UNIC celebrates Families day


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.

Dialogue with Parliamentarians on Transitioning to Sustainable Development Goals


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


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


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

Back row: Mass communications students from Harare Polytechnic; From row from left seated Mr Grasciano Nyaguse, Ministry of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion; Tafadzwa Mwale UNIC; Amarakoon Bandara, UNDP and Mr Masuku, Lecturer Harare Polytechnic.

Back & Middle row: Mass Communication students from Harare Polytechnic; From row from left seated Mr Grasciano Nyaguse – Ministry of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion; Tafadzwa Mwale – UNIC; Amarakoon Bandara – UNDP and Mr Masuku – Lecturer, Harare Polytechnic.

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.

The Sustainable Development Goals

Teachers with SDG poster

ABOVE: Teachers from various schools in Harare pose with the SDGs poster at the UNIC offices after attending a ZUNA meeting on January 28, 2016. UNIC Harare gave each of the 19 schools a poster as a way of raising awareness to the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals

On 25-27 September 2015, over 160 heads of State and Government, together with leaders of civil society and the private sector, gathered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York for the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda. This bold and ambitious agenda aims to end poverty and promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment over the next 15 years. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted. In Zimbabwe, the United Nations and the Government of Zimbabwe are working to raise awareness of the SDGs and to implement them.

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 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