UNIC Harare launches the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report, 2017

On Wednesday, 29 November, UNIC Harare launched the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report whose theme is Transformational Energy Access. This report was produced by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, (UNCTAD).

Dr Barassou Diawara, Knowledge Management Expert at Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) presented the report before launching it. In attendance were members of the media, energy experts and NGO representatives.

The Report notes that energy is a critical factor to human development and is important to all three pillars of sustainable development– social, economic and environment. Access to modern energy, and especially electricity has gained greater attention globally in recent years. The United Nations recognised and acknowledged its importance and allocated energy prominence as one of the key sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be attained by the year 2030, under its Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

 

UNIC commemorates UN Day, 2017

On Monday, 23 October, UNIC joined the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe in commemorating United Nations Day at the World Health Organization Compound in Harare. The major highlights of the day were the ZUNDAF-thematic-group-based exhibitions showing the work of the UN in partnership with the government and other partners. Guest of Honour, Honourable Walter Mzembi, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs toured the exhibitions, led by UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli. Both Mr Parajuli and Honourable Mzembi signed their pledge to be a responsible citizen on a white board that was provided for this purpose. This was followed by a formal event where both UN and the government pledged to continue working together for the development of Zimbabwe.

 

UNIC commemorates International Day of Peace

UNDP Country Director George van Montfort speaking during Wednesday@UNIC

UNDP Country Director Georges van Montfort was the guest speaker at a Wednesday@UNIC Discussion Forum held at United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) on Wednesday, 27 September to commemorate the International Day of Peace.

In his presentation, the UNDP Country Director encouraged Zimbabweans to register to vote for the upcoming country’s general elections ‘because it is their right.’

He said that peaceful societies are not those that are devoid of conflict. “Rather peace is sustained when individuals or communities have spaces to dialogue and can negotiate their lives while respecting the diverse interests of others,” he said, adding that conflict is a key aspect of human existence and if well managed, can lead to positive transformation at individual and societal level.

 

As part of the commemorative activities, UNIC solicited pencil-drawn pictures from Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA) affiliated schools, depicting their vision of a world of peace. The group, Guitarists for Peace also performed at this event.

 

The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. It was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

Guitarists for Peace perform during Wednesday@UNIC

The picture above was drawn by Brendon Murira, a pupil at Dzivarasekwa 1 High School

Launch of Economic Development in Africa Report

Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister, Honourable Walter Mzembi on Thursday 5th July launched the Economic Development in Africa Report 2017 at the Meikles Hotel in Harare. Prior the launch, Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali, Director of Knowledge and Learning – African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) presented the report, which was published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The overall message of the book is that to better harness the potential of the tourism sector to contribute to inclusive growth, structural transformation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, Africa should adopt policies that strengthen intersectoral linkages, boost intraregional tourism and promote peace. The launch was attended by over 78 people who included media representatives, various partners from the Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, financial institutions and civil society. The Economic Development in Africa Report is available in the UNIC library.

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL-MESSAGE ON WORLD REFUGEE DAY-20 JUNE 2017

World Refugee Day is an expression of solidarity with people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution.

The latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, show that at least 65.6 million people — 1 of every 113 members of the human family — have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders.

While Syria remains the world’s largest source of refugees, South Sudan is the biggest and fastest growing new displacement emergency, with 1.4 million refugees and 1.9 million internally displaced, the vast majority of them under 18 – a further blow to the future prospects of the world’s youngest nation.

Behind these vast numbers lie individual stories of hardship, separation and loss; of life-threatening journeys in search of safety; of gargantuan struggles to rebuild lives in difficult circumstances. It is heartbreaking to see borders being closed, people perishing in transit, and refugees and migrants alike being shunned, in violation of human rights and international law.  The human cost is profound: millions of jobs lost, millions of children thrust out of school, and lives haunted by trauma and intolerance.

I have called for a surge in diplomacy for peace to prevent new conflicts from emerging and escalating, and to resolve those that have already had their calamitous impact. I am also appealing to Member States to do far more to protect people fleeing for their lives, buttress the international protection regime, and find solutions so that people are not left in limbo for years on end.

The New York Declaration, adopted nine months ago, maps out a comprehensive and equitable way to address refugee and migration challenges, building on long-established laws and practices. The UN’s “Together” campaign offers a platform to promote respect safety and dignity for refugees and migrants — and crucially, to fortify social cohesion and change false and negative narratives that compound the challenges faced by refugees and their hosts.

Throughout history, communities living next to crisis zones, as well as those far from the frontlines, have welcomed the uprooted and given them shelter – and in return, refugees have given back. Today, 84 per cent of the world’s refugees are hosted by low- or middle-income countries. We cannot continue to allow a small number of countries – often the world’s poorest — to shoulder this weight alone.

