Author Archives: Mouton

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

On 11 February, the United Nations, partners worldwide, women and girls will mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Why does it matter?

Recent studies suggest that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist. While more girls are attending school than before, girls are significantly under-represented in STEM subjects in many settings and they appear to lose interest in STEM subjects as they reach adolescence. Debunking the myths that girls do not like the sciences and other and gender stereotypes, along with investment in teacher trainings, gender-responsive technology and innovation can reverse these trends.

With Sustainable Development Goal 9, part of the Global Goals that world leaders agreed to in 2015 with a deadline of 2030, countries around the world have pledged to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. Yet, a look at where funding is allocated a different picture. At present, only 1.7 per cent of the global GDP is dedicated for research and experimental development

As the fourth industrial revolution starts, women still have less than two-third of the economic opportunity that men have. The jobs of the future will be driven by technology and innovation, and if the gender divide in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is not bridged soon, the overall gender gap is likely to widen. Continue reading

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL REMARKS AT UNITED NATIONS HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEREMONY

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

REMARKS AT UNITED NATIONS HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEREMONY

New York, 28 January 2019

[as delivered]

We are here together to remember the victims of the Holocaust – the six million Jews and many others murdered during a period of unprecedented, calculated cruelty, when human dignity was cast aside for a racial ideology.

I extend a special welcome to the Holocaust survivors with us today, especially Mr. Marian Turski and Ms. Inge Auerbacher, who will share their testimony.

This International Day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp 74 years ago yesterday. I also pay tribute to the veterans here today for their role in bringing the war and Holocaust to an end.

Yesterday was, by the way, also the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad.  That prolonged the blockade — 872 days of siege, starvation and suffering – that was a horror within the horror. Continue reading

Work for a brighter future

New forces are transforming the world of work: Technological development. Climate change. Demographic shifts. Globalization.

These transitions call for decisive action. We need to seize the moment to unlock the opportunities that these changes bring.

The Global Commission on the Future of Work has undertaken an in-depth examination of the future of work. Its landmark report outlines the steps needed to achieve a future of work that provides decent and sustainable work opportunities for all.

This landmark report by the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work examines how to achieve a better future of work for all at a time of unprecedented change and exceptional challenges in the world of work.

Download the Report here:

https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_662410/lang–en/index.htm

2019 New Year’s Message by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Dear fellow citizens of the world,

I wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.

Last New Year, I issued a red alert, and the dangers I mentioned still persist. These are anxious times for many, and our world is undergoing a stress test.

Climate change is running faster than we are.

Geo-political divisions are deepening, making conflicts more difficult to resolve.

And record numbers of people are moving in search of safety and protection.

Inequality is growing. And people are questioning a world in which a handful of people hold the same wealth as half of humanity.

Intolerance is on the rise.

Trust is on the decline.

But there are also reasons for hope. 

The talks on Yemen have created a chance for peace.

The agreement signed in Riyadh in September between Ethiopia and Eritrea has eased long-running tensions and brought improved prospects to an entire region. 

And the agreement between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan has revitalized chances for peace, bringing more progress in the past four months than in the previous four years.

The United Nations was able to bring countries together in Katowice to approve the Work Programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Now we need to increase ambition to beat this existential threat.

It’s time to seize our last best chance.

It’s time to stop uncontrolled and spiraling climate change.

In recent weeks, the United Nations also oversaw landmark global agreements on migration and refugees, that will help to save lives and overcome damaging myths.

And everywhere, people are mobilizing behind the Sustainable Development Goals – our global blueprint for peace, justice and prosperity on a healthy planet.

When international cooperation works, the world wins.

In 2019, the United Nations will continue to bring people together to build bridges and create space for solutions.

We will keep up the pressure.

And we will never give up.

As we begin this New Year, let’s resolve to confront threats, defend human dignity and build a better future — together.

I wish you and your families a peaceful and healthy New Year.  

Good Practices, Success Stories and Lessons Learned in SDG Implementation – Call for Submissions

Submit your contribution!

Three years into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), many Governments, UN entities, international and regional organizations, Major Groups and other Stakeholders, are planning or have initiated evidence-based stock-taking of progress.

Where do we stand? Are we on track? What are the inspiring breakthroughs and success stories that are showing results and impacts? What are the good practices that can be replicated and scaled up? What are the gaps and constraints and how should we address them? Looking ahead, what steps should we take to accelerate progress?

These are among the questions that are under consideration. To help answer these questions, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is launching a call for submissions of good practices, success stories and lessons learned in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The submissions will be analyzed by a dedicated inter-agency team coordinated by UN DESA, and the results will be made available online for easy access and broad dissemination. Where applicable, the submissions can serve as inputs to thematic preparations for the 2019 sessions of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

An event will be organized in the lead-up to the 2019 HLPF convened under the auspices of the General Assembly to showcase a selection of the good practices and success stories and to present the main findings of the evidence-based stock-taking. It is hoped that the submission, collection, analysis and dissemination of good practices, success stories and lessons learned will help galvanize the momentum for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Submissions can be made between 1 November 2018 and 28 February 2019 by using a web-based portal. All are encouraged to follow the template to the extent possible. For queries, please email DSDG@un.org, at the Division for Sustainable Development Goals of UN DESA.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Visit: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs/goodpractices

Photo exhibition encourages youth to stand up for human rights

20 November, Windhoek: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek launched the #StandUp4HumanRights Photo Exhibition in collaboration with the Human Rights Documentation Centre of the University of Namibia (UNAM) on 20 November 2018.

