Sustainable Development Goals welcome visitors to UN Namibia house

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are central to the work of the United Nations (UN). In Namibia, the SDGs are weaved into the country’s current national development plan, NDP5, demonstrating the national government’s unwavering commitment to work towards the greatest development agenda of our time.

At a historic UN summit on 25 September 25 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consisting of a set of goals that aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. These goals are a call to action for all countries to promote prosperity while also protecting the planet and resources.

 The UN House in Namibia houses agencies, programmes and funds which work in support of the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) in the areas of education, health, the environment, food security, gender equality and poverty.

 To promote public understanding and awareness of the 17 Goals, UN Namibia branded the different segments of the UN House boundary wall with one of the SDGs. The branded mural creates a striking, colourful display and heightens visibility for the landmark Global Goals – something that all citizens can embrace and inevitably help work towards.

 For these goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part, including you. Click here to learn more about the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

 

 

 

   

UNIC Windhoek partner with UNAM Model United Nations to host mock conference

In partnership with the University of Namibia Model United Nations Society,  United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek hosted the second Model United Nations (MUN) UNAM mock Conference  for 2017. The event was held at the United Nations (UN) House in Windhoek on 4th October 2017.

Model UN is an international programme where students simulate different organs of the UN, most notably the General Assembly. 

Under the guidance of UNIC Windhoek and the UNAM Model UN Society, participants deliberated over the following topic: “Addressing the social and economic consequences of religious intolerance.” Delegates debated and pointed out facts about religion and politics. In conclusion, the delegates pointed out that the only way to address the dispute between religion and politics is to educate people so as to familiarize them with the importance of respecting the next person’s religion

The debate concluded with an award ceremony acknowledging all participants, with special recognition given to the best speaker, as well as best overall delegate of the session. The president of the UNAM Model UN Society was pleased that the newly established Model UN Society continues to grow from strength to strength.

#MondayMenu: 2 – 8 October 2017

UN Namibia: What’s happening at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 2 – 8 October 2017.

UN Namibia and government partners will be participating in a training on the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) Programming Principles from 2-4 October. The training is aimed at providing the UN-GRN team with the tools and techniques to drive the process of developing the UNPAF 2.0 for the period of 2019-2023, the second joint partnership framework between the UN and GRN.

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. It is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1AUPAkK

The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1EjzW71

UNESCO Windhoek Office will be participating in the Inauguration of RAID FM Community Radio in Rundu on 3 October.

The University of Namibia (UNAM) Model United Nations society in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek will be hosting the Tertiary Level End of Semester Model UN Mock Conference on 4 October.

UNESCO will be celebrating International Teachers’ Day in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) on 5 October. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2dtCo79

UNIC Windhoek promotes literacy at Okahandja Secondary School

Okahandja, 24 September: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek handed over a donation of books to Okahandja Secondary School as a way to increase literacy among the youth.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 ‘Quality Education’, the book donations will ensure that the youth have access to information they need to succeed. Through reading, young people can expand their knowledge, becoming empowered and educated, and can position themselves to be employable in the future. Accessible, quality education accelerates poverty reduction and reduces inequalities.

The donation of the books occurred at the end of the Prosperous Paths outreach, UN Namibia’s programme aimed at raising awareness of gender equality and empowering young women, which took place at the school the same day, 24 September 2017.

UNIC Windhoek also handed over a poster with the 17 SDGs for the school to hang up. The National Information Officer, Anthea Basson encouraged the learners to use the resources availed to them to expand their knowledge and to use that knowledge to bring about change in their communities.

Basson also informed the learners that UNIC Windhoek’s library, located in at the UN House in Windhoek, is open for them to visit and expand their knowledge of the UN.

 

UN Namibia empowers young females to follow #ProsperousPaths

Okahandja, 24 September: The UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) discussed issues of the girl-child and gender inequality with over 200 learners at Okahandja Secondary School through the Prosperous Paths: Empowering the Namibian Girl-Child programme.

