On Friday 24 October 2014, the United Nations celebrated its 69th birthday. To commemorate this date the UN staff along with members of the Namibian government, members of the diplomatic corporation, members of the civil society and media celebrated the UN Day in Windhoek at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre.
The event started with a display of the UN’s work in Namibia. Each agency exhibited their work on a local as well as on an international level. The guests received personal insight into the work of the various agencies present in Namibia. It was an ideal opportunity to snatch up the latest publications available including copies of the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Bill of Rights was also freely available.
The organized event took off in full swing with Ms. Anthea Basson leading the programme as Director of Ceremony. The UN Resident Coordinator, Musinga T. Bandora, addressing audience by placing great emphasis on the work of the UN despites its failures and challenges in a troubled world.
Bandora, highlighted that the UN in Namibia as of last year witnessed many important milestones: the signed and launched the Namibia-UN Partnership Framework-UNPAF- that provides context of our development work in the country from 2014-2018; the UN and the government successfully hosted the historic visit of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and the inauguration of the UN House; the country also bottomed out of the drought emergency; Namibia served with excellence as Chair of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defense and Security; the country is in the middle of an election process and everything seems to be progressing very well.
On the forefront, the country is also looking forward to the inauguration of the new President and Government of Namibia in March 2015. The country will be celebrating a quarter of a century of independence. The UN will also be celebrating twenty five years of its presence in Namibia an opportunity for joint celebration- of the many solid achievements of Namibia and its partnership with the United Nations. UN Country Team will consult with Government on the fitting way of celebrating UN@25 in Namibia.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon’s video message was also screened at the occasion, followed by H.E. Selma Ashipala Musavyi, Permanent Secretary, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Namibia personal introduction of the Speaker of the National Assembly. The intimidating presence of the Hon. Dr. Theo Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia were much appreciated, more so for sharing his personal political reflection. Gurirab underscored his role in the UN and his contribution to Namibia’s independence, but also how Namibia and the UN as a whole can and should work to improve the world.
On behalf of the UN Staff in Namibia a framed preamble of the UN Charter was presented as a gift to Dr. Theo-Ben Guirab by Mr. Bandora.
Throughout the day’s proceedings the staff and invited guests enjoyed performances by the Four Cousins dance group and that of a very well-known Namibian reggae musician, Ras Sheehama. Ras Sheehama first songs “Cassinga” address the battle of the Cassinga Massacre, a controversial South African airborne attack on a South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) refugee camp and military base at the former town of Cassinga, Angola on 4 May 1978. The artist’s second performance tied in well and correspond with the work of the UN’s plea to call and end to poverty.