The exhibition consists of images of the movers and shakers behind the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document for human rights which came to life in 1948. It sets the fundamental human rights to be universally protected for all people. The 70th Anniversary, being celebrated this year, is a chance for the world to celebrate this document and to reaffirm the enduring principles and standards it established.

Open to students and the public for a week at the UNAM Campus in Windhoek, the exhibition allowed visitors to reflect on the context of the Declaration and educate themselves on the extensive research done by the those who championed and formulated the document.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor John Baloro, officially opened the exhibition and delivered remarks on behalf of UNAM. He said, “The event exemplifies the University’s commitment to human rights. It also reminds us that the youth are the future and have the responsibility to uphold and ensure the promises as well as the fulfilment of this illustrious document.” Continue reading

Windhoek International School (WIS) SDG club visit the UN house

The WIS learners “Make the World a better place” through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), visited the UN house. The group buzzed with excitement as they toured the building, stopping by each agency and finding out which SDG relates to which UN agency in Namibia.

After the tour, the group made their last stop in the library where Anthea Basson from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek tested their understanding about the tour and provided more information about the United Nations and the SDGs. She expressed her gratitude to the young SDG advocates and their teacher for reaching out to UNIC Windhoek for teaching support on specific projects.

She encouraged them to continue their excellent work and learning process and most importantly to take action. Reminding them of their integral parts in working towards the achievement of the SDGs

The visit ended with a group photograph in front of the UN House.  The Centre were impressed with the elevated level of awareness and understanding the group has shown throughout the sessions.

The UNIC staff have facilitated several learning sessions with the school which involved children of all ages in an enriching experience to take action and providing complimenting resources for our SDG educational outreach programmes in Namibia.

UN Day #UnitedwithUNNamibia

On the 24th October, the United Nations (UN) in Namibia celebrated 73 years of existence under the theme #UnitedwithUNNamibia. This entailed visiting different community centres: The Humble Care Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre, the Katutura Old Age Home, the Central Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward and the International University of Management (IUM).

Since its formation, the UN’ s goals have been to protect human rights and ensure peace for all. In Namibia, the UN has established itself as a trusted partner in its fight against poverty and in the path towards sustainable development. While challenges remain, Namibia has made great strides in line with national and international development agendas.

Reiterating the UN’s support in addressing these challenges, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Rachel Odede said, “Our partnership framework with the Government, the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) 2019-2023, outlines our plan of action to ensure that we eradicate poverty and inequality. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also clear, we must end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all.”

Odede visited the ECD with colleagues from the UN and the Ministry of Education. Giving children a solid foundation in the early years is the best investment society can make in ensuring they succeed in life. The UN donated educational materials to help build that foundation, as well as healthy snacks, two trees and a pledge to donate a water tank. The children also learned about the importance of sanitation, how and when to wash their hands properly. Continue reading

WIS children think of ideas to #EndPoverty

The UNIC team visited Windhoek International School for a second time on 15 October 2018. This marked their continuing support toward the school’s activity ‘Make the world a better place’, teaching children aged 6-11 about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim of the visit was to specifically point out actions and discuss ways the children could take action and create impact on different SDGs.

UNIC started the session with a ‘recycling exercise’, whereby they placed glass, aluminium and plastic objects across the classroom. Three differently marked bins were placed in front and the children had to put the objects in the right bin. The discussion that followed was about recycling and how it helps the planet, but also reduces poverty by saving resources. From there, the discussion turned to other ways to help save the world, and affect poverty reduction. Ideas included: saving water by turning off the taps when not directly using them, taking shorter showers, using leftover water for plants etc. The students were particularly intrigued with interesting facts e.g. reducing your shower by two minutes could save 37 litres of water!

Another idea presented was to start a school garden, or plant something in their own yard. The idea was to get the children to raise some sort of crop, and then collectively take them to a soup kitchen or feeding scheme. They would directly help SDG #1 and #2, install a sense of responsibility by looking after the plant, and feel proud upon seeing the result.

Finally, the discussion turned to different actions the school could take to directly address poverty reduction. Fundraising events such as bake sales, themed parties and competitions were all mentioned, as well as monthly collections of clothes, toys, school materials, books etc., that they could donate to a centre of their choosing. Both the students and their teacher, Ms. Nambiar, seemed excited to present these ideas to their school, and start contributing to the Global Goals.

Ms. Nambiar thanked the team for all the ideas and proactive discussion, and agreed with the students that the time to act is now. The school will likely commence with fundraising activities, and with planting crops before the end of the year. UNIC is excited to be a part of this process, and see how they progress in the future.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Secretary-General’s Message for 2018

Twenty-five years ago, the world commemorated the first International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since then, nearly 1 billion people have escaped poverty, thanks to political leadership, inclusive economic development and international cooperation.

However, many are still being left behind. Over 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. Many live in situations of conflict and crisis; others face barriers in accessing health care, education and job opportunities, preventing them from benefiting from broader economic development. And women are disproportionately affected.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, as embodied in Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, remains one of the greatest global challenges and a major priority for the United Nations.

This year, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice. There is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people.

We must listen to the millions of people experiencing poverty and destitution across the globe, tackle the power structures that prevent their inclusion in society and address the indignities they face. We must build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all and ensure that rapid technological development boosts our poverty eradication efforts. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty let us commit to uphold the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.

António Guterres