This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.

In recent weeks and months, I have visited refugees and displaced people in Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere. Sitting with these men, women and children, I was impressed by their fortitude despite having had their lives completely upended.  On World Refugee Day, let us all try to stand in their shoes, and stand up for their rights and our shared future.

UNIC Harare in Mutare educational awareness programme

UNIC Harare conducted educational awareness on the United Nations in the eastern highlands town of Mutare, 28-30 March. The UNIC team, comprising Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC National Information Officer (NIO) and Officer in Charge, Jabulani Nyamweda, UNIC’s assistant Knowledge Management Officer visited Magamba Youth Training College, Mutare Polytechnic College and Zimbabwe Open University. Over 800 students were reached during this educational awareness programme. The main objective of the educational awareness programmes is to raise awareness on the United Nations, and on current programmes such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNIC commemorates World Radio Day 2017

Radio is still the most popular source of news and information, especially in rural areas, the UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli has said.

UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli (left) was among those present at World Radio day commemorations.

Speaking during World Radio Day commemorations held on Monday 13 February, the UN in Zimbabwe Chief said there are an estimated one million radio sets in the country, which is roughly one radio for every 12 inhabitants, according to the latest online database Press Reference.

He commended local radio stations for disseminating information to the public on how the Government, UN, development partners, NGOs and civil society organisations are working together in the areas of SDGs, food and nutrition security, HIV, gender, jobs, response to drought, good governance, and the rule of law.

The full-day commemoration began with a procession led by the Air Force of Zimbabwe and drum majorettes. This was effective in attracting a bumper crowd which numbered over 5 000. This was followed by presentations from radio stations that included Capital. Diamond FM, National FM, Power FM, Star FM, Radio Zimbabwe, ZiFM Stereo, among others. SADC was the only radio station present at this event from the region.

Part of the crowd gathered for World Radio day celebrations held at Takashinga Stadium in Highfields, Harare on 13 February 2017

UNIC used the opportunity to talk about the importance of radio in local Shona language live on National FM and Radio Zimbabwe.

World Radio Day, 2017 was commemorated under the theme Radio is You.

 

UNIC Harare launches UDHR in Shangani and Venda

udhr-hons-nyoni-2016

The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni cuts the ribbon to the booklets while Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC (centre),  Elasto Mugwadi ZHRC Chairperson (far left) and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs , Midlands Province Honourable Jason Machaya (far right) look on.

 

On Saturday 10 December, UNIC Harare launched Venda and Shangani versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in an effort to make the Declaration accessible to a larger Zimbabwean population.

The booklets were launched by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni during Human Rights Day 2016 commemorations organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). The commemorations were held in Gweru under the theme ‘Stand Up for Someone’s Rights Today.”

Speaking at this event, ZHRC Chairperson Elasto Mugwadi commended UNIC for translating and launching the documents. He said that distribution of simplified booklets on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights translated into vernacular languages is one of their strategies to enhance the visibility of the Commission and promote awareness of human rights and fundamental freedoms in line with Section 243 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said this year’s theme “gives everyone the duty and obligation to protect and promote the rights of others. These include refugees, persons with disabilities, women, children, indigenous minority groups, or anyone else at risk of discrimination, violence or other violation of his or her fundamental rights and freedoms.

“Let us start by ensuring that one knows that they have the same rights as everyone else,” she said.

Venda and Shangani are two of the country’s 16 languages. The other languages are Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana and Xhosa. In 2014, UNIC translated the Declaration into Shona and Ndebele.

The Human Rights Day commemoration was attended by over 1 000 people who included the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs , Midlands Province Jason Machaya, government officials, representatives of Civil Society, general public, media and other stakeholders.

 

UNCG Harare Exhibits at theSpace indaba

thespace3

Over 1 000 people visited the United Nations exhibition stand mounted by UN Communications Group (UNCG) at a joint UN-The Space Indaba held on Friday 16 November in Harare.

UNIC collected the books, fliers and publications from the agencies and mounted and manned the display for this day-long event. People of different backgrounds visited the UN stand.

thespace4-002

The publications were mainly popular with secondary schools, university and public libraries and also researchers and government officials. Secondary schools were mainly interested in the history and structure of the United Nations, which is part of their syllabus. University students and graduates were primarily interested in the book entitled ‘Employment Opportunities’ within the United Nations.

UN Agencies also displayed photographs, reports and other materials highlighting their collaboration with donor agencies in this country. The indaba, which was held under the theme Looking back to the future was aimed at engaging Youth on the 2030 Agenda. During the indaba,  UN Heads of Agencies participated in more than five debates focusing on the SDGs.

More than 34 foreign missions accredited to Zimbabwe exhibited at the Fair.