UNIC Lagos Director takes UN70 and post-2015 development agenda to partners

04 May 2015
UNIC Director at the University of Lagos TV Studio

In his quest to reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to serve “We the Peoples” and build strong partnership for the observance of the 70th anniversary of the UN in Nigeria, the Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Ronald Kayanja, has taken the message of the UN70 and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda to UN Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and media partners in Lagos.

“The UN 70th anniversary”, Kayanja noted during his meetings with partners, “is not the celebration of the UN as an organisation alone, but the celebration of all the peoples of the world.”

Referring to the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message for UN70, the Director said, "The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN’s history and take stock of its enduring achievements. It is also an opportunity to spotlight where the UN – and the international community as a whole – needs to redouble its efforts to meet current and future challenges across the three pillars of its work: peace and security, development, and human rights.

Kayanja, who in the last two weeks has led the UNIC Lagos team to one-on-one partnership meetings with Seven UN Agencies, eight NGOs, three media organisations and three educational institutions, spoke about the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this year and highlighted the strategic importance of the post-2015 sustainable development initiative.

He called on partners to join hands with the Centre in its efforts to effectively disseminate life-saving and development-oriented information to the Nigerian populace. 

The seven UN Agencies visited were United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The NGOs included United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN); United Nations Association of Youth (UNOY); All Nigeria United Nations Students Association (ANUNSA); Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN); Warein Rose Foundation; Third Age Foundation; Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals in Nigeria (ASCPN); and Femi Arts Warehouse.

The media organisations visited included the Voice Nigeria (VON), Channels Television and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while the educational institutions were The University of Lagos; the Lagos State University and Falomo High School, Lagos.

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World Autism Awareness Day

05 April 2015
Dance performance

In observance of World Autism Awareness Day, UNIC Dhaka and Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) jointly organized a Cultural event with the participation of autistic children at BPF auditorium on 5 April 2015. An art exhibition was also opened at the beginning of the event. 

In his speech, M. Moniruzzaman, UNIC Officer-in-Charge of UNIC, urged policy makers and voluntary organizations to come forward with appropriate steps to meet the challenges of the people with autism. The Executive Director of BPF, Dr. Shamim Ferdous and Kazi Ali Reza, Director (Communication) of Dhaka Ahsania Mission also spoke in the event. They focused on various issues of autism disorders and have put emphasis on awareness programme. The autistic children of BPF Inclusive School took part in dance and musical show. Around 200 children, parents, teachers and guests took part in the event.

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UNIC Lagos, partners, organise dialogue on population and development

04 April 2015
Drama performance

In preparation for the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development holding from 13 – 17 April 2015, at the United Nations headquarters New York, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in partnership with Community Agenda for Peace and Youth Transparency International Nigeria, organised a pre-conference dialogue for delegates and NGO partners.

Welcoming participants to the dialogue session, the UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, called for a better understanding of population dynamics by development partners. ‘Population issues,’ according to him, ‘is very germane to ensuring sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda.’

He added that UNIC would continue to facilitate engagements with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government partners to stimulate development initiatives within the framework of post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

In his presentation on ‘Demographic Dividend’, the Head of Lagos Office, United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), Dr Omolaso Omosehin, noted that there was a window of opportunities to harness the demographic dividend which required immediate investments.

He, therefore, called for critical investments on the youth and adolescent girls with regard to sexual and reproductive health, quality education, along with investments on infrastructure development and good governance. 

Delivering the keynote address, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ola Oresanya, highlighted the impact of population movement on the environment and its implication on waste management in a metropolitan city like Lagos. He added that cooperation of the populace with the government was a critical success factor in addressing the issue of population and the environment.

Speaking on the occasion, the National Coordinator of Community Agenda for Peace, Barrister Obuesi Phillips, explained that domesticating discussions on integrating issues of poverty eradication, migration and urbanization into sustainable development goals would form the bedrock for civil society agenda for Nigeria’s delegates to the 48th Session of the UN Commission on population and development. 

Contributing during the interactive session, the Executive Director of Women in Politics and Governance, Barrister Obiageli Obi, called for a change of strategy in addressing population issues. She said communications about family planning for women should directed at men.

Other Speakers were Dr Tayo Oyetunji, representing the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC); the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Women Affairs and Ethics, Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji; an accomplished musician, Dr Tee Mac Itseli and a renowned environmentalist, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi.

The theme of the conference is “Realizing the future we want: Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda”.

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UN works for you – Students told

31 March 2015
National Information Officer at the school

 

Students of Atwool Schools Lagos have been told that the United Nations (UN) works for them and other peoples of the world. ‘The UN works to improve living conditions of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms’, the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun has told the students.

Making a presentation on ‘UN for School children’, Soremekun explained to the students, who were on excursion to the Centre, that through its specialised agencies, the UN deals with all kinds of issues, ranging from keeping the peace, fighting poverty to caring for our planet and making sure everyone is safe.

He enjoined the students to be obedient and thankful to their parents for giving them education to brighten and secure their future. ‘Many school-age children’, he continued, ‘were without education and on the streets as they had to work to support their parents.’ The National Information Officer reminded the students that the UN condemns child labour and advocates for the right to education. 

Speaking further on tolerance and rights of every child, Soremekun observed, ’When children are born, they are free and each should be treated in the same way. They have reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a friendly manner.’

He added that every child has the right to a name and a nationality; Protection from violence; Education and Freedom of thought.

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