Mandela Made Right Decisions at Sensitive Times - Iranian Diplomat

27 July 2015

UNIC Tehran together with their partners from the Iranian International Studies Association (IISA) and with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a roundtable discussion to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day in Tehran on 27 July 2015.

Ambassador and Director-General for Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hussein M. Abdullahi  said, “Mandela chose the path of mercy, not revenge for the sake of unity of his people and the bright future of South Africa.” He further stated that two major characteristics made Nelson Mandela different from other political celebrities of his time: firstly, he voluntarily left his political position when he was at the peak of power and secondly, he never sought retaliation when he had the means to do so.

The theme behind the Day, "Take Action, Inspire Change" the heroic life of Nelson Mandela and his dedication to social justice and promotion of peace, were highlighted by Public Information Officer Ms. Maria Dotsenko.  Ms. Dotsenko read the UN Secretary-General’s message on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day for nearly 120 intellectuals, government officials, artists, university professors and students who came together at the UN Office in Iran. 

Among the notable speakers, former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to South Africa, Mr. Javid Qorban-Oghli, told the audience that Mandela’s outstanding ability to compromise made him a remarkable politician in the international arena. 

“The ability to relate morals with politics was another significant characteristic of Mandela,” the former Ambassador added. 

During the event, president of IISA, Dr. Arsalan Qorbani and Secretary of IISA, Dr. Ziaoddin Saboori, spoke about the late Mandela’s personality and achievements regarding the culture of peace and reconciliation. 

Renowned actress and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, Ms. Mahtab Karamati, was among the distinguished guests at the ceremony.

At the end of the discussion, a book entitled “Nelson Mandela Forever” by Mr. Meysam Shahbabaee was unveiled. The book consists of photographs taken during Mandela’s funeral service and other ceremonies held in 2013. Former President Mohammad Khatami and current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif penned prefaces for the book. 

Categories: Tehran
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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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Categories: Dhaka
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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.

Categories: Moscow
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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.

Categories: Windhoek
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