As part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN is working towards achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, in line with SDG Goal 5. Through a variety of programmes, including Prosperous Paths, UN Namibia aims to motivate and inspire the youth to follow their dreams and to be empowered and educated in order to be employable tomorrow.

After successfully engaging with over 5,000 girls in Windhoek in 2016, UN Namibia has begun to roll out Prosperous Paths in Namibia’s regions, starting with Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa region. Urging the female learners to use their unique talents and voices to bring about change, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho encouraged the learners to, “Take space, be prepared and dare to be different”.

The motivated group of learners took space at the event, using their voices to suggest solutions for issues impacting their communities, including gender inequality, poverty, teenage pregnancy and sexual violence. Highlighting the importance of education, one learner said that women and vulnerable groups should be empowered through various educational campaigns.

Another learner emphasised that sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education needs to start at home, with open conversations between parents and their children. Likewise, a learner mentioned that conversations about sexual violence and gender equality need to happen with boys and men from an early age.

Gbeho, impressed by the students, encouraged them to follow their dreams and find their #ProsperousPaths. “You all have the potential to make a difference. Success will come from you deciding that you will succeed against all odds,” she said.

Tourists pine for authentic flare of Namibia

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2017, commemorated annually on 27 September, and the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development are two observances that raise awareness of how sustainable tourism can contribute to development. These observances are especially relevant in Namibia where tourism is one of the largest contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.

Due to its warmer climate, rich cultural history, abundant biodiversity and impressive landscapes, the tourism industry in Namibia has a comparative advantage to other industries. This has allowed for steady growth in the sector, resulting in increased revenue and job creation and subsequently impacting the livelihoods of many Namibians.

Namibia’s cultural tourism is a fairly fresh concept for visitors that have traditionally flocked to the country hoping to embark on an eco-lodge holiday or a coastal expedition to see the endless dunes. Tour companies offer home stays, camping accommodations and the chance to experience traditional craft-making, story-telling, activities and cuisine of local tribes. The overall experience offers a glimpse into the vibrant and ancient traditions of tribal groups in Namibia.

Cultural tourism provides an excellent opportunity to expand Namibia’s tourism sector in a new and distinctive way; however, this form of tourism is not without its drawbacks. Cultural tourism carries a very hefty responsibility—as it does in any country rich in history and diversity. It requires that governments constantly take stock of the advancements happening in its most well-preserved cultural communities and exercise a reflexive self-awareness as these sensitive communities develop and are subsumed into the hustle and bustle of the tourism sector. Continue reading

Messages of Peace from Jakarta to Windhoek

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.

“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

To commemorate this day, the United Nations Information Centre Windhoek facilitated an innovative #PeacePals programme, where five schools in Windhoek wrote post cards to their peers in Jakarta, sending a message of peace and what it means to them. Today, UNIC Windhoek distibuted the post cards received from Jakarta to the Namibian learners on peace and its fundamental role in our lives.

The UNIC team visited  the participating schools to deliver the messages of Peace  sent from Jakarta.  The first delivery was to the Waldorf Private School. The team also visited the Windhoek Technical High School, Academia Secondary School, Windhoek International School and Jan Mohr Secondary School.

The learners were very excited to read from their Jakarta #PeacePals friends who left their e-mail  and social media handles allowing the students to keep in touch. This serves the main purpose of the #PeacePals project which is to create a platform through which students can connect with students from other countries and share their views on world peace.  

Read Namibia and UN Namibia encourage children to read

The United Nations System in Namibia (UN Namibia) handed over books to children and reiterated the importance of literacy at Read Namibia’s UN Plaza Readathon on 16 September 2017.

Read Namibia, which aims to educate young learners and give them the skills and knowledge needed to become global citizens, is made up of a diverse group of partners including the Association of Diplomatic Spouses (ADS), the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the University of Namibia (UNAM).

Speaking at the Readathon, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho highlighted the importance of reading and attributed her success to literacy. “I am where I am today because of reading,” she stated.

