Author Archives: Mouton

High School Youth simulate General Assembly to discuss the SDGs & Global Citizenship #MUNNAM2018

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek in collaboration with MTN Namibia hosted a two-day simulation of the General Assembly for high school youth at the Safari Court Hotel from 19-20 September 2018. This was the 7th Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) Conference to be held with participants stemming from the Khomas, Erongo, Otjikoto and Hardap region. A total of 15 high schools in Namibia were represented at the conference.

Speaking on behalf of the UN System Namibia, Dr. Charles Segoe-Moses, WHO Representative, said, “Today as you stand in the shoes of delegates that represent their respective countries, think not only of yourself but the millions of young people that depend on you to lead the youth agenda.” He went on to say, “MUNNAM may just look like a role playing, but in reality, you are preparing yourself to be global citizens. Some of you may make these issues your life’s work and maybe you will find yourselves as humanitarian workers someday or working for the envoy on youth. As you are preparing yourselves for the future today, your time to take action and drive for change is now.” Continue reading

Secretary General’s remarks at funeral of Kofi Annan

The Secretary-General

Remarks at funeral of Kofi Annan

Accra, Ghana, 13 September 2018

[As delivered]

To Nane Annan and the Annan Family,

To Kofi Annan’s larger family, starting with you, President Akufo-Addo and the people of his beloved Ghana, and extending to every corner of the globe,

To the many members of the United Nations community who grieve the passing of one of our own.

Since the shock of Kofi’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special.

To my mind, it is simply this:

Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us.

He was an exceptional global leader — and he was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaches of poverty, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior UN staffer following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath “always remember, you are never too young to lead — and we are never too old to learn.”

Like few in our time, Kofi Annan could bring people together, put them at ease, and unite them towards a common goal for our common humanity.

There is an old joke: The art of diplomacy is to say nothing … especially when you are speaking!

Kofi Annan could say everything, sometimes without uttering a word.

It came from the dignity and the moral conviction and the humanity that was so deep in him.

He had that gentle voice, that lilt that made people smile and think of music. But his words were tough and wise. And sometimes the graver a situation, the lower that voice would get.

We would lean in to listen. And the world would lean in. And we were rewarded by his wisdom.

Kofi Annan was courageous, speaking truth to power while subjecting himself to intense self-scrutiny.

And like his predecessor Dag Hammarskjold, he had an almost mystical sense of the role of the United Nations as a force for good in a world of ills.

All of this added up to a remarkable record of achievement.

He pioneered new ideas and initiatives, including the Millennium Development Goals and the landmark reforms in his report, “In Larger Freedom”.

He opened the doors of the United Nations, bringing the Organization closer to the world’s people and engaging new partners in protecting the environment, defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases.

Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him.

Dear Friends,

Kofi Annan was also my good friend.

We marched through life together in many ways.

When the people of Timor-Leste were seeking self-determination, we worked together — he from the United Nations, and I from Portugal — to support the peaceful resolution of their plight.

When the UN Refugee Agency needed new leadership, Kofi blessed me with his trust in asking me to fill that role – and then provided unwavering support to protect and shelter the most vulnerable of the vulnerable.

Now that I occupy the office Kofi once held, I am continually inspired by his integrity, dynamism and dedication.

To him, indifference was the world’s worst poison.

Even after finishing his term as Secretary-General, he never stopped battling on the front-lines of diplomacy.

He helped to ease post-election tensions in Kenya, gave his all to find a political solution to the brutal war in Syria and set out a path for ensuring justice and rights for the Rohingya people of Myanmar.

Kofi straddled many worlds, North and South, East and West.

But he found his surest anchor in his African roots and identity.

The great Nelson Mandela, accustomed to being called Madiba, had his own nickname for Kofi, and called him “my leader”.

This was no jest. Kofi was our leader, too.

When I last saw him not long ago at the UN, his bearing was how I will always remember him: calm yet determined, ready to laugh but always filled with the gravity of the work we do.

