Author Archives: Jabulani Nyamweda

Dialogue with Parliamentarians on Transitioning to Sustainable Development Goals

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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.

Students converge to remember victims of slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade

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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.

 

 

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

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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

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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 http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/finale-cop21/

 

 

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 www.zw.one.un.org.

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

UN@70graduands

UN@70graduands

UNIC at the Zimbabwe International Trade-Fair

 

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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

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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

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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.”