Author Archives: Jabulani Nyamweda

Closing Remarks at Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate change


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.

Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change


195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius

Paris, 12 December 2015 – An historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris today.

The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.

The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.

Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.

To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.

“The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high. Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort. Our responsibility to history is immense” said Laurent Fabius, President of the COP 21 UN Climate change conference and French Foreign Minister.

The minister, his emotion showing as delegates started to rise to their feet, brought the final gavel down on the agreement to open and sustained acclamation across the plenary hall.

French President Francois Hollande told the assembled delegates: “You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud to stand before your children and grandchildren.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “We have entered a new era of global cooperation on one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity. For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “One planet, one chance to get it right and we did it in Paris. We have made history together. It is an agreement of conviction. It is an agreement of solidarity with the most vulnerable. It is an agreement of long-term vision, for we have to turn this agreement into an engine of safe growth.”

“Successive generations will, I am sure, mark the 12 December 2015 as a date when cooperation, vision, responsibility, a shared humanity and a care for our world took centre stage,” she said.

“I would like to acknowledge the determination, diplomacy and effort that the Government of France have injected into this remarkable moment and the governments that have supported our shared ambition since COP 17 in Durban, South Africa,” she said. To read more click



Palestine Day commemorated in Harare

Zimbabwe School of Music at Palestine Day

Zimbabwe School of Music at Palestine Day

UNIC and the Embassy of Palestine in Harare on Monday 30th November commemorated the International Day in Solidarity with the People of Palestine.

To commemorate the Day, the Palestine Embassy hosted a reception which was attended by over 23 diplomatic missions, by academics, Palestinians resident in Zimbabwe and, friends of Palestine, among others.

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli read the statement of the UN Secretary General to mark the event. The statement notes that the 2015 observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People came at a time when security and hope are at a low point.

“A wave of violence has included heinous attacks, stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks causing immense suffering among Israeli and Palestinian families alike.  I condemn such attacks and all acts of violence.  Illegal settlement activities and settler-related violence have continued, along with punitive demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes and structures,” he said.

The Secretary General urged both the Israelis’ and the Palestinians to “play a constructive role towards resolving the conflict” and “reject incitement and inflammatory public statements.”

Speaking at this occasion, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Honourable MP Edgar Mbwembwe urged the Israelis to stop the wanton killings of women and children. He urged the international community to do more to stop the killing of Palestinians.

On 29 November 2012, the State of Palestine joined the United Nations as a “non-Member observer State”. Today, 136 countries recognize the State of Palestine and its flag flies at the United Nations next to those of all Member States.  However, these advances are not felt by children in Gaza, or by the residents of Nablus, Hebron and East Jerusalem.  What they feel instead is a lack of hope that their lives will change for the better and that they will be citizens of a State able to ensure their freedom and well-being through peace with their neighbours, said the UN Secretary General.

This event was organised by UNIC Harare and the Embassy of Palestine.



UN@70 commemorations draw to a close

The 70th year commemorations of the United Nations concluded with the official UN@70 commemoration held at the World Health Organisation and where Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was the guest of honour.

The Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa at the UNIC stand.

Above: Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) visited the UNIC stand with UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Bishow Parajuli.

Before officiating, the Vice President took a tour of exhibition stands mounted by UN agencies and also stopped at the UNIC Harare tent where he was given a briefing about UNIC Harare by Tafadzwa Mwale, the NIO.

UNIC displayed historical photographs showing some of its work in the country since opening office in Harare in 1982.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, also gave a speech at this event which was held under the theme “From Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Over 1 000 diplomats, NGO representatives and UN partners attended this event.

This official commemoration was a culmination of various UN@70 activities held in Zimbabwe which included a UN@70 Family Fun Day and Wellness Day that was open to all UN staff and their families; an educational awareness reaching almost 5 000 pupils from 20 schools in Harare and most of which were officiated by UN agency heads; planting of 70 fruit and indigenous trees by the UNCT at 7 schools in Harare and outlying areas (10 trees per school); and distribution of the ‘Did you Know’ and ‘Preamble to the Charter’ videos to 30 schools.

Traditional dancers at Domboramwari Secondary School in Epworth, Harare celebrating UN@70.

Traditional dancers at Domboramwari Secondary School in Epworth, Harare celebrating UN@70.

UNIC plants trees in ceremony to mark UN@70

UN@70 PLANTING A TREE (Mrs Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC)

UN@70 PLANTING A TREE (Mrs Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC)

On 14th October, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) planted the first 10 trees out of a total 70 tress to be planted by the United Nations in Zimbabwe in commemoration of the Organizations’ 70th anniversary.

