23 December 2016 – A celebration of women’s achievements has been taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York this month, through photography. HERstory
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Members of Parliament from all the country’s 10 provinces converged at the Harare International Conference Centre from 11-12 May, 2016 for the first of its kind Dialogue with the United Nations on Transitioning to Sustainable Development Goals.
Apart from the MPs, the Dialogue was attended by the President of the Senate Honourable Edna Madzongwe, Speaker of the National Assembly Honorable Advocate Jacob Mudenda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Macroeconomic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr. Desiree Sibanda, UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, UN Heads of Agencies and staff and the media. UNIC Harare’s Tafadzwa Mwale moderated the question and answer session on “UN support on the implementation of Zimbabwe’s priorities on the SDGs under 2016-2020 ZUNDAF.” The 6 ZUNDAF areas under focus in the discussion were Food Nutrition and Security, Gender Equality, HIV/AIDS, Poverty Reduction and Value Addition, Public Administration and Governance and Social Services and Protection. These were discussed in relation to the SDGs.
Parliamentarians are key in the SDGs implementation as they will translate them into action, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said.
Over 40 university students converged at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade held on 11 April by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).
Drawn from Catholic University in Africa, Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe Open University and University of Zimbabwe, the students first viewed the Exhibition entitled Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers mounted in the venue. The Exhibition tells the fascinating history of enslaved East Africans in India, knowns as Sidis and Habshis, who rose to positions of military and political authority. It also sheds light on the slave trade in the Indian Ocean and the history of the African Diaspora in India.
This was followed by a Screening of a Documentary entitled: Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess. The hour-long documentary unearths and examines the mysterious figure – Nanny of the Maroons – a National Heroine of Jamaica, and one of the most celebrated, but least recognized heroines in the resistance history of the New World. The film documents the struggle for freedom of the Jamaican Maroons, led by the indomitable 18th century military genius, Queen Nanny.
The screening of the documentary was followed by a discussion in which, Mr Hlatywayo an Associate Professor from Zimbabwe Open University, Munyaradzi Nyakudya Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe History Department, Adam Rwodzi, a History Lecturer at the Catholic University and Mr Chibata, a History lecturer from the Women’s University in Africa gave their views. Mr Gapare, Deputy Director- Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the Keynote Address on behalf of Mr Hamadziripi, Director for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC gave a background of the day.
By UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon
Today, the governments of the world made history – just as they did last December in Paris at COP21. With their signatures today, governments have made a covenant with the future. The children who were with us this morning reminded us of our responsibility to them and to future generations. The words they wore on their shirts said it clearly: “your promise, our future”. Today’s signing is a vote of confidence in a new approach to climate change. It is imperative this strong political momentum continues to grow. If all the countries that have signed here today join the Agreement at the national level, the world will have met the legal requirement for the Paris Agreement to enter into force — 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. I will do everything I can to help us reach this goal. This afternoon I was pleased to hear several large emitter countries announce they will ratify in 2016. I encourage all countries to raise their level of ambition. I urge world leaders to continue to provide direct political oversight and guidance. And I will look to civil society and the world’s young people to hold Governments to account for the promises they made today. This covenant with the future is a covenant with you. Hold them to it. Excellencies, It has been a long journey to this moment – and that journey still continues. When I look out at the horizon, I see, more clearly than ever, the outlines of a new and better world. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is a major step forward for people and the planet. The World Humanitarian Summit I am convening in Istanbul, Turkey on May 23rd and 24th will be a critical opportunity to enhance our support to the most vulnerable and reaffirm our common humanity. Ladies and Gentlemen, Let us continue to build on the historic progress of today – and move swiftly, with courage and determination, to usher in the new era we know can be ours. Thank you.
UNIC takes SDGs to students
On 25 February, UNIC Harare held its first awareness-raising session on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The session, which was held at Harare Polytechnic in Harare, was attended by 50 Mass Communications students.
The event began with Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC’s National Information Officer giving a brief background to the UN. In her presentation, she highlighted that UN was formed in 1945 at the end of the Second World War. The main purposes of the UN are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people and to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems.
The SDG focal point in the Harare UNDP office, Mr Amarakoon Bandara, who is also the Economic Advisor then spoke about The Sustainable Development Goals and the UN from a global perspective. In his presentation. He described the process leading up to the adoption of the SDGs by the UN.
He said implementation of the SDGs required the combined effort of all sectors, even at a financial level.
His presentation was followed by that of Mr Grasciano Nyaguse, Director for Policy Planning in the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion who spoke about Zimbabwe’s position on the SDGs. He explained that Zimbabwe has prioritised the following 10 SDGs -8, 7, 2, 9, 6, 13, 17, 3, 4 and 5. This prioritization would enable the Government to concentrate on those areas for maximum benefit. He said the SDGs were being aligned with the ZIMASSET Clusters. To raise awareness, the government will undertake a roll-out plan in all the provinces and will also hold multi-stakeholder consultative workshops.