The United Nations (UN) System in Namibia celebrated the role of partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the launch of the United Nations (UN) Day Exhibition on 24 October.
Strategic partners are the backbone of the UN’s work in Namibia and form the vital link between the UN and Namibia’s local communities. Partners provide the knowledge, support, technical expertise, security and monitoring tools to not only maintain a safe network, but also to plan for the future as the UN continues to grow. Thus, it is imperative for the UN System in Namibia to align themselves with the Namibian Government’s National Plans and to foster effective strategic partnerships with stakeholders.
In addition to celebrating individuals and partner organisations, it is important to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of partnerships as a whole, which in turn may help find and nurture advocates or champions of development programmes.
Under the theme ‘Agenda 2030: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Partnerships and the work of the UN in Namibia’, the official UN Day programme celebrated the SDGs and partnerships on the 71st Anniversary of the United Nations.
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT), Deputy Ministers from Government Ministries, members of the diplomatic corps, a number stakeholders and representatives from various community organisations were brought together at the commemoration as a way acknowledge their involvement and support to the UN’s work in Namibia and across the globe.
Windhoek International School (WIS) played a pertinent role in celebrating UN Day in Namibia by serving as the host for the commemoration. In a statement read by the Co-Presidents of the WIS Student Council, on behalf of the WIS Director, Mr. Peter Mackenzie, the importance of partnerships between education institutions and the United Nations was highlighted.
“Windhoek International School congratulates the United Nations both here in Namibia and worldwide for the immensely important job it does and for the inspirational example it sets,” the learners said.
They continued, “And we are proud to celebrate this day here with you and to call ourselves your partner in striving to replace division with unity, prejudice with understanding, and conflict with peace.”
Continuing with the theme of partnerships, in her address Ms. Kiki Gbeho said that, “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscores that all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement the SDGs.”
“Given that no one actor can realize the SDGs and that an essential feature of the goals is that they are interlinked, the 2030 Agenda emphasizes the role of partnerships – the interlinking of human agency to achieve a common purpose – as a critical means of implementation,” she continued.
The Deputy Minister of Economic and National Planning, Hon. Lucia Iipumbu echoed the importance of partnerships in her keynote address and commended the United Nations for its support and for remaining a trusted development partner of choice. “Your efforts, your assistance and your participation are well recognized and humbly acknowledged,” she said.
“Challenges are still prevailing and they require our [united efforts],” Hon. Iipumbu continued, emphasising that partnerships are important in achieving the SDGs in Namibia as well as in executing Namibia’s National Development Plans, including its Fifth which is in the works.
Highlighting the SDGs, Honourable Iipumbu said, “[Eradicating poverty is the] only sustainable way to ensure that global peace and stability remains.” On behalf of the UN System, Kiki Gbeho handed over a SDG banner to Hon.Iipumbu as a small gift and token of appreciation. The banner is meant to be erected at the Minister’s office and can be utilised at public events for visibility and solidifying the vision of working toward fulfilling these goals in Namibia.
The National Information Officer from UNIC Windhoek Ms. Anthea Basson led the informative programme, which featured sterling performances about world peace and sustainable development delivered by WIS students. The official remarks of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of the 2016 UN Day were delivered by Dr. Barihuta Tharcisse, and a vote of thanks was given by Dr. Monir Islam, WHO Representative to Namibia.
*UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. Since 1948, 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day, and this year marks the 71st anniversary of the UN’s existence.
Specifically, this year’s global commemoration highlighted concrete actions people can take to help achieve the SDGs.