He is gone now and we will miss him immensely.

But I am sure of this — if we continue to lean in and listen hard, we will still hear the words and wise counsel of Kofi Annan.

“Please carry on,” I hear him saying.

“You know what to do: Take care of each other. Take care of our planet. Recognize the humanity in all people. And support the United Nations — the place where we can all come together to solve problems and build a better future for all”.

Dear Friends,

Let us continue to heed that voice of grace and reason – that voice of morality and solidarity.

Our world needs it now more than ever.

As we face the headwinds of our troubled and turbulent times, let us always be inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan — and guided by the knowledge that he will continue speaking to us, urging us on towards the goals to which he dedicated his life and truly moved our world.

Thank you.

Bookmark the Spokesperson’s website: http://www.un.org/sg/en/spokesperson
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UNIC Windhoek introduce children’s storybook, Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals

 30 August 2018, Windhoek: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek launched its children’s storybook, Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN Library in Klein Windhoek on Thursday, 30 August 2018.

Speaking at the launch on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Ms Edda Bohn, Programme and Quality Assurance Director said, “The story book is an exciting way to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the message of sustainability resonate with an audience as young as 3 to 11 years of age.”

The Director, together with the Resident Coordinator to Namibia ad interim (a.i.) representative Mr. Bali Mankay Sankoh, World Food Programme Director officially launched the story book with media, teachers, UN colleagues, children and senior government officials.

The story is about a small girl called Frieda who goes on an exciting adventure learning about the SDGs. The book was created by UNIC Windhoek and is an important tool to be used to teach young children about the global goals.

Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals is a valuable tool for teachers to prepare the Namibian boy and girl child to take action for their future. “Frieda’s story is meant to capture the imagination of children and encourage them to bring about positive change starting from when they are small,” says UNIC Windhoek’s Head, Anthea Basson.

UNIC Windhoek will distribute the book to primary schools in Namibia, and it will be a welcome addition to formal and informal school libraries and book corners. The book is supplemented by a useful parent/teacher guide which explains difficult concepts and is aimed at sparking conversations about a sustainable future with children.

Storytelling is an integral part of the all-round development of the child. In pre-primary and primary schools, a large amount of curriculum time is dedicated to storytelling. The story is written in English, and UNIC Windhoek plans to translate in other local languages over the next two years. It is currently being reproduced by UNICs across the globe and is also being translated into the official UN languages at UN Headquarters.

The story of Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals has a universal message – we can all help achieve the SDGs no matter how young or old. Frieda’s mission is to spread the news about the SDGs, she calls for people to be bold and take action!

The illustrations and design were done by a Namibian woman, Nelett Loubser, owner and designer of a local graphic design agency in Namibia. Nelett cleverly and artistically used the SDGs as inspiration for Frieda’s patterned African dresses and she subtly brought in accents of Namibia to give the story a Namibian feel. She was instrumental in bringing to life the vision the Centre had for the creation of the main character – Frieda, a curious Namibian girl, who is eager to change Namibia and the world. Frieda’s bright eyes, curly hair and excitement to learn and make friends make her a relatable character to children from all walks of life.

Background information:

 In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the subsequent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGswere officially adopted by all 193 United Nations Member States including New Zealand. The SDGs replace the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from January 2016.

Model UN training session held at tertiary level

On the 27 June 2018 UNIC Windhoek held a training session tertiary level at the UN house where various participants from different tertiary institutions gathered to elevate their caucusing skills and above all comprehend the importance of research that drives a Model UN conference. In partnership with the University of Namibia (UNAM) Model UN Society, the president of the UN Model UN Society facilitated a training session on 27 June and 04 July 2018 for students from UNAM, Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), College for the Arts and University of Management (IUM) students.

The training session was officiated by MUN chairperson, Helena Kandjumbwa who guided the delegates through the Rules and procedure, geopolitical, cultural, and historical aspects of dealing with the member state allocated to the delegates. With the support of the Centre she delivered a robust session which motivated the delegates with inquisitive responses.

