Visit of School Students to the UN House

23 July 2014

Students visit UNIC

On 19 December 2012, the Ministry of Education in cooperation with UNIC Manama organized a visit of 30 students and 15 teachers from 10 government schools to the UN House for a briefing session on role of the UN worldwide, in the region & of the UN Country Team in Bahrain. The session involved presentations from UNIC Director Nejib Friji, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Mohammed Al Sharif, UNEP ROWA Information and Outreach Officer, Marie Daher, and UNIDO’s Mohammed Kamal and Faaiza Adil. This was followed by question and answer session between the UN officials and the students and teachers which resulted in an interactive and insightful discussion.

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MDGs, a foundation for post-2015 agenda – Resident Coordinator

23 July 2014

Launch of the report

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Mr Daouda Toure has emphasised that the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) constitute the foundation for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. He explained that member States of the United Nations (UN), including Nigeria, are in discussions to define sustainable development goals, to serve as a core of a Universal post 2015 Agenda.  

Mr Toure made this emphasis at the regional launch of the MDG Report 2014 organised by and held at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, just as the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon noted at the global launch of the report in New York that sustained progress towards the MDGs in the remaining year is essential to provide a solid foundation for the post-2015 development agenda.

Launch of the report

The regional launch which was attended by over 190 participants comprising of seven Television Channels, five Radio Stations, six National Dailies, representatives of six Secondary Schools, twenty Non-Governmental Organizations and six UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds including the UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, UNAIDS, UNODC and WHO, also featured an interactive session and a drama presentation by the students of Lagos State model college, Kankon, Badagry. 

Represented by the Economic Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Abuja, Ms Colleen Zamba, the Resident Coordinator urged development partners to continue the fruitful collaboration which would help Nigeria take meaningful and transformative steps needed to accelerate progress to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

In his address, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) represented by the Director of Economic Planning and Development, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Seun Akinsanya, said that the State was committed to improving and strengthening its MDGs performances. 

Earlier, the Senior Public Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Ms Envera Selimovic, welcomed the participants to the Centre while the President, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative & Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins (BBM) spoke on "The role of youths in MDG acceleration beyond 2015". The National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, provided an overview of the MDG Report 2014 including the MDG progress chart on Nigeria.

The Governor and the Resident Coordinator jointly launched the report.

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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.

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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.

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