Mandela Day commemoration in Kamenge Youth Centre

18 July 2014

Partial View of participants

UNIC Bujumbura co-organized with UNDP, UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the South African Embassy a debate with the youth on Mandela legacy, followed by the screening of the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” on 18 July 2014, at Kamenge Youth Centre, suburb of Bujumbura city. Around 300 young people participated in the event. UNIC NIO issued a press release on the commemoration, invited the media for coverage and mobilized the UN Staff to attend the event.

On behalf of the UN System in Burundi, the Special Representative of the Secretary General , Parfait Onanga-Anyanga was the panellist, together with the Chargé d’Affaires of the South African Embassy in Burundi, a Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Kamenge Youth Centre.

The Diplomatic corps was represented by a couple of Ambassadors who participated in the discussions with the Youth. The young people asked many questions the panellists, trying to know how Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as he fought for justice, democracy and equality.

The young people were particularly interested in the Mandela story as the latter is the one who helped to bring peace and reconciliation between Burundians, as he led the Arusha peace negotiations for Burundi which led the country to signature of the so called Arusha Peace Accord for Burundi.

After the panels discussions came the time to screen the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. This is a 2013 British-South African biographical film based on the 1995 autobiographical book Long Walk to Freedom by anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela. The film chronicles Mandela early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.

Around 300 young people participated in the event. UNIC NIO issued a press release on the commemoration, invited the media for coverage and mobilized the UN Staff to attend the event.

Categories: Bujumbura
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | | Digg this!

Nelson Mandela International Day in Pretoria

18 July 2014

At the starting point of one of the largest relay race in Africa - in honour of Nelson Mandela

As has been the case since Nelson Mandela International Day was first declared in 2009, the United Nations in South Africa actively participated in commemorating the day in the country that has a unique connection with Nelson Mandela.

In the week prior to 18 July 2014, UNIC Pretoria arranged for the United Nations building, located at a busy intersection in central Pretoria, to be branded with a large, bright Mandela Day banner.

Wearing ‘UN-blue’ vests branded with the organisation’s logo, over 50 UN staff members kicked off the commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day by participating as ‘’Teams UN” in the Kaya FM 67km Relay for Mandela Day on Sunday, 13 July 2014. The team joined nearly 17,000 other runners in one of the largest relay races ever held in Africa. UNIC Pretoria, through the UN Communications Group, organized for a UN-branded tent and information materials to be prominently displayed at the relay.

In line with Nelson Mandela’s deep commitment to reading and literacy, the UN in South Africa organized a Book Drive for under-resourced libraries in impoverished townships  outside Pretoria.  Thus far, hundreds of children’s books have been collected from UN staff for distribution to these libraries. 

On the eve of Nelson Mandela International Day, the UN arranged a screening of an acclaimed new South African documentary titled The Vula Connection, which tells the story of the unsung heroes and global solidarity in the anti-apartheid. Nearly 200 representatives of government, civil society, the diplomatic corps, media and UN staff attended the screening which included the message of the Secretary-General by the WHO Representative to South Africa, Dr. Sarah Barber.

On 17 July, the UN Resident Coordinator and the My World Campaign, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, held a press briefing to encourage participation in this global survey which aims to capture people’s voices, priorities and views about the post-2015 development agenda for the world.

On Mandela Day itself, UN staff joined the call by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, to tidy up their environs by cleaning up a taxi rank in Pretoria on 18 July, while others served soup at an informal settlement outside Pretoria.

As South Africa and the United Nations reflected on the life lessons of this remarkable icon, Nelson Mandela International Day reminded the world of the good that can and should be done when, collectively, humanity takes action and inspires change.

Categories: Pretoria
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | | Digg this!

#BringBackOurGirls echoes at MDG Report 2014 regional launch in Lagos

15 July 2014

Students performing

The clamour for the save return of over 200 school girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents at Chibok, Borno State, North-East Nigeria, on 14 April, 2014, was further reinforced during the regional launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2014 held at the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, as the students of Lagos State Model College, Kankon Badagry, in their drama presentation at the occasion, creatively displayed “Bring Back Our Girls” graphics which elicited a supportive expression from the audience.

“We are your daughters, mothers and leaders of tomorrow. We are born equal. ‘Boko’ is not ‘Haram’ (Education is not forbidden)”, they added in graphics. 

The students’ presentation titled, ‘One Goal’ was a dance drama interspersed with poetic renditions of the gains of the MDGs. Obviously enjoying the performance, the participants sang along and applauded the students intermittently as they sang, danced and acted simultaneously. It was electrifying and instructive. What an ‘infortainment’!

UNRIC/Italy holds a presentation at the summer school in development cooperation by the Italy-Belgium chamber of commerce

15 July 2014

Students at the briefing

On 15 July, UNRIC/Italy held a two-hour presentation for some thirty students attending the XIV edition of the Summer School in Development Cooperation organized by the Brussels-based Italian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce (

The Summer School is geared to get students and aid workers to acquire and expand knowledge on International development cooperation and the European funding mechanisms. Within this context, UNRIC/Italy has over the past years developed its cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce through a module aimed at highlighting the UNRCI Brussels office, the general UN presence in Brussels and employment opportunities with the UN.

The presentation revolved around these three subjests this year, with a particularly prolonged session on UN careers, which drew high interest from the students and stirred many questioning from them. In particular, focus was on the opportunities of internship with UNRIC, given the availability of fellowships financed by the Chamber of Commerce, for the second time following last year’s successful beginning of such a cooperation.

The agreed selection process will see an initial screening and shortlisting by the Summer School’s management, followed by UNRIC/Italy’s final decision. The presentation ended with the Desk Officer distributing UNRIC gadgets and information material on its recent campaigns to participants.