A conference for tertiary students is scheduled to take place during October this year.

 

UNIC staff donate blood

Blood provides life saving assistance to many people in need of blood. According to medical opinions, one donation of blood saves three lives and hence it is important that individuals donate blood. On an average the Human body is said to contain 4 to 5 litres of blood, of which can be donated after every third month for men and every four months for women.

Many people are involved in tragic accidents that leave them in a position where they are in an urgent need for blood.  Through the donation of blood, hospitals and clinics are able to have a stockpile of blood ready in case of any emergencies.  Donors are always asked to eat a substantial amount of food at least three hours prior to donating blood and drink lots of fluids after donating in order to help the body replenish its blood supply. Donors are also further asked not to take part in any form of exercise, and stay away from consumption of alcohol up until the body manages to replenish its supply.

On 15 June 2018 the United Nations staff turned out in numbers at the United Nations House, in Windhoek in order to take part in the blood drive organised by UN Cares. UN Cares works to ensure wellness for United Nations staff and thus is responsible for organising events that resonate with wellness. The UN staff members took part in the event with excitement, and were ready to donate a life through this selfless act. UNIC Windhoek’s small team also played their part and donated blood.

Blood is not only merely required in times of accidents or injuries but is required also for platelets and plasma required by patients. If an adequate amount of blood is available in a food bank, patients can be smoothly treated. Hence people should regularly donate blood to ensure an adequate availability of it when patients need it.

Importance of an Internship and interning at UNIC Windhoek

Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in your field of study. Internships are also a way to get your feet wet and find out if a specific field is something you could see yourself doing full-time.

On the 10th of July 2018, National Information Officer, Ms. Anthea Basson provided an overview of UNIC Windhoek’s internship opportunities during a mini workshop at the Namibia University of Technology (NUST). The engagement with 30 students provided in-depth overview of the different types of internship, internship conditions and skills that may be developed. A number of these skills are a crucial for a young professional for being independent, flexible and ingenious at work.

In addition, UNIC Windhoek internships opportunities provide an excellent way to gain experience and exposure to the workforce. Volunteering shows commitment to causes and certain values that are intrinsic to the individuals who have participated in these types of experiences.

The lecture included testimonies of a communication for development and graphic design intern.  The interns Joseph Bohbot and Christophine Kamati stressed that by doing a great job and completing more than what is required of them, will provide them with a great reference letter / report for future reference. The UNIC Windhoek internships are a great way to learn the ropes. The encouraged students to take full advantage of internship opportunities and don’t take the experience lightly. Asking questions is one key to learning in an internship and keeping yourself flexible throughout the internship can open many doors.

UN Staff participates in YOGA Day events

Yoga is a physical exercising activity that is used by multitudes of people in order to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. Yoga has numerous benefits that are important for an individual’s health. Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. Individuals that take part in yoga start to experience a gradual loosening of the muscles.

However apart from the improved flexibility, Yoga poses various additional health benefits such as; building muscle strength, perfects posture, prevents joint break down, protects spine, betters bone health and increases blood flow. This ensures that people are healthier, happy and breathing well. All these health benefits are important so that people are able to lead health and productive lives.

In light of this, the UN Cares coordinator in Namibia, saw it imperative to organise a yoga day, for the United Nations staff at the UN house in Windhoek. This was done prior to the celebration of the International Day of Yoga, celebrated annually on the 21st of June. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The day was first proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Address to the UN General Assembly. The Indian embassy in Namibia conducts, yoga classes every morning at the Indian embassy, free of charge to the public.

The Indian embassy in collaboration with UN Cares provided  UN staff members with an opportunity to take part in a special Yoga session, preceding the international Yoga day. The yoga session at the UN house drew more than 15 staff members that were joined by some members of the public that regularly take part in the Yoga sessions of the embassy. UNIC Windhoek staff also participated and commended the UN Cares team for a well organised session geared toward the mental and physical health of all staff.

