the United Nations had a strong history together. Shortly after he was released from prison, he came to our Headquarters. It was a moment of great excitement.

Nelson Mandela’s presence in the General Assembly Hall proved that United Nations resolutions, sanctions and solidarity can win over violence and injustice. His extraordinary compassion after 27 years in prison showed that human rights and equality are stronger than discrimination and hate. On that day in 1990, he said people would always be challenged by the fact that, quote, “it took as long as it has before all of us stood up to say  enough is enough.” The room burst into applause.

Apartheid is gone – thanks to Nelson Mandela, countless other individuals and the proud actions of the United Nations. But our planet and its people still face terrible threats — poverty, discrimination, climate change, conflict and more. Nelson Mandela Day is a call to action. Each of us can celebrate this Day by helping to address real problems in our communities. Together we can give great meaning o our celebration by paving the way for a better future.

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 A clip of Nelson Mandela at the UN headquarters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOr4F2eNDq8

 

UN4U programme presented at A.I. Steenkamp

ai steenkamp 2UNIC Windhoek officially started running the UN4U programme for 2014, with the Centre’s mission to reach at least two thousand youth to raise awareness on how the United Nations works for each of us.

On the 2nd of July 2014, the UNIC team visited A.I. Steenkamp Primary School in Katutura, where 200 children were eagerly awaiting on what the UNIC team intended to share with them! The presentation started off with the basic facts about the United Nations and how its establishment came about. It was particularly interesting to notice how receptive the children were to the information as they paid careful attention throughout the power point presentation.

As the presentation was in progress, the learners were murmuring among themselves, pointing towards the screen, looking at the pictures of how one of the UN agencies (UNHCR) helps a great amount of people all over the world by assisting them with shelter, food etc. The children were quite impressed to see what an impact the UN has on the world. Key agencies that significantly stood out for them were UNICEF and UNAIDS, as most of the learners could easily identify these agencies as well as what they do particularly in the Namibian communities. Continue reading

Secretary General’s Message on World Population Day 2014

The Secretary General

MESSAGE ON WORLD POPULATION DAY

11 July 2014

ban ki moonThe world today has its largest generation of youth in history – 1.8 billion young people, mostly in developing countries – with enormous potential to help tackle the major challenges facing humanity. But too many are denied their rightful opportunities to get a quality education, find decent work, and participate in the political life of their societies. World Population Day is an opportunity to renew our commitment to help young people unleash progress across society.

Action is urgently needed. Too many young people lack resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty. I am particularly concerned about adolescent girls who may face discrimination, sexual violence, early marriage and unwanted pregnancies. And even among those young people fortunate enough to receive university degrees, many find themselves without employment or stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs.

The solution lies in investments in health, education, training and employment for young people as they undergo the critical transition to adulthood. This will improve prospects for their lives and our common future.

Young people themselves are speaking out. Earlier this year, more than 1,000 youth organizations endorsed a Global Youth Call, welcomed by 40 countries, which recommends youth-focused goals and targets in the post-2015 development vision.

Next year marks the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals, shaping the successor agenda, and adopting a meaningful legal agreement on climate change. Youth have a major role in all these processes. The year 2015 also marks the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action on Youth. Its practical guidelines for national action and international support remain relevant today. In particular, to fully carry out this Programme of Action, governments must respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all youth and respond effectively to any violations.

On this World Population Day, I call on all with influence to prioritize youth in development plans, strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations, and involve young people in all decisions that affect them. By empowering today’s youth, we will lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future for generations to come.