Category Archives: Uncategorized

#PeacePals: Namibians write letters about peace to South African students

DSC_0444The International Day of Peace, or #PeaceDay, is celebrated each year on 21 September and is dedicated ‘commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples’. In order to promote a culture of peace on an international scale, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek taught grade 7 learners at Ruimte Primary School in Rehoboth, Namibia about peace, and the students wrote letters to students in South Africa, serving as #PeacePals.

Diving into the presentation, UNIC Windhoek asked what peace means, and together, the learners provided a multidimensional definition. The learners raised their hands and mentioned that it means ‘non-violence’, ‘love’ and ‘when people get along’.

PeacePals 12Then, the topic switched to why peace is important. The learners listened intently as the UNIC Windhoek team explained that peace prevents unnecessary disputes and conflicts from happening and with that, ensures that people are not put in danger. Peace also promotes development and creates long-lasting, friendly relationships.

The students then learned that there are many organisations across the globe that promote peace, including the United Nations and its various agencies. Specifically, through the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, men and women from different countries are sent to areas where there is conflict in order to help the local governments establish peace and security with the aim of creating a safer and healthier environment for all people living in that area. Continue reading

#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Senior Legal Aid Officer Jozanne Klazen

Jozanne, WCWEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments. This Wednesday, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Jozanne Klazen, a Senior Legal Aid Officer at the Directorate: Legal Aid of the Ministry of Justice.

In an interview with UNIC Windhoek, Jozanne discusses her career, how law can be used to promote gender equality and the importance of women’s empowerment.

Check out her interview!

1.) Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career?

I completed my Bachelors of Laws (LL.B) degree in 2012 at the University of the Free State, in the Republic of South Africa. During my undergraduate studies, I was a tutor for Legal Practice and Legal Skills and was asked to coach the first and second year students in oral arguments and writing. I was also responsible for designing a tutor’s guide that entailed designing flow charts to display legal processes and step-by-step instructions for assignments. This experience afforded me the skills to train and work with a large group of people from diverse backgrounds. Continue reading

#UN4U: Gammas Primary School pupils want to spark change in Namibia

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On Tuesday, 16 August 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek Team set out for Gammas Primary School in Khomasdal, Windhoek, excited to bring the #UN4U to another school in the capital city.

The UNIC Windhoek team was welcomed by the principal and was escorted to the hall, where the students were already assembled waiting with excitement for the UNIC Windhoek team to arrive and for the presentation to commence.

EDSC_0349The presentation started with a brief introduction of the United Nations, with a special look at its establishment and the work it does. Because the information in this part of the presentation is mostly fact-based, there has not been a lot of participation at the previous 6 schools that took part in the #UN4U program. However, this was not the case with the learners at Gammas Primary School.

The students confidently answered questions concerning the establishment of the UN as well as who the Secretary-General is, and some of them even shared with the team that they wanted to grow up to be the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

EDSC_0301This immense engagement with the students was only a sign of bigger things to come, as the learners were so excited that their hands were up in the air the entire time throughout the second half of the presentation.

The students not only answered questions the UNIC Windhoek team posed to them, but also asked the team very interesting questions such as; ‘If the rich were to give to the poor would this lessen the gap between the rich and the poor?’ and, ‘Is education the way to go?’ One of the learners, who had an immense understanding of history, spoke about colonialism and how this contributed to poverty.

EDSC_0313When asked how they will help achieve the SDGs, the learners shared their plans of choosing a career through which they can make a difference in the lives of those around them. One learner confidently stood up and said, “I would like to study medicine and become a good doctor so that I can open my own hospital and help people.”

The social studies teachers came up to the presenters afterwards and complimented them on a job well done. The UNIC Windhoek team, impressed by the learners’ level of discipline and knowledge, praised the pupils.

Up-to-date, the #UN4U program has reached primary level students at seven different schools across Windhoek. Not only did students increase their knowledge of the United Nations, but these students have been inspired to bring about change and to achieve the SDGs. Encouraged by the positive reception of the #UN4U program, UNIC Windhoek plans to bring similar initiatives to schools in the future.EDSC_0387

Secretary General’s message on International Day of Yoga 2016

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA

21 June 2016

yoga-logoYoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and is now practiced in various forms around the world.  The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga balances body and soul, physical health and mental well-being.  It promotes harmony among people, and between ourselves and the natural world.  Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

This year’s observance of the International Day of Yoga highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 United Nations Member States. Continue reading

#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates MUNNAM 2012 Best Overall Speaker, Eulalia Joseph

Eulalia Joseph- WCW QuoteEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (Windhoek) celebrates women through its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen social media campaign. With the two-day Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) 2016 Conference starting Wednesday 8 June, this week UNIC Windhoek celebrates Eulalia Joseph, the recipient of the Best Overall Speaker award at the 1st MUNNAM Conference in 2012.

Meet Eulalia Joseph, as she reflects on her journey…

Hi, I’m Eulalia, a 21 year old aspiring charted accountant at the University of Cape Town. My life presents a different challenge everyday and with that comes the opportunity to defy all odds and rise to the end of every day. I’m made of dreams and determination, and I’m driven by the desire to own an empire. In my free time you are likely to find me at the university’s debating union or indulging in photography. I took time in high school to find where my passions lie by partaking in everything from basketball to chess to drumming but I ended up enjoying and committing to  the Model United Nations club at St. Paul’s College, Windhoek. I continue to participate in Model United Nations conferences offered at university level which is testament to the fact that once, a MUNer always a MUNer.

1.) Why did you choose participate in the Model UN programme when you were at high school?

It was a new initiative, and I knew very little about the United Nations, so naturally I was attracted to the challenge. Additionally, as an orator I was drawn to the idea of being able to speak about the issues that profoundly affect people all over the world.

