UN Staff Briefed Beirut School Students about SDGs

24 May 2016

UN staff from UNIC Beirut and UNSCOL met with around 250 students at Beirut Hariri III School in May and briefed them, in an interactive lecture, about the UN in general, its agencies and achievements in Lebanon, and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The session was part of a UNCG initiative that has been ongoing for years, which aims at reaching out to both high school and university students providing them with insights about UN priorities, activities and programs.

UN staff interacted with students and teachers and engaged in a Q&A session that helped address and clarify various issues, showing them a feel of what the UN is doing in Lebanon and for Lebanon.

The lectures and interactive sessions will continue running throughout the year and will seek to engage students in the sustainable development process of their communities.

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Outreach event for World Humanitarian Summit

24 May 2016

As prelude to the Istanbul World Humanitarian Summit of 23-24 May 2016, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Yaounde on behalf of the UN System in Cameroon organized an Outreach Event at the Advanced School of Mass Communication (ASMAC) Yaounde, on Wednesday 18 May 2016. Chaired by Ms Najat Rochdi; Humanitarian Coordinator/UNRC, event brought together humanitarian stakeholders in Cameroon such as UN Agencies; (OCHA, UNICEF, WFP, HCR), and donors/partners (Japan, US, France). The outreach event aimed at raising public awareness on the timely relevance of the current world humanitarian situation as part of efforts to reduce human suffering. 

Mrs Rochdi used global statistics on humanitarian crisis, to explain the urgency of action and the reason why Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called this first ever Humanitarian Summit from 23-24 May 2016 at Istanbul. She called participants to all be agents of change, stating that WHS is the platform for everybody to take individual and collective commitments to change. Students and media should commit through the social media. We must all defend and translate human values in our homes, families, schools, and community, for there is no colour, no nationality, and no borders in suffering she intimated. 

The Representatives of the US Embassy, Japan, and France all pledged their continued support through the United Nations in assisting the needy and victims of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram in the Far North region of Cameroon, and elsewhere in the country. 

Max Schott (OCHA) painted a picture of the humanitarian situation in the Far North of Cameroon, with practical details on the Istanbul Humanitarian Summit. Felicité Tchibindat (UNICEF) highlighted efforts to restore the innocence of children abused by terrorist organisations as suicide bombers through psychosocial support to the Cameroon government. Khassim Diagne (HCR) cited some conventions on the protection of Refugees’ rights to re-echo the importance for countries in respecting them. Elvira Pruscini explained how WFP reinforces the resilience of humanitarian assistance by making assistance structures more adaptable to needs, and addressing the drivers of crisis and conflicts as a way of doing away with the causes.

These humanitarian actors in turn pledged and committed themselves to say “ca suffit” (enough is enough) to human sufferings and to leave no one behind.

UNIC Canberra Introduces Free and Equal Campaign to Rural Australia

24 May 2016

On the 24th May, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Canberra National Information Officer Julia Dean travelled with Bede Carmody, the Community Organiser from Amnesty International Australia, to Bilabong High School in southern New South Wales. They were invited to talk about LGBTI rights to students. 

Students were most interested to hear about the UN's Free and Equal Campaign - and the work it does to support the LGBTI community. 

Different forms of discrimination that LGBTI young people face including violence and bullying were central to the students’ discussion. 

Some of the students were aware of the effect such discrimination has on young people and asked how they could help friends in this situation. In response, their teachers led a supportive question and answer session. 

The Free and Equal Campaign videos were played and students enjoyed, particularly the video called "the Riddle." 

The visit to Bilabong High School was part of the UNIC's broader rural educational outreach program to take the UN's messages to regional Australia. 

Participants graduate with smiles from Practicum Programme 2016

20 May 2016

Participants of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s high school practicum programme graduated on Friday, 20 May 2016. The graduation ceremony was hosted at a local restaurant in Windhoek.

The participants dressed up for the graduation and went with the UNIC Windhoek team to Nyama, located in the centre of Windhoek. Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer for UNIC Windhoek thanked the students for their hard work and dedication to the programme.

Anthea Basson handed over the certificates to each of the participants as well as commented each student’s performance, skills and improvement throughout the course of the programme.

Basson said that the first intake of students had already set the bar high for the programme. she noted with pride about the position growth in each student she has seen, “I encourage you to use these and similar platforms to build on the skills and knowledge you have been exposed to over the past couple of weeks and to nurture these to become well rounded, global citizens.” 

Thomas Sinner, one of the participants said, “When we first arrived, we didn’t know any of the faces around the table. But now we have become great friends all thanks to Anthea. She took us under her wing and led us throughout the programme as his peers nodded their heads in agreement.”

The students then voted for the best speaker for the MUN simulation about wildlife trafficking, which happened the previous day. Over lunch the students continued to talk about how much they enjoyed the MUN simulation and shared their memories from the programme. 

They also received a group photo in a Sustainable Development Goals frame. They also signed on the back of the photos to memorize the event.  

The participants have become close friends throughout the course of the programme, while learning more about the United Nations and gaining valuable skills.

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