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

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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

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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.

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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.

Cyclists take to the road for the SDGs

SDG CYCLISTS AT START

His worship the Mayor of Marondera, Mr Makwindi (in black suit), joins the other cyclists at the beginning of the 54 kilometre cycle to Harare. 

Six Zimbabwean cyclists made history on Thursday, 11 August 2016, when they cycled 54 kilometres to raise awareness about the SDGs.

Tinotenda Chimanikire, aged 11 years was the youngest cyclist and he made the 54-kilometre journey without swopping with any other cyclist.

YOUNGEST CYCLIST

“Ndirikufara (I am happy)” said Tinotenda on arrival at the UNIC offices in central Harare, which was their final destination.

Accompanied by his father, Bongani Chimanikire, Tinotenda said he was very proud of his accomplishment. The other cyclists who participated in this historic event were Tapiwa Kubvoruno, Munyaradzi Muzenda, Anyway Shoriwa, and William Mapati. His worship the Mayor of Marondera Mr Makwindi also cycled. Each cyclist wore an SDG-branded T-shirts and pulled motorists and the public’s attention

“I cycled in support of SDG 1 which is ‘No Poverty. I am against poverty,” said Tapiwa Kubvoruno.

On arrival at UNIC, they participated in a press conference addressed by the UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, the Principal Director in the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Taguma Mahonde and the Mayor of Marondera.

CYCLISTS PRESS CONFERENCE

Mr Parajuli congratulated the cyclists and said that it is important for everyone to embrace the SDGs, in the same spirit that the cyclists embraced them to the extent of cycling 54 kilometres to raise awareness.

“I am so delighted by the commitment you have shown as individuals. This is the championship we need, the mentality that is required to achieve the SDGs”, said Mr Parajuli.

Cyclists on the road

Speaking at the same occasion, Taguma Mahonde said “What is happening today is a testimony of what the government of Zimbabwe and the UNDP are saying around SDGs, that SDG implementation requires everyone. We are happy that today, the issue of advocacy and communication around SDGs came from a community based organisation located outside Harare.”

Although the Zimbabwe Country position is to implement all the 17 SDGs, the country will focus on goals 8, 7, 2, 9, 6, 13, 17, 3, 4 and 5

Over 3 000 pupils attend High Schools Model UN

MODEL UN 2016

On Friday, 1 July, the UN in Zimbabwe in partnership with Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA) held the largest Model UN yet to be held in the country, with an attendance of over 3 000 pupils. The Model UN was held at the Harare International Conference centre.

The topic of the Model UN Debate was SDG 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change”.

The Guest of Honour at this event was Dr Lazarus Dokora, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In his speech, Minister Dokora applauded the Model UN process for exposing students to international diplomatic process. UN Resident Coordinator ad interim, Hopolang Phororo gave the background to the Model UN.

The 60 students representing 30 countries in this debate were trained by the United Nations Information Centre. Countries represented include Angola, Denmark, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

UNIC celebrates Families day

FAMILIES DAY OLD LADY2

On Monday, 30th May, UNIC, the Committee on Dialogue among Religions to Promote Peace and various other organizations commemorated the International Day of Families. The commemorations were held at Bumhudzo Old People’s Home in Chitungwiza. Bumhudzo is a Salvation Army Church run institution.

The event was attended by 50 people who included 35 elderly people, members of the Salvation Army Church, UN representatives, well-wishers and government representatives.

The Honorable Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira was the Guest of Honour at this event. UNIC’s officer in Charge, Tafadzwa Mwale read the UN Secretary General’s Message to mark this day in the local Shona language.