UN in Zimbabwe participates in the ZIBF 2014

ZIBF 2014

Students were among those that visited the UNCT  stand at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair

Almost 2 000 people visited the United Nations (UN) Country Team in Zimbabwe Pavilion, during the Zimbabwe International Book-Fair (ZIBF) 2014 held in Harare from the 30th of July to the 2nd of August.

Among them were publishers, booksellers, writers, librarians, school teachers, students (primary, secondary and university), researchers, government officials and members of the public.

The UN Country Team in Zimbabwe participated in the exhibition alongside 52 exhibitors — 46 local and 6 international — and the pavilion was manned by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Harare.

Publications from a number of the UN agencies were displayed and distributed during the Book Fair. The publications were mainly popular with educational institutions like primary and secondary schools, university and public libraries, researchers and government officials.

Primary and secondary schools were mainly interested in the history and structure of the UN which is part of their syllabuses. University students doing Political Science, Law and International Relations were more interested in publications like the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Basic Facts about the UN, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Human Development Reports.

Second Model UN held in the Parliament of Zimbabwe

Model UN

Neeraj Madzivanyika of Pinewood High School, General Assembly President (Model UN)

The United Nations in Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe United Nations Associations on Friday, July 4 held a Model United Nations in the Parliament of Zimbabwe focusing on Maternal Health, MDG target and the post 2015 agenda.

Twenty-two high schools from Harare participated in the debate representing 22 countries that included Angola, Australia, China, Russia, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Speaking at this event, UN Resident Coordinator ad interim Reza Hossaini commended the students for focusing on this topic.

“A theme like this for the Model UN shows that the UN system is more than Security Council and the Department of Peace Keeping Operations! The UN is very much about saving lives and changing lives for the better. And we strongly believe that the foundation of a peaceful and secure world in the future is built upon improved quality of lives for all and equity in access to basic services,” he said.

He added that by choosing a theme like this, “you are giving a voice to an issue that doesn’t often get talked about and captured by the media”. Speaker of the Senate of Zimbabwe Edna Madzongwe commended the holding of a Model UN, saying it helped bring the organization closer to the people on the ground.

“The United Nations should not be a remote institution far removed from the realities of our local challenges and experiences; rather it should be an opportune platform where our localized common problems are given a global amplified voice and greater urgency of concerted action.

She said the Model UN debate “creates and raises awareness amongst our junior citizens on the pertinent common global challenges and gets them to engage at a level where they will become responsible citizens endowed with a global mind-set.”

The students’ debate was of a high level and highlighted issues pertaining to the topic Maternal Health, MDG target and the post 2015 agenda.

For more of the RC’s speech click here .

UNICS Commemorate Drugs Day

WEBEX DRUGS NHAPI

Ernestine Nhapi, Vice Chairperson of Zimbabwe Institute for Drug and Alcohol Combating (ZIDAC) and Detective Assistant Inspector Makina of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Drugs, Zimbabwe Republic Police making their contributions to the WEBEX discussion. 

On 10 July, United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) Harare and Nairobi, and UNIS Vienna connected via WEBEX to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The commemoration, which was facilitated via WEBEX – a UNIC-driven internet connectivity that allows participants to engage in discussions across borders and continents – took the form of a discussion focusing on youth drug abuse and culminated in the participants suggesting possible solutions to curb drug abuse.

Participants to the discussion included UNODC staff, experts on drugs issues, youth, teachers, police and NGOs dealing with drugs. Eshila Maravanyika, Deputy Director UNIC Nairobi facilitated the session, inviting contributions from each of the participating UNICs.

The contributions revealed that the main causes of drug abuse by young people emanated mostly from peer pressure, academic workloads within schools, colleges and universities, the problem of absentee parents and the general environment surrounding the youth.

“Most young people always use drugs to ‘feel high’, as they call it nowadays, meaning out of oneself,” said one of the students in Vienna adding, “If one uses drugs they claim to forget about all their problems.”

Another university student from Zimbabwe said “youths always use drugs as a way of meeting the targets of their workloads, especially in universities where the curriculum demands a lot of work. They end up using marijuana because it makes the brain work faster and better since it gives one a lot of strength.”

Up to 200, 000 die every year due to illicit drugs, Yury Fedotov Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control (UNODC) said in his 2014 Statement to mark the Day. He explained that drugs do not just affect the user, they cause tremendous hardship and misery to families and loved ones. 