2.) You were selected as Best Overall Speaker during 2012 MUNNAM conference, what did this mean to you?

More than feeling honoured and being happy, to this day the award is a symbol of a young girl becoming fully cognizant of her own potential. Continue reading

Practicum students learn about the Rwandan Genocide and Presentation Skills

RwandaOn the 10 May 2016, the high school practicum program participants covered two topics, communication skills (as part of the skills training in the programme) and the Rwanda Genocide as part of their human rights studies (UN work). The students kick started their morning with an exciting communication skills exercise.

They were tasked to research and present different communication skills and later demonstrate how to professionally and persuasively spread a message. The teams delivered presentations touching on negative and positive body language, the tone to use when giving a presentation and tips for a well-designed and interesting layout.  The exercise refreshed the students’ memory on how to properly deliver a presentation. Ms. Anthea Basson from UNIC Windhoek congratulated the presenters for improving their presentation skills compared to the days before leaving the students peppy and excited for new topics to come.

Rwanda1The communications component was followed by the UNIC team presenting on the Rwanda Genocide that took place in Rwanda during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. The team led the students through the chronological history of the genocide.

Based on this historical learning session, the students were divided into three groups and had to answer the following questions to gain a better understanding of the work of the UN at that time and the occurrences typically preceding and following a genocide. The questions read as follows: How could the outcome of the Rwandan Genocide have been different if the UN intervened quicker and more efficiently? What could the UN member states have done to prevent the Genocide from happening in the first place? What recommendations do you make that genocide does not appear in the future? Continue reading

#COP21 closing remarks of the Secretary General

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

REMARKS AT CLOSING OF COP21

Paris, 12 December 2015

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends/speaks at Opening of High-Level Segment of COP21.

Mesdames, Messieurs,

All my congratulations.

The Paris Agreement on climate change is a monumental triumph for people and planet

I know I speak for everyone in this room in applauding COP21 President Laurent Fabius and UNFCCC Executive-Secretary Christiana Figueres for their outstanding stewardship of these negotiations.

In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time.

That is why I have made it one of the defining priorities of my tenure as Secretary-General.

Over the past nine years, I have spoken repeatedly with nearly every world leader.

I have visited the climate front lines, from the Arctic to Antarctica and to the Amazon, from the Sahel to the Aral Sea.

I have been to Pacific Islands that are sinking under the waves.

Most of all, I have listened to people – the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous peoples, from every corner of the globe.

They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well-being and that of generations to come.

Here in Paris, we have heeded their voices – as was our duty.

Excellencies,

We have solid results on all key points.

The agreement demonstrates solidarity.

It is ambitious, flexible, credible and durable. Continue reading

2nd Visit to Namibia by Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs

visitMr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, was on a three-day official visit to the Republic of Namibia from 25-27 November, to exchange views with Namibian Head of State, H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob and Senior Government Officials on the possible establishment of a regional or political office in SADC.

Zerihoun elaborated on the UN’s plans to strengthen cooperation with the SADC Secretariat. The plans follow the signing of a partnership agreement last year.

The ASG, accompanied by Mr. Martinho Chachiua, Head of Department of Political Affairs, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Liaison Office in Gaborone, engaged in special briefing session with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) on Thursday, 26 November 2015 at the UN House in Klein Windhoek. Continue reading

UNU Jargon Buster Application available to download

​In our interconnected world, global discussions rely on a shared understanding of key concepts. The United Nations University (UNU) has developed a glossary app – the ‘UNU Jargon ​Buster’ that clarifies hundreds of social, political and economic terms. This fulfills one of the missions of UNU: to act as a bridge between the UN, academia and the general public.

​ The  Application  which is  (available for Android and Apple) was Launched on World Science Day for Peace and Development, 10 November 2015, at the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels, the app gathers knowledge and recommended resources from five UNU sites: in Belgium (UNU-CRIS), Iceland (UNU-GEST), Japan (UNU-IAS), Malaysia (UNU-IIGH), and the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT — the lead institute for this app).  The overarching idea is to make the UN more understandable to the general public, engage civil society and foster cooperation between all the components of the UN. The main website of the app is: www.merit.unu.edu/app

Adding further value, all terms are cross referenced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, International Health terms are grouped under SDG#3; Gender Equality terms are with SDG#5; Innovation with SDG#9; Environmental Sustainability with SDG#13; and Regional Integration with SDG#16. In fact most terms fall under more than one goal, demonstrating the cross-cutting nature of UNU’s work. Additionally, some terms are defined by different institutes from different angles: to reflect their expertise while giving the fullest picture possible.  Version 1.0 presents around 450 entries, including almost 200 terms (with definitions, references and further reading), plus over 250 acronyms from across the UN (most with hyperlinks). The app will be expanded in 2016 to include more UN acronyms and more UNU terms, covering peace and governance, global development and environmental sustainability. We aim to scale up by a factor of 10 within a year: to become a comprehensive ‘metaglossary’.

​The App was launched at the United Nations Regional Information Center in Brussels and, thus far, it has been discussed in Social Media by the President of the UNGA, the main UN Twitter –with 5,4 million followers, UN Library and, of course, all the UNU contributing institutes. The number of people downloading it is increasing as well.

UNCT tweet during #AsktheUN live twitter session

IMG_4763In line with the UN System in Namibia’s UN70 commemorative activities, a live twitter session, using the hashtag #AsktheUN was held in collaboration with the Namibian newspaper on Friday 30 October 2015 from 10h00 – 12h00. Participating in the twitter session was the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Agency representatives from IOM, UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, WFP AND FAO. The United Nations Country Team in Namibia were engaged in a two hour question and answer session with the general public, providing the UN a platform to interact with the broader public and answering questions related to all spheres of the UN System’s mandate in Namibia. Continue reading