Launch of MDGs report 2015 and Round-table on SDGs

08 July 2015

In global launching of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2015, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Dhaka organized a round-table discussion with the participation of stakeholders and young representatives from eight universities to talk about eight millennium goals and the post-2015 development agenda - proposed SDGs. The development and governance activist Dr. Zahurul Alam, spoke on the occasion as chief guest while Kazi Ali Reza, Director (communication) of Dhaka Ahsania Mission presided over. UNIC Officer-in-Charge M. Moniruzzaman moderated the round-table and shared the salient features of the report where there is significant improvements in various goals during the last fifteen years globally including Bangladesh. Apart from youngsters, NGO activists, academicians, media representatives, civil society members and cultural personalities took part in the discussion.

In his speech, the session chair focused on inclusiveness and equity that play a key role for sustainable development and growth while the chief guest emphasized on quantitative and qualitative growth. Special guest Mission, raised the issue of economic disparity and asked the youngsters to come forward to reduce it.

The young representatives said that young voices needed to be heard and opportunities needed to be created as well. Issues like consumerism, sharing of knowledge, data analysis, role of NGOs, maternal mortality, attitude towards women, discrimination, poverty, climate change, environment-friendly industrialization, quality education, inclusiveness and equity came-up in the round-table discussion. The participating universities/colleges were University of Dhaka, North South University, BRAC University, Daffodil International University, Dhaka Medical College, United International University, Sunny Dale and Scholastica. The participants will hold a follow-up round-table after shaping of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scheduled in September 2015.

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Launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report in Moscow

07 July 2015

On 7 July, UNIC Moscow launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report in Moscow, to an appreciative audience of 30 government officials, academics, experts, journalists and students. Each guest received a copy of the Report and a competent presentation was made by Dr. Lilia Ovcharova, Professor of Higher School of Economics (HSE) and Director of the Institute for Social Development Studies, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Dr. Ovcharova made a comprehensive 30-minute overview, focusing on key achievements of the MDG campaign and the main problems faced in the course of 15 years of its implementation. She stressed that the key MDG achievement was the improvement of the lives of millions. The Goals, she said, served as a framework for local, national, regional and global monitoring of development progress resulting in remarkable gains; in many parts of the world, especially in the poorest countries. Finally, Dr. Ovcharova mentioned the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme, which will focus on where the international community has left off, and the new challenges at the forefront of the global agenda.

In her overview, she pointed out some critical factors that affected the MDG programme. First, the abundance of political and, especially, military conflicts in certain regions of the world aggravated the situations and in many cases prevented the implementation of the right policies. Thus, the number of refugees and internally displaced people is at its highest since the Second World War and it impedes the progress. Second, the inequality in access to basic services between countries and within them still exists and, in many places, is on the same level it was 15 years ago, despite all our efforts.

Then the floor was opened for questions and comments, which were quite substantive. Those related to the role of institutions in the MDGs implementation process; the methodological issue of mix-up between the terms “malnutrition” and “hunger” in the Goal 1 of the MDGs and the summing-up of its results; the comparison between institutions: which of them help underdeveloped countries battle inequality better; and, of course, the role of the Russian Federation in the pursuit of MDGs. The last question sparked a lively discussion between several participants.

Most participants praised the Report as highly informative and were pleased by a thorough and illustrative presentation. Judging by the active participation of the guests in the discussion, the issues presented by the MDG review resonated deeply with the attendees.

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Eros Primary School

06 July 2015

UN4U is an educational outreach programme which brings UN officials or representatives to speak to students in their schools. The representatives highlight the agencies within the United Nations, their functions, role and important activities that the United Nations carries out worldwide but most importantly they take a look at the work that is being done in Namibia as a whole.

The targeted number of students United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek wish to reach with the UN4U programme has been increased from 2000 students in 2014, to 3000 for 2015! The task of visiting various schools requires great coordination, but the positive results of this program has been proven year on year! 

On 6 July 2015, UNIC visited Eros primary School. They were eagerly met and welcomed by 350 eager pupils in grades 5, 6 and 7.To start the outreach, a brief introduction of the team was given and then founding facts on the United Nations were given. The students were very enthusiastic and eager to participate and share the little knowledge that they already had on the United Nations as they were asked to give their views and responses on questions such as who the current Secretary-General of the United Nations is. As this interactive discussion took place there was a sense of excitement that filled the air.

Following this, an in-depth description on some of the United Nations agencies and their activities was highlighted. The learners listened attentively, which was important as they began to fully understand how the United Nations in fact cares for them and the important work that is done in their country.

To conclude the presentation, a short video clip summarizing all the facts and information that was shared was shown, the learners were able to fully appreciate the role of the United Nations worldwide and this video allowed them to have a visual idea of what exactly happens, on a daily basis. 

The teachers were very happy as the UN4U programme complements what the students are currently learning in their social studies class. The UNIC Windhoek team is proud to make a positive contribution to each young student! Following a short survey, we learned that the pupils gained a better understanding of the United Nations after the presentation was concluded.

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UN in Iran marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

28 June 2015

Managing Director of an Iranian NGO Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) Mr. Siavash Rahpeyk said his organization practically protects victims of violence in Iran.

Addressing a workshop on the occasion of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture held at Tehran Peace Museum on 28 June 2015, he added that ODVV is also active in research and is organizing workshops on rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence. 

In this respect, he added that ODVV has translated into Persian the full text of the United Nations Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, commonly known as the “Istanbul Protocol” which is the first set of international guidelines for documentation of torture and its consequences. Istanbul Protocol became an official United Nations document in 1999. 

This event was organized with the support of the UN Information Centre in Tehran for some 20 social workers.

“ODVV is an active member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims which is a health-based umbrella organisation that supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and the prevention of torture worldwide with 144 member,” added Mr Rahpeyk.

UNIC National Information Officer Mr. Mohammad Moghadam delivered the United Nations Secretary-General’s message for the participants. The workshop continued by discussions on issues related to post traumatic stress disorder by Dr. Ja’far Mirzaee and Dr. Ali Khaji and sharing best practices.

"Workshop was useful, I learned more about various international legal documents in this sensitive area and about their practical application in our day-to-day life of social workers," one of the participants said.