Ernestine Nhapi, Vice Chairperson of Zimbabwe Institute for Drug and Alcohol Combating (ZIDAC) concurred adding “Drug abuse does not only affect the user, but the country as a whole because it slows down the economic development of a country.”

She added that, in order to promote a society free from drugs we have to solicit commitment from the government, to have confidence to confront organizations that produce alcohol, encourage the youth to participate in awareness that promotes a drug-free society and work closely with the media so that they broadcast effective messages.

Cannabis is the most widely-abused drug among young people, mostly because it is cheap to purchase. Other drugs such as cocaine and heroin are also popular. According to Detective Assistant Inspector Makina of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Drugs, Zimbabwe Republic Police, some young people are also abusing cough syrups as they are cheaper and more easily accessible.

Those caught abusing drugs are however arrested and prosecuted, Makina explained.

Sadly, statistics produced by UNODC indicate that only one out of six people using drugs is able to get professional help.

“There is no justification for abuse of drugs,” Alex Njeru an official from the National Agency for Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) Kenya, said. He stressed that young people should avoid being idle and use their energy positively.

Preventive measures proposed by the participants included good parenting, dialoguing, having mentors, and encouraging young people to start and participate in clubs. The youths were also urged to use the media, such as electronic, print and the social media constructively.

Staff from UNODC said their office was designing a programme that will bring together stakeholders that include parents, teachers and the students to fight the menace effectively.

“On the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, I urge the international community to strengthen its efforts to confront illicit drugs as an integral element in building a safe and sustainable future,” United Nations General Secretary, Ban ki-Moon said in his message to mark this Day.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking serves as a reminder of the goals agreed to by Member States of creating an international society free of drug abuse. By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

 

 

 

 

 

Over 1500 visit the UN in Zimbabwe Stand

ZITF GUGU

Gugu ( in checked blouse) was one of the people to visit the United Nations stand in Bulawayo and to enquire what the UN has done for Zimbabwe.

Over 1500 people visited the United Nations in Zimbabwe stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) held in Bulawayo 22-26 April 2014.

On display were a variety of books drawn from all UN agencies. These included the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) 2012-2015, the latest MDG Report 2012, Charter of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Development Report and the Basic Facts about the United Nations. One of the more popular books was the African Economic Outlook 2013.

ZITF MOTHER AND DAUGHTER

A mother and her daughter collect information from the UN in Zimbabwe stand.

The exhibition provided an opportunity for the UN to disseminate information about its work in Zimbabwe and to answer questions raised by those that visited the stand. Many people wanted to know what the UN has achieved in Zimbabwe and specifically in Bulawayo, how to get a job in the United Nations and also how to be a UN Volunteer.

ZITF CUBICLE

Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC assists people during the ZITF.

UNIC’s National Information Officer Tafadzwa Mwale was among the UN Communications Group (UNCG) members manning the stand. The team used the opportunity to raise awareness about the work of the UN in Zimbabwe and emphasized that all UN work is implemented within the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF).

ZITF CHARTER

A man flips through the United Nations Charter at the United Nations in Zimbabwe stand during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair held recently.

 

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is one of the key business development sector trade shows in Zimbabwe attracting over 700 exhibitors. It is held annually in Zimbabwe and attracts business people from all over the world. President Robert Mugabe officially opened the ZITF which was also attended by Vice President Joice Mujuru and other government ministers. More photographs can be viewed on https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mqfo14rc8at8nau/5Mp5IYP6-0

It’s Makadii, Linjani on International Mother Language Day

MLD GROUP

Students who participated in the Mother Language Day discussion held between UNIC Lagos and UNIC Harare 

Students from Harare greeted their Nigerian counterparts in the local Ndebele and chiShona languages on Friday 21 February, saying Makadii and Linjani. This was a rare moment for most of the pupils drawn from five schools in Harare Metropolitan Province, who were brought together  to discuss with their Nigerian counterparts via an Internet Connectivity enabled by Webex at the United Nations Information Centre, Harare.

MLD2

Some of the students who participated in the Webex run discussion held on 21 February in the UNIC Boardroom. 

The occasion was International Mother Language Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity alongside multi-lingualism as a force for peace and sustainable development. The topic under discussion was Local Languages for global citizenship: Spotlight on Science, which was the global theme for the Day.

