Author Archives: Mouton

Tackling our planet’s problems from outer space

In the sixty years since the space age began with the launch of Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, humankind has achieved remarkable progress in the exploration and use of outer space. This would not have been possible without international cooperation.

With more and more countries, organizations and companies accessing space and its economic and societal benefits, international cooperation to ensure the safe, secure and sustainable use of outer space now and in the future is more crucial today than ever before. That is why diplomatic efforts at the United Nations to drive forward such cooperation are so vital.

From 18 to 21 June, the world will gather in Vienna for UNISPACE+50, the first United Nations global space summit of the twenty-first century, organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). This will be only the fourth time in history that government representatives join heads of space agencies, policy-makers, industry representatives and other stakeholders at the United Nations on a large scale. Our top priority will be to look for ways to use space to improve lives around the world and protect our planet.

A lot has changed since the first UNISPACE conference was held in 1968. Today, space is big business. Last year the global space sector was estimated to be worth USD $330 billion. Access to space is also growing rapidly. Over 70 United Nations Member States now have established government space agencies. This is complemented by an ever-increasing number of private companies and industry. In 2017, a year in which the world placed over 450 new satellites – a record number – in orbit, commercial entities conducted just under half of all launches. Continue reading

Blue Crane takes action to beat plastic pollution

World Environment Day calls on all of us to be responsible in our conduct in the environment. The onus rests not only on large manufacturing corporations but on small and medium enterprises, communities and most importantly, individuals.

5 June is celebrated as World Environment Day in more than 100 countries across the world, recognising the need to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time, ‘beating plastic pollution’. By making changes in our everyday lives, we can all reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural environment, our wildlife and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences.

In Namibia, Blue Crane Safaris Namibia, a tour operator, is contributing to the preservation of the environment. Senior tour consultant and owner, Derek Jacobs explains, “We are a tour operator in Namibia running our tours in a responsible way”.

As the Blue Crane Safaris tour guides take their guests around the beautiful Namibian landscape, they ensure that they keep Namibia clean. They also educate their guests and local Namibians on the importance of reducing plastic usage as well as not littering. Whether out on tour or in the bounds of the city, this remains top of mind for the team.

“We have recently replaced the use of plastic bottles with Blue Crane Safari Aluminium water bottles which our clients receive when they go on tour with us. We refill the bottles for our clients from a water tank installed on each car”, says Derek.

One of the many ways to ‘beat plastic pollution’ is by utilising reusable containers such as the ones Blue Crane have introduced. The result – Blue Crane Safaris is removing approximately 50 plastic bottles per person on a given tour. This is a lot of plastic which will not end up in landfills or in the environment.

This is merely a first step for the tour operator who believes that every little bit will make an impact in the long run. Derek continues, “I believe that educating people on the dangers and risks that plastic and other types of litter pose to the environment is imperative at all levels in society, at work, at school, in the home and at church”. Continue reading

Model UN delegates learn how to walk in the shoes of a diplomat

In preparation for upcoming  Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High School Conference 2018 set to take place in September, UNIC Windhoek held a two-day training sessions, 30-31 May to familiarize selected delegates on the the UN General Assembly procedures.

The mock sessions gave delegates an opportunity to interact with the facilitators for guidance on how to write position papers and write resolutions during the actual conference. Delegates from schools outside Windhoek such as Coastal High, Reverend Juuso Shikongo Secondary, Etosha Secondary, Rehoboth High School as well as Oshikoto Secondary have been selected to participate in this year’s conference.  Schools from the Khomas region include: DHPS,  Windhoek High, Windhoek Gymnasium, Academia High, David Bezuidenhoud, Immanuel Shifidi, Delta Secondary, Hochland High and St. Paul’s College.

This being the 7th simulation for Model UN, the National Information Officer, Ms Anthea Basson said in her welcome remarks at the training, “the conference it is a great opportunity to learn new things and meet new people.” She further encouraged the delegates to use their time well and apply themselves to report on the 2018 topics.

The September Conference will focus on the  Sustainable development Goals (SDGs).. Thus the training sessions ensure delegates are prepare appropriately to step into their respective  leadership roles.

