From 8-9 September, UN participated in the Yolk Festival held at Long Chen Plaza in Belverdere Harare. The SDG-branded festival targeted the general public drawn from nearby areas. Dubbed ‘social change festival’, the event sought to bring social issues to the fore using edutainment. Several budding artists including Baba Shupi and artists drawn from Music Crossroads performed and sang songs with SDG lyrics. The UN used the forum to conduct a quiz on the UN in general and on the SDGs. Those with correct answers won SDG branded materials including t-shirts and other materials.
Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.
Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.
My heartfelt condolences to Nane Annan, their beloved family, and all who mourn the loss of this proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.
New York, 18 August 2018
On 22 May, UNIC Harare and the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) held their inaugural Model UN in Bindura. The Model UN topic was SDG 13, Climate change. Countries that included China, Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, South Africa and Zimbabwe were represented during the debate which was of a high standard.
ZEGU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sunungurai Chingarande-Mutanga, appreciated UNIC for bringing Model UN to the university, saying this would contribute to their academic excellence. She expressed the hope that this was the beginning of a long-lasting relationship. Speaking during the event, Mr Francis Chimina, Principal Administrative Officer, Multilateral Affairs representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in the Government of Zimbabwe encouraged the students to continue excelling in Model UN as this would open opportunities for them. Tafadzwa Mwale, UNIC Harare Officer in Charge gave a background of the Model UN at this event.
UNIC launched the Economic Development in Africa Report, 2018 at the Meikles Hotel Harare on 31 May. The Report, which is produced by UNCTAD, was launched by Dr. Robert Nantchouang, African Capacity Building Foundation Senior Knowledge Management Expert. The event was attended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other government officials, media, financial and economic experts. UNIC Harare’s National Information Officer, Tafadzwa Mwale, gave the welcoming remarks and background to the book before its launch.
On Thursday 22 February, scores of people, who included government officials, language experts, authors, UN staff, NGO and civil society representatives convened at the UN Information Centre in Harare to commemorate Mother Language Day 2018.
The focus of this day was SDG 4, ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. In his opening remarks, Dr Abdoul Coulibaly, UNESCO Education Programme Specialist said the Agency supports language policies and recommends the use of mother language for better understanding. Dr Coulibaly said everyone has a right to access information in a language of their choice.
Speaking at the same occasion, Dr Makanda, a Director in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said there is need to link language to the economy. This can be done by branding locally produced goods in local languages. Such initiatives have already started around traditional brews, seeds, milk and other products. Currently, the Chinese have done very well exporting their language thereby bringing it into foreign economies, Dr Makanda said.
The two-hour commemoration was punctuated by poems in Koisan, performed by Davy Ndlovhu, a San and one of the few remaining Koisan speakers and author, and by Maretha Dube, a speaker of Sesotho and author of several books used in the Ministry of Education’s school curriculum.
UNIC organised this commemoration in conjunction with UNESCO and Children in Performing Arts Workshop (CHIPAWO).
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62). The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution A/RES/56/262 of 2002.
On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”. By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism and named the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to serve as the lead agency for the Year.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”