MLD 1

Tafadzwa Mwale, National Information Officer of UNIC briefing the pupils before the connection with Nigeria and New York. 

Over 4 000 kilometers away in Lagos Nigeria, students responded singing the Yoruba folk-song, ‘Iya ni wura iyebiye, Iya ko see f’owo ra’ – translated they were saying -‘A mother is a gem… a mother is priceless.’

The hour-long Internet Connectivity enabled students from the two countries to discuss the theme and other issues related to local languages.

The students from Zimbabwe, who came from Pinewood High School, Mabvuku High School, Kambuzuma 2 High School, Glen Norah 2 High School and Highfield High School, highlighted the fact that language gives one identity. They explained that they enjoyed speaking in their local language as it enabled them to express themselves well.

But Rufaro Mudimu, a student studying Peace and Conflict Studies at Solusi University, Zimbabwe and one of the guests present at this event said use of mother language can also discriminate: “Mother Language is very key because it gives you your identity. But, if I write in my language how many people will understand me? If I exchange e-mails in our language, how many people will understand me apart from those who speak my language. So in another way, mother language can also discriminate,” she said.

MLD 3 Partners speak

Rufaro Mudimu, a student studying Peace and Conflict Studies at Solusi University, Zimbabwe makes her contribution. Standing next to her is Faithful Mazodza, a reporter/presenter with Star FM, one of the radio stations in the country.

Both Harare and Lagos highlighted the limitations of local languages especially when it comes to science and technology. For example, they could not find local language translations for words such as programme or radio.

Highfield High School 2 teacher, Mr Makanda explained that some of the words used in ChiShona and Ndebele are borrowed from English words simply because they do not exist in the local languages. He gave the example of the word dear (expensive) which is kudhura in ChiShona.

As such, technology needs to consider local languages in order for it to be relevant.

This collaboration, which was the first of its kind on International Mother Language Day, was made possible through the use of webex – a video conference between the two cities and thanks to the initiative of staff at the UN Department of Public Information, New York which is using this technology to promote dialogue among the 63 UNIC offices that cover all continents. 

The students took it in turns to read the statement of the UN Secretary General to mark International Mother Language Day 2014. In his statement, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon encouraged all to ‘join forces to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism as a key element in our efforts to build a better world and a life of dignity for all.

World Radio Day 2014: Women’s Voices dominate airwaves

The voices of women dominated the airwaves on Zimbabwe’s radios on February 13th, as the country’s broadcasters came together to celebrate World Radio Day under the theme Gender equality and Women Empowerment in Radio.

WORLD RADIO DAY.1

The voice of Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC Harare National Information Officer, joined those of countless other women on Radio, as UNIC and Zi-FM, one of the country’s radio stations – partnered in commemorating World Radio Day. Tafadzwa was on ZiFM’s live Ignition programme that runs from 6am to 7 am, talking about World Radio Day, its background, theme and activities for the day.

She also talked about the United Nations Information Centre, explaining that it is the information arm of the United Nations, mandated to spread information on the work of the organization through various means.

WORLD RADIO DAY.2

For Thursday 13th February, ZiFM station was managed by women presenters who also had female guests discussing issues to do with gender equality and women empowerment. Female presenter ‘Misread’ used the opportunity to give glaring statistics on the gender disparities in radio broadcasting, highlighting for example, that ‘only 1 in 5 female voices on radio are women and that women make up a minor percentage of sources of information quoted on radio.

“Radio must be gender sensitive,” said Tafadzwa Mwale to Zi-FM listeners tuned in to the Ignition programme. Statistics provided by ZiFM state that the radio station has a listenership estimated to be over 1 million. The Ignition programme is the most popular show with over 38, 987 listeners.

WORLD RADIO DAY.3

ZiFM is the first privately-owned radio station in Zimbabwe.

Apart from the radio interview, the Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO organized a formal celebration in partnership with various stakeholders at Africa Unity Square, Harare. The commemoration started with a procession through town. This was followed by speeches from female broadcasters representing National FM, Star FM, Power FM, Spot FM Zi-FM and Radio Zimbabwe.

Professor Luc Rukingama Director and UNESCO Representative read the statement of the UN Secretary General and that of the UNESCO Director General.