The training sessions ended with trivial “bragging rights” to anticipate which school would scoop the award for  “best school”, it also allowed the delegates to mingle and find their co- partner as per the assigned member states.

First World Bicycle Day: PAY Namibia & Cycling

World Bicycle day acknowledges the uniqueness, sustainability and the versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for 2 centuries. The bicycle is seen to be a fit, sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that fosters environmental presidency and health. [1]

The bicycle as a means of transportation has transcended over 2 centuries and still provides the same amount of utility as it did 2 centuries ago. The use of the bicycle has managed to ensure sustainable mobility for all people. It has for centuries ensured that people who walk long distances have access to a mode of transportation that allows them to conduct their duties in a fast and timely manner. The dedication by the UN, to recognise a day in celebration of the bicycle recognizes the longevity and equalizer the cycling tool has been to some communities.

On the 12th of April 2018 the United Nations general assembly agreed to declare 3 June as world bicycle day. The first world bicycle day was celebrated for the first time on 3 June 2018. Recognising the importance of the bicycle as a sustainable transportation tool that is directly aligned to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiatives were proposed to the General assembly to organise bicycle rides on national and local levels as a means to promote physical and mental health and well being in our societies.

In Namibia, the Physically Active Youth (PAY) is a civil society organisation (CSO) that provides after school quality educational services to children that reside in the Katutura Township. The organisation takes in approximately one hundred learners on an annual basis.PAY is well known for it’s after school academic support to the Namibian child, it includes  tutoring, overseeing homework followed by a structured sports programme. Physical education is a primary role of the organisation. PAY Namibia offers a variety of sporting choices of which cycling is one.  PAY emphasis  three main goals with regards to sport, which are:

  1. ‘To use sport as a tool to keep the youth engaged and off the streets’.
  2. ‘To integrate sport and life skills education in order to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours’
  3. ‘To develop the sport through breeding young talents and bringing opportunities to play for national teams and offer professional development opportunities’[2]

PAY’s cycling team is performing very well in the local mountain bike events happening in Namibia. One of the prestigious mountain bike events which the team have set their eyes on is the internationally recognised Nedbank Desert Dash, a premium cycling event attracting broad participation locally and internationally. The 24 hour mountain bike challenge is 369km ride from Windhoek to Swakopmund, riding through the Namib Desert. PAY’s cycling team would like to participate in this cycling event offering the youngsters the opportunity to compete alongside professional and amateur cyclists from around the world.  The PAY cycling team  are thus seeking assistance from individuals organisations and well-wishers who are able to donate in kind to enable the organisation to purchase additional bicycles for the upcoming Nedbank Desert Dash.

The bicycle is not just a mere transportation tool, through organisations such as PAY, the bicycle is a tool that is empowering young people to become physically fit and active and pursue a sport code which would have been inaccessible to them before. Cycling is helping to transform the lives of the young people at PAY, opening opportunities which previously did not exist, This is the power a bicycle has, when its potential to transform and change lives is harnessed as a tool to empower youth. Continue reading

Meet the Interns: Letta Muleka

This week we introduce Letta Muleka, our communications & projects intern who has a knack for planning and organising.  She joins the UNIC Windhoek team as part of the Centre’s graduate internship programme for 2018.

Letta is an excellent public speaker and natural leader. She is a team player who is  admired for the energy and ideas she brings to every project. Her ability to plan, execute  and take initiative at any given opportunity has made her an important part of the UNIC Windhoek family.

UN Namibia supports National CleanUp Campaign

The 25th of May also known as Africa day was officially inaugurated as the national cleanup campaign day led by H.E Dr Hage G. Geingob, the President of the Republic of Namibia. The president was accompanied by the First lady, officials from the office of the president and cabinet ministers. Residentsfrom the Samora Machel Constituency in a settlement in Katatura, private companies, financial institutions and the United Nations Namibia gather at the Goreangab soccer field from 7h00, with their cleaning equipment ready to heed the President’s call.