The UNRC further explained what the UN is and its work in Namibia. Literacy and quality education has been on the forefront of the UN’s development agenda globally and in Namibia. Specifically, Goal 4 ‘Quality Education’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to increase literacy around the globe by 2030 and through the Education and Skills Pillar of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) 2014-2018, the UN works with Government to address education challenges.

To get the crowd excited about reading, the UNRC read How the Giraffe Got So Tall by Abby Long to the children.

Maria Hiwilepo, a pilot for Air Namibia, also spoke at the event, encouraging the children to follow their dreams, work hard, stay in school and have the foresight to think ahead towards their future.

Following the speeches, the children read books in groups, wrote their own stories and played word games. The children received donated books as prizes and gifts to take home from UN Namibia, which were the result of a UN Staff book drive held the week before.

Read Namibia collaborates with volunteers from Embassies and High Commissions in Namibia, local libraries, schools and private sector partners to host reading events and donate reading materials to young learners. While inspiring a love of reading in the younger generation, Read Namibia hopes that it can help combat illiteracy and promote quality education in an effort to transform Namibia into a knowledge-based society.

#MondayMenu: 18 – 24 September 2017

UN Namibia: What’s happening at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 18 – 24 September 2017.

UNESCO is commemorating World Heritage Week, 18-24 September, in collaboration with several stakeholders across the country. World Heritage Week encourages the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Under operative paragraph 17 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/268, a Treaty Body Capacity Building Programme was established within the Office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide technical support to member States. In line with this resolution, the OHCHR Treaty Body Capacity Building Programme, Regional Office for Southern Africa is providing technical assistance to Namibia in the development of a human rights recommendations action plan.

OHCHR is supporting a Training of Trainers on Human Rights Treaty Body Reporting this week, 18-21 September 2017. The training is organised by the Ministry of Justice and is targeting members of the Namibia Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

UNESCO is hosting a Training Workshop for Life Skills Teachers on 19-21 September 2017 in the Zambezi Region.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” Learn more: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

World Heritage Week: 18-24 Sept.

UNESCO/Stakeholders

Training of Trainers on Human Rights Treaty Body Reporting: 18-21 Sept.

Ministry of Justice/OHCHR

Training Workshop for Life Skills Teachers: 19-21 Sept.

UNESCO

International Day of Peace: 21 Sept.: UN International Observance

Windhoek International School Children learn about their rights

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with UNICEF Namibia, held a presentation at the UN house on 13 September 2017 about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.   Approximately 40 learners aged between eight and ten from Windhoek International school attended the presentation.

The presentation covered the importance of children’s rights which includes empowering children to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of others as they act to promote justice for peace.

Children were briefed on their responsibilities to know their rights. They have the right to quality education, health care, to a name and nationality as well as the right to freedom of expression. The Children displayed extraordinary engagement and interest in learning about the presentation and the rights they are entitled to.

One child stood up and told the audience that she has the right to equality. “To be treated fairly and with respect and also treat others equally and with dignity”. A child has the right to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. They have the right to food, shelter, clean water and to be able to participate in the society as individuals.

The presentation was based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession recession by General Assembly and is also known as Resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. The Government of Namibia adopted it on the 28 September 1990.

The presenters created an atmosphere for the children to engage and participate and ensured that the Children’s Rights are deeply rooted in their minds. Children learned that they have the right to a meaningful life with proper guardians and people who care for them. They learned about how they have the right to, an identity, an official record of who they are, to play, to rest and to have privacy.

The presentation covered the important ways children are protected from abuse and extortion. Emphasis was also placed on children to speak their minds and share their opinions in ways that do not offend or harm others.

At the conclusion of the presentation, learners were presented with scenarios that provided an overview of violations of their rights. They were encouraged to review their rights and discuss ways in which the scenarios violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In its totality, the presentation taught the children about their rights, to speak up for themselves and to seek help from their guardians when they think their rights are being violated. The young learner’s engagement showed that they were already very familiar with their rights and well prepared to take on the responsibility of protecting and harboring their rights and those of their peers.