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. 

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Training at Master's in Law and Economy of the Sea Programme

24 July 2015

For the fifth consecutive year, UNRIC/Italy held a module in the Master’s programme in Law and Economy of the Sea, jointly organized by UNRIC Desk for Italy and the Chamber of Commerce of Pescara/University of Teramo.

The Master is unique in its genre in Italy and trains students on a wide range of maritime-related topics. As the only UN and international representative called to address the students in the whole academic year, UNRIC’s presentations revolved around the UN system’s activities about maritime topics. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, its application and the juridical instruments the UN system uses to discipline the relationship among countries over related issues, protect the marine environment and its bio-diversity, manage the oceans, ensure compliance with existing legal instruments, etc. were addressed as were explained the functioning and activities of DOALOS, UN-Oceans, Global environment facility, Global partnership for oceans and other international mechanisms. 

The focus of the presentation was on International Maritime Organisation and its three-fold mandate, drawing on data and material originally provided to UNRIC/Italy by the London-based organization’s information service. The desk officer also gave an overview of UN employment opportunities, including possibilities of internships and students’ visits to UNRIC were also brought up. As usual, UNRIC mailing lists and institutional social pages were highlighted as the practical ways to keep the dialogue and contacts open. UNRIC undertook to help liaise with European Union institutions to have one of their officers in the Master’s next year’s program.

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Categories: Brussels
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Helen Clark Visits Zambia

19 July 2015

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark was in Zambia from 16 to 19 July 2015. During this visit she held a number of meetings with Republican President Mr. Edger Lungu, The National Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs and corporating partners of the United Nations in Zambia.

She also took part in the official launch of the “HeforShe” Campaign which took place in Chief Nyampande area and Misolo Village in Petauke, of the Eastern Province in Zambia, some 500 kms from the capital city Lusaka on 18 July. She was accompanied by the UN Zambia Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan and UNDP staff. The launch was graced by the Head of State, various traditional Chiefs, the Ministers of Gender; Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Women for Change and other partners.

In Lusaka, she saw the President and Vice President, who hosted a lunch on environment and climate change resilience, attended by the Ministers of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Agriculture and Tourism as well as the French Ambassador and the Director  of the Disaster Mitigation and Management Unit; the Speaker of the National Assembly  and Chairs of main Committees and Caucuses, including the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) Caucus; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who also hosted a reception for her; the Ministers of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Transport, Works and Supply and Communications, who co-hosted a meeting with the private sector; the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, who hosted a meeting with youth representatives.  The Chief Justice hosted lunch with senior members of the judiciary.  She also met the diplomatic community in Lusaka and the UN Country Team.

Her field trip to Eastern Province was a great success.  The President agreed to launch the Zambia HeForShe campaign and spent the whole day with the UN Team at Chief Nyamphande's village and then at Misolo village visiting the Anti-GBV One-Stop Shop there. We could not have a better platform for pushing forward this campaign. Driving around Eastern Province, Helen was struck by the persisting levels of rural poverty, which she had also seen in other countries, such as Malawi and Tanzania, which have not experienced conflict since independence.  She found the persistent rural poverty and inequalities in such circumstances shocking and she hopes that, among other work, the UN (UNDP) extractives project, once launched, can become part of a solution for dealing with persistent rural poverty and inequalities.

UNIC Lusaka helped organize both local and international media to cover the event as well as coordinate the media team while in the field as well as the press briefing held in Lusaka prior to her departure on July 19, 2015.

Celebrating Nelson Mandela in Moscow

17 July 2015

UNIC Moscow together with the UN Country Team and the South African Embassy in Moscow joined forces in the framework of International Nelson Mandela Day with a special ceremony. 

Attendees included Faina Zakharova, President of the Life Line foundation, a long-time UNIC partner, as guest of honour. 

The commemoration took place on the premises of the Embassy. It drew around 40 people, including the Embassy staff with their children, members of the South African community in Moscow, and journalists.

Ms. Zakharova described the mission of Life Line, with her message amplified with a video presentation. The purpose of the foundation, she stressed, is to reduce children’s death rate from serious diseases - curable thanks to today’s level of medicine. Another objective of the foundation is to foster a culture of philanthropy in Russian society.

The event also had a charitable aspect – in tune with Mandela’s teachings –as donations were collected for a four year-old boy with congenital heart disease. 

The day was quite successful, for it epitomized the idea of helping others and reaching out to vulnerable and needy. 

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