Speaking at the event, Dr Hage G. Geingob said, “let us seize this opportunity to make a positive impact and take significant steps forward in keeping Namibia Healthy and Clean”. He emphasizedthe importance of keeping the Namibian house clean and urged every Namibian to keep and internalize the mantra “My Waste, My Responsibility”. The president further emphasized the importance of carrying out the significant task of cleaning the country on Africa day. He went on to say, “an unhealthy Africa is unproductive and will not live up to the commitments of the Africa we want as espoused in Agenda 2063”.

The keynote address by the president was followed by a briefing on safety and recycling measures by the City of Windhoek. The Goreangab informal settlement was one of the hard hit settlements by the outbreak of the Hepatitis E late last year, together with the communities of Havana, Ombili, Greenwell Matongo and Hakahana. Henceforth the City of Windhoek saw it imperative to provide safety information for all the people that were taking part in the national clean-up campaign in the Goreangab, informal settlement. Continue reading

Communications material to support International Day for Living Together in Peace

In support of the first International day of Living Together in Peace, dynamic graphics were developed to support the high level event and promote the ideals of the day on the UN Namibia’s social media platforms. These included creating two gifs, as well as dynamic posts to draw attention to the importance of commemorating the day .

The gif can be viewed on: https://www.facebook.com/UNNamibia/videos/1686798714769771/

 

 

Namibians urged to live together in peace and harmony to build a sustainable world

Windhoek, 16 May 2018 – The United Nations (UN) System in Namibia in collaboration with the Embassy of Algeria and the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) commemorated the first International Day for Living Together in Peace at the UN House in Windhoek. Together with the diplomatic corps, non-governmental organisations, civil society, community leaders and interfaith representatives, the day drew attention to:

• Promoting peace as a prerequisite for integration, sustainable development and social progression and; • Integrating a culture of peace in public dialogues at local and international levels.

Peace has been engrained in the UN’s mission as well as its Charter, various resolutions and more recently, through the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which Namibia has agreed to and localised.

The acting UN Resident Coordinator a.i, Dennia Gayle highlighted Namibia’s commitment to peace, “National and international development agendas are clear – we must promote societies where all people can live in a peaceful and united way. With a foundation of listening to, respecting and appreciating each other, we can celebrate our differences and use them to bring about the changes we want to see.”

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/130 on 8 December 2018 to declare 16 May the International Day for living together in Peace. The declaration recognises the importance of the Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture and Peace. It also emphasises the importance of the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence for the benefit of humanity and future generations.

The Ambassador of Algeria to Namibia, H.E. Sid Ali Abdelbari highlighted the importance of the UN Resolution for the International Day of Living Together in Peace, which was tabled by his country at the General Assembly. He said, “We need to ensure social justice and the fair share of prosperity across the socio-economic aspects of society, which is one of the key elements to make peace prevail.”

To ensure peace and harmony in Namibia, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Sylvia Makgone on behalf of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said, “Our international and local efforts should hence be premised at ensuring peace and security based upon development and the eradication of poverty as expressed in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and indeed our National Development Plans, which aim to build a house where no one is left behind.”

The day was observed for the first time in Namibia and recognises the need to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. Furthermore, it promotes reconciliation to help ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.

Meet the Intern: Christophine Kamati

This week we introduce Christophine Kamati, our in house creative at UNIC Windhoek. She joins the UNIC Windhoek team as part of the Centre’s graduate internship programme.

Christophine is a level headed young woman who is set to carve a niche for herself in the graphic design industry. She continues to push to reach creative new heights and adds a unique edge to all her deliverables.  Her passion for design and creativity is inherent in all she does. Check out the interview with Christophine.

Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary General’s Message on World Press Freedom Day 2018

A free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all. It is crucial to building transparent and democratic societies and keeping those in power accountable. It is vital for sustainable development.

Journalists and media workers shine a light on local and global challenges and tell the stories that need to be told. Their service to the public is invaluable.

Laws that protect independent journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information need to be adopted, implemented and enforced. Crimes against journalists must be prosecuted.

On World Press Freedom Day 2018, I call on governments to strengthen press freedom, and to protect journalists. Promoting a free press is standing up for our right to truth.

Thank you.

António Guterres