In his statement, the UN Secretary General said the ‘airwaves frequently lagged behind when it comes to gender equality’ and urged radio stations to be more ‘inclusive by equally recognizing women in their staff and in the audience.’ He said radio can also help dismantle stereotypical and imbalanced programming.

The Keynote address was given by the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira who explained that the Government of Zimbabwe recognizes the importance of radio. Already, the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services has taken the effort to revive the radio industry in Zimbabwe by encouraging interested groups to apply for regional radio licences. However, he lamented the few number of women who had applied for the licences.

The event was attended by over 400 people who included male and female journalists, government officials, UN staff and the general public.

WEDNESDAY@UNIC PUBLIC DISCUSSION FORUM

UNIC Harare a hub for dialogue on MDG’s

IMG_3581

Dr David Okello WHO Representative in Zimbabwe

With only about 700 days left to the target date for MDGs, there has been good progress in the fight against HIV, Malaria and TB, but MDG targets related to child and maternal health are lagging behind in Zimbabwe and across Africa, Dr. David Okello, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Zimbabwe has said.

Noting that the debates on the Post-2015 Development Agenda arise from reflections on progress made in the implementation of the MDGs, Dr. Okello emphasized that the health MDGs “must remain central to the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.

Speaking at the Wednesday@UNIC Public Discussion Forum on “Health and MDGs in the Post 2015 Development Agenda”, Dr Okello said, “Pregnancy is not a disease, and women should not die from preventable pregnancy-related complications.”

IMG_3589

Part of the crowd that attended the Discussion held in the UNIC Library

The target on maternal health aims to reduce maternal mortality ratio by three quarters. However, the situation in Zimbabwe is bleak as 960 pregnant women are dying for every 100 000 live births.

The Wednesday@UNIC Public Discussion Forum held in the UNIC Library has become a popular hub for discussing and debating progress in implementing the MDGs. The Forum provides public space for UN Heads of Agencies to update the media, donors, international development agencies, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, and members of the general public on progress in the Millennium Development Goals in Zimbabwe, as well as updates and debates on the ongoing regional and global discussions on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

IMG_366612

A woman poses a question during the Wednesday@UNIC Public Discussion Forum held at UNIC on 29 January 2014  

It is the only regular public forum promoting public debates in the progress towards attaining the MDGs in Zimbabwe as well as discourse on topical development and humanitarian issues.

So far, UNIC Harare in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and the UN Communications Group in Zimbabwe facilitated over eight sessions of “Wednesday@UNIC” public discussions featuring UN Heads of Agencies in Zimbabwe and drawing 60-70 participants per session since its inception in 2012.

Featuring as a guest speaker at the Wednesday@UNIC on reducing Hunger & Malnutrition in Zimbabwe on 18 September 2013, WFP Representative, Sory Ouane said, “I really enjoyed the Wednesday@UNIC discussions and debate, it provides you with unique opportunity to interact with policy makers and grassroots in one platform”. On her part, former UN Women Representative in Zimbabwe, Hodan Addou, who spoke on the topic of “ensuring gender equity and equality for sustainable development”, noted “Wednesday@UNIC has become instrumental in fostering public dialogue between the UN, development partners and members of the public on pertinent development topics.”

Discussions at the “Wednesday@UNIC” have been widely covered by print and electronic media.

UPCOMING

  • Training for Rural Economic Empowerment:  promoting decent jobs in the fight against unemployment, by ILO Representative
  • Curbing Human Trafficking – by  IOM Chief of Mission
  • National Development Context and the Post 2015– by UNDP Country Director

UNIC holds Model UN with Bindura University

Model UN Bindura SG 2013

Indigenisation, Economic Empowerment and Development was the topic of the second Model United Nations (Model UN) debate to be held by Bindura University of Science Education students in partnership with UNIC Harare on 6 November, 2013. The debate was held at the University.

Bindura University of Science Education is situated approximately 90 kilometres from Harare. University Students representing 28 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe participated in this debate, highlighting the position of their country on the topic under discussion.

Dr Chris Katsvanga, the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor gave the Opening Remarks. This was followed by a background of the Model UN delivered by Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC. The Keynote Address was delivered by the District Administrator for Bindura on behalf of the Minister of Provincial Affairs, Hon. Advocate Dinha.

