Human Development Report 2014 National launch

13 August 2014
At the report launch

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Namibia in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Namibia through the National Planning Commission (NPC), launched the Human Development Report (HDR) 2014 at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre.

Following successful launches of the report held across the globe, the report was officially launched in Namibia by Hon. Tom Alweendo, Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC). 

The 2014 HDR, entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” edifies that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa need to intensify their battle against deprivation and prevent crisis from setting back recent development advances. 

Hon. Tom Alweendo, presided over the launch and highlighted the Namibian context of growth and development. He highlighted the positive growth which has occurred in Namibia.

Mr. Musinga Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative for UNDP highlighted that the report provides a useful platform for examining the concept of vulnerability and devising possible ways through which to build resilience in communities. He assured Hon. Alweendo, “the issue of building resilience has become a central theme of the UNDP’s work, and is one of the three priority areas of its  programme of work outlined in the new 2014-2017 strategic plan .“ 

Presenting the core messages of the report, Mr. Ojijo Odhiambo, Economic Advisor for UNDP Namibia alluded to the HDI and the relevant dimensions and indicators pertinent to the indexes. 

UNDP’s Economic Advisor made specific reference to the structural vulnerabilities which create barriers and result in deep inequalities and widespread poverty. These barriers include existing power structures, traditions and socio-cultural norms, political spaces and social and legal institutions. “There is a need for universal provision of basic social services and a need to put people first in all policy and decision making processes, “he said.  Odhiambo further stated “there is a need to commit to collective action at the level of individuals, communities and states.”  He made specific reference to the need for effective coordination between states and social institutions and concluded that “success is not automatic and gains are not necessary permanent.”

The report launch was a successful event coordinated and executed by the UNIC Windhoek team in collaboration with UNDP in Namibia. With the ambassadors, civil society, NGO’s, media and other development partners present, the findings of the report were successfully positioned to a broad audience base. Copies of the report were distributed to those in attendance.

International Youth Day

12 August 2014


To mark the International Youth Day (IYD), UNIC Dhaka, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Volunteers (UNV) and the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) - an organization working for autistic children jointly organized an art exhibition, cultural event and discussion session at the BPF auditorium on 12 August. Autistic children and their parents, UN agency officials, media representatives, NGO activists and UNYAP members participated in the events at BPF. 

The UN Resident Coordinator a,i, UNFPA Representative and Chairperson of UN Adolescent and Youth Theme Group Ms Argentina Matavel Piccin spoke at the event as chief guest. Considering the slogan of the Day - Mental Health Matters, UNIC Dhaka selected the venue, co-organizer and partnered with BPF - an organization working for autistic children.

UNIC, Lagos Government, SMILE, partner to mark International Youth Day

12 August 2014

Youth at the event

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, in collaboration with Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE) and the Lagos State Government office for Youth and Social Development observed the 2014 International Youth Day with panel discussion on the theme: Youth and Mental Health – Mental Health matters’.

The event which attracted 828 participants comprising of 46% female and 54% male; representatives of 23 media organisations; 35 voluntary and non-governmental organisations; five government Agencies and four United Nations organisations, featured four panelists which included a Psychiatrist, Wellness Expert, Psycho-therapist and a general Medical Practitioner.

In his message on the occasion, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, noted that “Mental health is how we feel; it is our emotions and well-being.  We all need to take care of our mental health so that we lead satisfying lives.  Let us begin to talk about our mental-health in the same way we talk about our overall health.” The message which was read by UNIC Lagos Senior Public Information Officer, Ms Envera Selimovic, added that everyone should remember that with understanding and assistance, young people with mental health conditions could flourish and make valuable contributions to our collective future. 

Setting the tone for the panel discussion were Miss Amaka Efughi (23 years) and Mr Kalid Sotonye (22 years) who gave testimonies about their past drug addiction and mental conditions which cost them their university education at the time and six years of their lives. They expressed their happiness about their rescue, rehabilitation and re-enrolment back to the university. 

In her welcome address, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Hon. Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, urged stakeholders to pay attention to the 15 factors that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified as relevant to mental health among youth, some of which are education, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, armed conflicts, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), among others. She was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr Dolapo Badru.

The occasion was also used to disseminate preventive public information on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) when UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, made a presentation on “Ebola: What you need to know” while officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health later distributed public information leaflets on the disease.

Closing the event, the President, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, thanked UNIC for its commitment to promoting partnership and synergy with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) in addressing some societal issues that are of interest to the United Nations.

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UNO Baku Encouraging Youth to Get Involved in their Country’s Development

12 August 2014
Youth at the event


In observance of International Youth Day, UNO Baku in partnership with the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation and Educational Center for Youth, held a Model UN Workshop on 12 August. The event was held in Samukh, approximately 300 kilometers away from the capital Baku. The workshop attracted more than 30 determined young participants from various regions of Azerbaijan. The main aim of the event was to develop a better understanding of the UN’s work among youth and raise the awareness of the organization’s cause. In addition, UNO Baku’s team members along with other highly qualified experts, trained the participants in public speaking, debating, and writing skills. Moreover critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills elements were reflected during the Model UN simulation workshop. 

The event started with the screening of a video about the UN’s work and followed with the presentation, which provided the participants with in-depth information about working procedures and the conduct of Model United Nations. Later, the training expert Mr. Sabuhi Khalili engaged participants in discussions of the role of youth in the development of the country, and inspiring them to act in the best interest of the nation states that they were assigned to. Participants seemed to be very excited about the topic, especially since each of the attendees was involved into the heated discussions and was given an opportunity to express his or her view through the diplomatic simulation.   

During the event, Ramin Jafarov, representing Azerbaijan Youth Foundations said: “Today’s event opened up the opportunities for Azerbaijan regional youth to gain certain knowledge and new skills about diplomacy and international relations.” 

“Today’s event has inspired me to learn more about diplomacy and moreover acquaint myself with International Relations. Such simulation workshops are one of the most effective ways to begin the process of involving regional youth in the development issues of the country,” said Aygun Akhmedova, a participant.  “I want to call upon all participants in this simulation and say thank you for your hard work and enthusiasm,” said Zaka Guluyev, UNO Baku’s team member during his closing remarks.