Joint Statement by the UN System in Zimbabwe

Harare, 18 December 2017 – The United Nations (UN) System in Zimbabwe welcomes the expressed commitment of the Government towards: social cohesion and peace; economic recovery and job creation; improved quality delivery of social services; anti-corruption; accelerated reform efforts including in the public sector; human security; credible, transparent and peaceful elections in 2018; and re-engagement with the international community.

We are encouraged by the National Budget Statement for 2018, which lays a foundation for reforms and sees increased allocations to social services and productive sectors. We also take note of the policy shifts and measures towards economic recovery, stabilisation and inclusive growth through employment creation. Timely disbursements and efficient use of the allocated budgets would be critical.

Building on the longstanding engagement in the country anchored on a relationship of trust and mutual respect with all stakeholders, the UN System in Zimbabwe renews its collective commitment to support the Government and the people of Zimbabwe to realize their aspirations. In this regard, the UN System in Zimbabwe commits to scale-up its joint support to national efforts towards:

 Creating a conducive environment for accelerated economic recovery and inclusive growth, towards socio-economic and gender equality; Strengthening effective and accountable public sector institutions to enhance quality social service delivery;  Increasing participation of all citizens, especially women, in democratic processes and promotion of human rights; and,  Strengthening national and local capacity for accelerated implementation and monitoring of Zimbabwe’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In so doing, the UN System remains committed to the principle of national ownership and leadership, under the overarching collective commitment to leaving no one behind, with a special focus on the most vulnerable populations, particularly children, youth and women. The UN will enhance its cooperation under the existing strategic programme framework of the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF)i, signed with the Government in 2015.

Promotion of constitutionalism, respect for the rule of law, consolidation of peace, protection of human rights and gender equality will remain important as the country prepares for the harmonized elections in 2018 and beyond.

The UN System in Zimbabwe reconfirms its commitment to supporting Zimbabwe to advance sustainable, rights-based and inclusive development for all and strongly supports the Government’s commitment and efforts towards re-engagement with the International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

i Under the strategic programme framework of the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), the United Nations provides support to national development priorities and progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on six results areas: Food and Nutrition Security; Gender Equality; HIV and AIDS; Poverty Reduction and Value Addition; Public Administration and Governance; and Social Services and Protection. As at the third quarter of the 2017, the UN in Zimbabwe, with generous financial support from development partners, has delivered over USD 714 million worth of development and humanitarian assistance under the current ZUNDAF.

For queries, please contact:

Kanako Mabuchi, Head of UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Kanako.Mabuchi@one.un.org, +263 (0)4 338836-44 (Ext. 407)

 

UNIC commemorates Human Rights Day

UNIC mounted an exhibition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in various languages as Zimbabwe held activities to commemorate Human Rights Day and to officially mark the beginning of a year-long campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the UDHR. Activities held on 8 December included an awareness raising procession from Gwanzura Stadium to Takashinga Cricket Grounds which was the event venue, edutainment on human rights by various groups and popular singer Sulumani Chimbetu.

This year’s theme was Stand Up for Human Rights. Speaking at this occasion, Elasto Mugwadi, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Chairperson said the need to protect and promote human rights today are higher than ever before. He said ZHRC has handled over 1489 cases of human rights violations since 2014 when the ZHRC was formed. He urged the new political leaders to respect human rights and to eliminate discriminatory laws. Speaking at the same occasion, UNDP Country Director, Georges van Montfort said human rights have been pillars of the UN along with peace and development. He urged the Government of Zimbabwe to ratify outstanding conventions. Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi urged development partners to enhance the support they are giving to commissions. He expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring that all Zimbabwean have equal access to human rights. Over 500 people attended the event.

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.