The trees, which were a combination of fruit and indigenous trees, were planted at Pinewood High School at a ceremony attended by over 300 pupils, teachers, parents and other officials. The tree-planting ceremony coincided with the graduation ceremony for Form 6 pupils at that school.

“As we look back to the 70 years (of the United Nations), we look back on a proud record of achievement – and adaptation to an ever-changing global landscape,” said Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC Harare National Information Officer and Officer in Charge.

“Here in Zimbabwe the United Nations has been supporting recovery initiatives and development efforts of the Government of Zimbabwe to the tune of USD 400 million per year. For instance through the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), the UN played a significant role in resuscitating the social services including education, health and the strengthening of national institutions to provide adequate public service. More specifically, the ZUNDAF’s focus has been on enhancing national capacities in six thematic areas in support of national development objectives,” she said.

Some of the UN in Zimbabwe’s achievements in Zimbabwe include the following:

    • Over 747,000 adults and children have access to free anti-retroviral therapy and over 5 million mosquito nets distributed; notably, AIDS-related deaths have declined by about one-quarter due to increased number of people on treatment. Though still high, HIV prevalence has been reduced to 14% from as high as 26%.
  • 1:1 pupil to textbook ratio maintained for all 2.5 million primary and secondary school children;
  • Immunization coverage maintained at 95%, and 90% of all health facilities have 80% of essential drugs.
  • 70% of all health facilities have integrated maternal and new born services.

The United Nations has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1980 at the invitation of the Government of Zimbabwe. It is represented by 25 UN entities which are signatories to the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), working together as one UN Country Team. The United Nations works towards the realization of national development objectives and international development goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals which will supersede the MDGs in 2016. Visit

Pinewood High School presented a UN@70 cake at this event to share in the commemorations.

Pinewood High School presented a UN@70 cake at this event to share in the commemorations.

UN@70 pinewood students

UN@70 pinewood students



UNIC at the Zimbabwe International Trade-Fair


zitf 231 (2)

The United Nations Information Centre participated in the Zimbabwe International Trade-Fair’ from 29 April to 2 May 2015 as a member of the United Nations Country Group (UNCG). UNIC’s Knowledge Management Assistant, Jabulani Nyamweda attended the week-long Fair.

The United Nations was one of the 611 exhibitors at this years’ Fair. Publications and hand-outs including t-shirts, flyers, card-holders, pens, pencil cases, posters and caps from a number of United Nations Agencies in Zimbabwe were displayed and distributed during the Trade-Fair.

Overall, over 3100 people visited the UN Country Group Stand. These included school-teachers; students from both primary and secondary schools and from universities; researchers; government officials and members of the public.

This 56th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair compared to 654 the previous year.

There were 31 foreign countries at the Fair compared with 27 countries last year.  Some of the foreign exhibitors were China, Germany, USA, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Germany, Zambia, Botswana, Poland, Malawi, Iran, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Japan and Switzerland.

UNIC in World Water Day quiz


Winners of the High Schools Quiz on water, Dzivarasekwa 2 High School pose with their teacher

This year’s World Water Day highlights the essential and interconnected role of water as the UN prepares to adopt a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda in September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said.

In his annual World Water Day Statement read during activities to commemorate the Day in Harare on 22 March, the UN Secretary General said that among the most urgent issues surrounding water are access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“Despite progress under the Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, some 750 million people — more than one in ten of the world’s population — remain without access to an improved water supply.  Women and children, in particular, are affected by this lack, as not only is their health compromised, but considerable hours are wasted in the unproductive – and sometimes dangerous – business of collecting water,” he said.

“Our sustainable future is also jeopardized by climate change, which is why United Nations Member States are working hard towards a meaningful, universal climate agreement this December in Paris,” he added.

The Secretary-General said over the coming years, greenhouse gas emissions will have to significantly decline in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change, which include changed weather patterns and the threat of water scarcity in large parts of the world.

To commemorate World Water Day in Harare, UNIC and the Zimbabwe United Nations Association organised a high schools quiz on water. Twenty students from ten Harare based schools participated in the quiz. These included Marlborough High School, Mufakose 4 High School, Mukai High School, St Peters Mbare and Tafara High School.

Running under the 2015 theme Water and Sustainable Development, the quiz posed questions such as “According to the order of the MDGs, which Goal states the need to promote environmental sustainability? Which UN agency specialises in water? “In which year was World Water Day proclaimed?”

