”Africans in India,” a conference to remember victims of slavery

29 April 2016

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Antananarivo organized a conference “Africans in India” to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 23 March.

A history professor gave a presentation on Africans in India and answered students’ questions on slavery.

A documentary about African people was played. Students performed a play showing the life of Africans in India, including their social castes, the traditional costume and their working tools.

The National Information Officer read the Sectary-General’s message on the Day and had a brief presentation about Goree Island where she recently visited.

 

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“Youth Climate Dialogue” held to mark the occasion of the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony

22 April 2016

On 22 April 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by 175 world leaders at United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was recorded as being a historic day, as the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, as it is by far the largest number of countries ever to sign an international agreement on a single day.

Adopted in Paris by the 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at a conference known as (COP21) last December, the Agreement’s objective is to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposits their instruments of ratification.

To mark this momentous occasion, UNIC Windhoek hosted a “Youth Climate Dialogue” at Jan Möhr Secondary School to coincide with the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony and Mother Earth Day. The Youth engagement was hosted in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Environment and Tourism. 

The dialogue is an educational programme on the effects of climate change in Namibia and what is being done to mitigate the impacts thereof. Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, highlighted the Paris Agreement, Namibia’s role as a signatory as well as how the funding process works for developing countries, and outlined Climate Change in Namibia, alluding to various projects in place within communities as part of the mitigation and adaption process in Namibia. An engaging dialogue followed suit between the students and panel of presenters. The session was informative and allowed the youth to ask questions and share their opinions with the presenters from the Ministry and UNDP Environment Unit.

In attendance were over 600 high school students from different school, who in a symbolic gesture to encourage the Namibian youth to play their part, took part in signing the #NamibianAgreement and shared their ideas on how they would take climate action and become role models in their communities. 

The ceremony ended with an official tree planting ceremony to mark both the signing event which was held on Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day this year was focused on trees with the aim of mobilizing nearly eight billion plantings, or one for every man, woman and child alive by 2020. The link between the Paris Agreement and trees is clear – forests will be key allies for combating climate change and meeting the long term goal of restoring the ecological balance of planet Earth by the second half of the century.  

The “Youth Climate Dialogue” was an educational outreach by the UN and Ministry of Environment and Tourism to raise awareness and heighten the urgency surrounding climate change among the Namibian youth. Most importantly, to encourage our youth to take the lead in becoming active agents for climate change in Namibia. 

Junior Chamber International, UNIC-Beirut Launch Education Fair: “After School: What’s Up?”

19 April 2016

Under the Patronage of Lebanese Minister of Education and Higher Education Elias Bou Saab, Junior Chamber International Beirut (JCI Beirut), in cooperation with the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC-Beirut), had launched  a three-day Fair entitled “After School: What’s Up?” for high school students in Lebanon at UNESCO Palace, Beirut. Participating in the three-day Fair were various universities in Lebanon and NGOs, as well as UN agencies, private sector firms and banks. The event also featured training sessions for students.

In her statement during the opening ceremony, Head of the Guidance and Orientation Department at the Ministry of Education, Hilda Khoury, who represented Minister Elias Bou Saab, commended the organizers for this creative event and for all efforts they have put into guiding students and assisting them in determining their educational choices in the future.  “On behalf of the minister, I tell you that Lebanon relies on its youths and their willpower. The people of Lebanon are not intimidated by anybody,” Khoury said. She concluded by addressing students, urging them to benefit from the evolution of technology in favor of shaping their future. “You are Lebanon’s dream,” she added.

“After School: What’s Up?” Project Director from JCI Beirut, Elie Antoun, said the purpose of this event is to empower youth by providing them with proper tools and orientation to continue their education and bridge the gap between school and university.

JCI Lebanon President, Roni Matar, for his part, said this event falls within the framework of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN in September 2015, and which is dedicated to ensuring quality education. Matar called on students to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the Fair’s side-activities.

Access to the Fair was free of charge to encourage underprivileged public and private high school students plan their education and facilitate their career choice to ensure a successful future. Around 250 students from UNRWA schools visited the Fair and benefited from this experience.

You can check the event’s website on : www.afterschoolevent.me.

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Students say ‘No’ to hate speech as UNIC Lagos remembers the genocide in Rwanda

18 April 2016

“I hereby say ‘No’ to hate speech; I pledge to respect other people’s religions and tribes; I hereby make commitments to promote peace at all time; I pledge to love my neighbours for who they are.” More than 200 students from six public high schools in Lagos vowed on the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda.

The commemoration, organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, started with the message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and keynote address from Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi, as well as speech from Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule. 

Delivering the message of Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja said the theme of this year’s observance is ‘Fighting Genocide Ideology’.  

“It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence.  We must promote inclusion, dialogue and the rule of law to establish peaceful and just societies,” he said. 

Ambassador Kamanzi, urged the students to learn from the lessons of the genocide in Rwanda by being tolerant of one another while shunning every form of discrimination and hatred.

Representing the Deputy Governor, the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Education Matter, Seriki Ayeni, reaffirmed the commitment of Lagos State government to ensuring that students are well educated about global issues.

Video testimonies were screened while testimonies of survivors were read by Samuel Eliadun, a student of Government Senior College, and Idowu Aniogbe from Akande Dahunsi Memorial Secondary School.

Earlier, a female survivor of the genocide in Rwanda recounted her sad experience as a 9-year old girl at the time and answered a few questions from the audience.

The event was also attracted members of the Rwandan community in Lagos.