The discussions at this Model UN were of a high level with students articulating the positions of the countries they were representing very well.

This event was attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, UNIC staff and students from the University.

The first Model UN to be held by UNIC in partnership with Bindura University focused on the topic Globalization and ICTs in the New Millennium. This was in 2012.

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL REMARKS AT MEMORIAL CEREMONY FOR NELSON MANDELA Johannesburg, 10 December 2013

I am deeply honoured to attend this state memorial service for the late former President Nelson Mandela.

We join together in sorrow for a mighty loss and in celebration of a mighty life.

What a wondrous display of this rainbow nation. In nature, a rainbow emerges from the rain and the sun.  It is that blending of the symbols of grief and gratitude that I feel today. Through the rain of sadness and the sun of celebration, a rainbow fills our hearts.

On behalf of the United Nations, I offer my deepest condolences to Graça Machel and the Mandela family, to Winnie Mandikizela Mandela and to Madiba’s larger family — the people of South Africa, this great continent and indeed the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This stadium holds many tens of thousands. But even an arena as big as Africa could not contain our pain.  South Africa has lost a father.  The world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. Nelson Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time.  He was one of the greatest teachers.  And he taught by example.

He sacrificed so much and was willing to give up everything — for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice. His compassion stands out most.

He was angry at injustice, not at individuals. He hated hatred, not the people caught in its grip.

He showed the awesome power of forgiveness — and of connecting people with each other and with the true meaning of peace. That was his unique gift — and that was the lesson he shared with all humankind.

He has done it again.

Look around this stadium and this stage. We see leaders representing many points of view, and people from all walks of life. All here, all united. This grandest of all baobab trees left deep roots that reach across the planet.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

South Africa’s democratic transformation was a victory by and for South Africans. But it was also a triumph for the ideals of the United Nations — and for anyone, anywhere, who has ever faced the poison of prejudice.

The United Nations stood side by side with Nelson Mandela and the people of South  Africa in the fight against apartheid. We used every tool we had: sanctions, an arms embargo, a sports boycott, diplomatic isolation. We spoke up loud and clear across the world.

Apartheid was vanquished.

But as he would be the first to say, our struggle continues — against inequality and intolerance, and for prosperity and peace.

Nelson Mandela showed us the way with a heart larger than this stadium and an infectious smile that could easily power its lights. In fact, it lit up the world.

Nelson Mandela is now at rest, his long walk complete.

Let us now be guided and inspired by the spirit he awakened in all of us — the flame of human rights — the beacon of hope.

This boxer fought throughout his life for each and every one of us. It is the duty of all of us who loved him to keep his memory alive in our hearts, and to embody his example in our lives.

May he rest in peace and eternity.

Lala Ngoxolo. [Xhosa for "Rest in peace"]

Tutwini. [Xhosa for “I present my condolences”]

Ndiyabulela (N’diya bu-léla) [Xhosa for "thank you"]. Thank you.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA – 5 December 2013

 Nelson Mandela was a singular figure on the global stage — a man of quiet dignity and towering achievement, a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration. 

 I am profoundly saddened by his passing.  On behalf of the United Nations, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of South Africa and especially to Nelson Mandela’s family and loved ones.

 Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom.  He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.  At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations. 

 Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of his people and humanity, and he did so at great personal sacrifice.  His principled stance and the moral force that underpinned it were decisive in dismantling the system of apartheid.

 Remarkably, he emerged from 27 years of detention without rancor, determined to build a new South Africa based on dialogue and understanding. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established under his leadership remains a model for achieving justice in societies confronting a legacy of human rights abuses.

 In the decades-long fight against apartheid, the United Nations stood side-by-side with Nelson Mandela and all those in South Africa who faced unrelenting racism and discrimination. His 1994 address to the General Assembly as the first democratically elected President of a free South Africa was a defining moment. The Assembly has declared 18 July, his birthday, “Nelson Mandela International Day”, an annual observance on which we recognize and seek to build on his contributions to promoting a culture of peace and freedom around the world.

 I was privileged to meet Nelson Mandela in 2009.  When I thanked him for his life’s work, he insisted the credit belonged to others.  I was very moved by his selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose.

 Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us — if we believe, dream and work together. 

 Let us continue each day to be inspired by his lifelong example and his call to never cease working for a better and more just world.