Staff members from agencies, funds and programmes comprising the United Nations System in Namibia (UN Namibia) were called together for the first town hall meeting of 2018, held under the theme: “Together we can bring about change in 2018”.
Staff were applauded for the achievements and hard work from the previous year, and encouraged to work even harder because the UN faces bigger challenges. The UN Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho expressed her gratitude to the UN Namibia family and was confident about the direction UN Namibia is headed toward ‘delivering as One’.
‘‘Going forward, we should look at the broader direction of where we can take Namibia, reposition the UN agenda 2030 and challenge ourselves’’, she said.
She reemphasised the appointment of Ms Bience Gawanas (UN Special Advisor on Africa), as an indication of full gender parity in the UN and a great opportunity to set and reinforce the programme of the UN in Namibia.
As part of the proceedings, staff members viewed the UN Secretary General (UNSG), António Guterres’ 2018 video message titled: “An alert for the world: 2018 Message.”
“As we begin 2018, I call for unity. I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together. I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals. Unity is the path. Our future depends on it. I wish you peace and health in 2018,” the UNSG said. The video can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2mo14in
Raturua Tjindere, UN Cares Coordinator for Namibia briefed staff about health screening programmes that were implemented during 2017 and urged to participate upcoming programmes to ensure that they are in good health. Screening programmes are a platform of preventative care to assist staff in detecting potential health risks at early stages as well as promote productivity and performance. Results showed that staff participation was very high during UN Cares’ interventions on health and wellbeing.
Hepatitis E Virus Outbreak in Namibia Update
Subsequently, an update on the progress to contain Hepatitis E was presented by Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses from WHO Namibia. He assured staff that measures to contain and combat the virus are in place. He praised the support that the affected community is receiving from partners, stakeholders and community leaders including programmes such as Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme on hygiene. In his brief, he highlighted the acts taken by all parties as an experience of ‘Harambee in action’. The joint effort of various UN agencies also speaks to ‘Harambee in action’, symbolising the UN ‘delivering as One’ as Namibia’s ‘partner of choice’.
Dr Charles urged staff to support the affected communities by practicing and promoting preventative measures that promote hygiene such as handwashing with soap.
UNICEF’s Mathilda Aukongo briefed staff on the upcoming UN Games for 2018; The 45th UN Interagency Games is scheduled to take place between 2-6 May 2018 in Italy and the SADC UN Games is scheduled for August-September 2018 in South Africa. She also provided an overview of the Federation of Staff Association of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies (FUNSA) and UN Namibia’s affiliation and role.
To promote good health and build a “delivering as ONE” bond among UN staff, a call was made to staff to participate in the games. There was a further call to establish UN Namibia games locally as well.
Finally, Ms Gbeho encouraged staff to incorporate all SDG goals in their action and to care and love intentionally to emulate the UN’s values. The town hall programme was directed by Chief of Communications for UNICEF Namibia, Judy Matjila.