The Dzivarasekwa 2 High School team won first prize, followed by Kuwadzana 2 High School in 2nd place and Mufakose 4 High School in third place.

Speaking at this occasion, Percy Mugwangwavari, Planning Engineer in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate said the Ministry recognizes World Water Day as it heightens the need to raise awareness on water related issues. He explained that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate makes every effort possible to engage all stakeholders, including local authorities, citizens and other organisations on issues to do with water.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations General Assembly responded by adopting resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21.

The first World Water Day was observed on 22 March 1993.

Model UN students in informative debate


Model UN participants pose for a photograph with Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC and Ambassador David Hamadziripi, Director Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

For the third time in as many years, UNIC Harare and Bindura University of Science Education partnered to hold the Model UN on 13 November 2014 at the university’s new campus. The topic for this year’s Model UN was ‘Rural Industrialization for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation’.  

Fifty-two (52) second year students pursuing Policy Analysis and Globalization and Development degrees debated this topic from the position of the countries they were representing. This followed months of research at the UNIC library and at embassies, and orientation by UNIC. The end product was a well-researched debate highlighting real issues affecting the 16 countries.

Officially opening the Model UN, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who was represented by Ambassador David Hamadziripi, Director, Multilateral Affairs, in the Ministry cautioned the students not to consider their participation in the Model UN as a ‘mere simulation exercise but as a serious exercise in informing themselves about this critical, topical, national and international topic.”

Speaking at the same event, Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC officer in Charge presented the background of the Model United Nations, highlighting that it had become very global in nature.

The event was also attended by ambassadors, attaches, lecturers and local government representatives.

At the end of the event Model UN delegates were presented certificates by Tafadzwa Mwale, the Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe H.E. Balbina D. Pienaar and Professor W. Parawira, Executive Dean of Science at Bindura University of Science Education.

The Model United Nations with Bindura University of Science Education is now an annual event and will likely incorporate more Faculties in the coming years. In 2012 Bindura University of Science Education students held the Model UN under the theme “ICT and Globalization in the New Millennium’ while in 2013 the Model UN was held under the theme ‘Indigenization and Economic Empowerment.”

UNIC’s Model UN Stand popular during UN Day Commemorations


Government officials, donors, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society and the media were among the groups of people that visited the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) exhibition stand during the commemoration of United Nations (UN) Day on Friday 24 October at the World Health Organizations grounds.

On display was the Model UN which has been held jointly by Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) and UNIC Harare over the past two years.

Bindura University of Science Education students Edmore Dauramanzi, Farai Fenyere and Sympathy Makururu shared their experiences of the Model UN process to stand visitors and explained how they had benefitted academically.

“The Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly. Through our Model UN, students took on the capacities of the different countries and they represented those countries’ positions on the topic being discussed, explained Dauramanzi, who was the President during the Model UN held at BUSE in 2012 under the topic i

Farai Fenyere explained that the Model UN had given her insight into how the UN General Assembly operates whilst Sympathy Makururu said he had been exposed to diplomatic processes through the visits they make to embassies in preparation for the Model UN.

The Display mounted by UNIC was part of an information Market organised for this UN Day commemoration with the primary objective of showcasing the partnerships that exist between the more than 23 UN agencies in Zimbabwe and some of their stakeholders.

“As you all know, the creation of the UN 69 years ago was the result of a dream for a world free of violence, discrimination, poverty and diseases,” Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator explained during the formal session of the commemorations.

“Here in Zimbabwe, we are celebrating the 2014 UN Day under the theme “Together Moving Zimbabwe Forward” to showcase the success of our joint collaboration between the Government, donors, the UN, NGOs and the civil society,” the Resident Coordinator explained.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Chief Secretary to President and Cabinet, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande said “Zimbabwe with the support of the UN and other cooperating partners, has made significant progress in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include improving primary school enrolment and child health, gender party in education and reducing the spread of HIV, TB and Malaria.

More than 250 people attended the UN Day commemorations.

Read more on the following link.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on restrictions applied to travellers from Ebola-affected countries

The Secretary-General is concerned by the recent restrictions put in place in several countries and localities applying to people who have travelled to the main Ebola-affected countries.

He believes that these restrictions have put particular pressure on health care workers and those who have been on the frontline of the Ebola response. Returning health workers are exceptional people who are giving of themselves for humanity. They should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science. Those who develop infections should be supported, not stigmatized.

The Secretary-General reiterates that the best way for any country to protect itself from Ebola is to stop the outbreak at its source in West Africa. This requires considerable international health care worker support and in return for this support, we have an obligation to look after them.

New York, 27 October 2014