UNIC Windhoek staff attend in house Women’s Leadership Series

The UNIC Windhoek ladies attended the first Women’s Leadership Series hosted by the Gender Theme Group, UN Namibia.  The aim of the series is to empower women leaders and foster greater gender responsiveness in the workplace. On Friday, 29 June 2018, UN staff members had the chance to engage with UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Rachel Odede and Managing Director of PWC Namibia, Nangula Uaandja.

Highlighting the importance of setting goals and establishing networks of supportive people who can help you attain these goals, Odede said, “You need to have a vision or a goal. If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t be there.”

Uaandja reminded our female staff members that you have to like what you’re doing to be successful. She explained that there are four different circles – your gifts, passions, burdens (things that irritate you that you want to change) and needs and opportunities around you. She said, “Where all these circles meet, that is your purpose and your career”.

UN staff members had a chance to ask Odede and Uaandja more about their career journeys as well as how they overcame challenges, such as gender inequality, in the workplace.

Through the Sustainable Development Golas (SDGs), specifically Goal 5, the UN aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Poverty, UN Humanitarian work and Urban development at Deutche Hohrere Privat Schule (DHPS)

On 28 June 2018, The United Nations Information Centre, (UNIC) Windhoek  was invitedd to join other stakeholders and technical experts to deliver presentations to grade ten learners at DHPs.  UNIC Windhoek was invited to present on poverty, humanitarian and urban development in Namibia.

The presentation formed part of the school’s annual two-day  programme,  which includes a field visit to the informal settlements in Katutura. The presentation day on day two provides stakeholders to present to young people on their programmes and mandates. Other presenters included the First Lady of Namibia’s “One Economy,” Physically Active Youth (PAY), Hans Seidel Foundation and many more.

 UNIC Windhoek was pleased to be part of this informative educational programme which afforded an opportunity to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals as well.It is the second year that the Centre has participated in this annual event with grade 10 learners.

The presentation outlined current statistics on the poverty rate in Namibia, coupled with direct or rhetorical questions to learners views on poverty; the different forms of poverty, approaches on how Namibia could maximize on natural resources as well as types of humanitarian responses with emphasis on World Food Programme (WFP) and the government’s school feeding programme. Statistics indicate that 5% of the population control 70 % of the wealth, while the poor only have control over 30% thereof. The United Nations Development Programme notes Namibia as having one of the highest levels of Inequality.

Urban development emphasized on the impacts of urban migration and the significance of constructing sustainable cities for the future. According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM) the urban population in Namibia grew by a staggering 49.7% between 2001 and 2011. IOM indicates that Namibia’s rural areas are expected to shrink between 2011 and 2041, while the urban population points toward a trajectory of 43% to 67% in 2041. The overall presentation was penned around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concentrating on no Poverty and Sustainable Cities and Communities. The presentation encouraged learners to engage in a brief discourse pertaining the topic to share their thoughts, comments and opinions.

 

#UN4U Concludes at Suiderhof Primary

The final  instalment of the UN4U educational outreach programme for the 2018 concluded at Suiderhof Primary School, 600 learners were  in attendance  from grades 4 to 7.

On the 27th of June 2018, UNIC Windhoek team presented “how the United Nations works for you.”  The presentation highlighted the history of the United Nations, the different organs of the United Nations and how the specialized agencies, work in order to advance the goals and mandate of the UN. This was followed by a screening of a short video that summarized the entire presentation. The learners were introduced to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and lay the foundation on how they can contribute to the achievement of the global goals in Namibia.

The success of this programme, extends and strengthens the existing partnership that already exists between the UNIC Windhoek team and Suiderhof Primary School. The team received a warm welcome from the school’s social science teacher Mrs Rene Linno and the principal of the school Mr Myburgh. During the question and answer session. Learners were rewarded with SDG branded bags, lanyards and pens.

At the end of the session, the school principal expressed his gratitude and appreciation on the presentation that was conducted by the UNIC team. The UNIC Windhoek team reached a total of over 1300 learners for the 2018 programme.