Police, Civil and Military Relations Course – Protection of Civilians

26 May 2014

Police training

UNRIC/Italy strengthened its long-lasting working cooperation with the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU), giving a presentation, titled “UN media Relations”, on UN public information in peacekeeping missions in the ninth edition of the four-week Police,Civil, Military Relations Course - Protection of Civilians (http://www.carabinieri.it/Internet/Coespu/), attended  by a selection of some forty foreign senior police and military officers in the rank of Colonel (main countries represented: Nepal, Ghana, Senegal, Bangladesh, Camerun, Nigeria, Romania, Burundi). This was UNRIC’s sixth presence since the Course’s inception. COESPU was established under the 2004 G-8 Action Plan labeled “Expanding global capability for peace support operators” and training policemen from throughout the world to be deployed in UN PKOs’ FPUs (Formed Police Units). The course didactics are funded by the US State Department and supervised by DPKO.

UNRIC’s participation originates from the 2011 review of COESPU training modules, with the first-ever opening to consideration of the interaction of the different components, including civilians, operating in PK theatres. The module was defined as “Civil military crisis management – Media relations”. Drawing on resources created by the desk (updated PPTs and backgrounders) based on DPI material as well as HQ publications (“Year in review” and “UN Police magazine”, UNRIC/ITA gave an overview of the UN public information activities, with particular focus on the field activities. The desk officer as usual contributed to the Course’s end-of-course Q/A sheet with five questions relating to his presentation.  COESPU appreciates the desk’s original input in the training course, which provides participants with the international civilian’s visual angle of current peacekeeping’s complex aspects and its public information component.

Categories: Brussels
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Model United Nations Namibia Public speaking workshop

24 May 2014

Student participants

The 3rd Annual Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) conference will be commencing within a time span of two weeks.  Twenty two high schools across Namibia will deliberate their stance on this year’s topic on child labor. With the final preparations underway by UNIC Windhoek to finalize conference logistics, there is a great excitement all round amongst teachers and students for this year’s conference.

To assist delegates in their preparation, UNIC Windhoek hosted and facilitated a public speaking workshop. The workshop focused on public speaking tips to enable delegates to deliver speeches and position papers that they truly own and understand. The students were encouraged to "sell their positions" to the committee, to ensure they rally support for the resolutions they will eventually draft.

The team introduced ice breakers to get the participants to start flexing their public speaking muscles, with a game called “radio dial" prompting students to improvise and present spontaneous topics at random selection. The groups delivered interesting renditions of their own radio programmes with topics covering from weather, boko haram, Trevor Noah (a South African stand - up comedian) and even interviews with local celebrities! It was a helpful warm up exercise to boost confidence and get the delegates ready to advance on to more difficult exercises.

The delegates were then challenged to prepare position papers on the floods in Bosnia. The UNIC team allowed ample time to delegates to prepare and rehearse a speech which was then delivered to the entire committee. This entailed an entire session of providing positive feedback and constructive criticism to enable delegates to improve their public speaking skills.

The aim of the workshop was to encourage students to venture out of their comfort zones and gain more confidence addressing a large audience of their peers. The workshop focused on several practical exercises during a span of an entire Saturday morning. 

A practical exercise on resolution writing was also held, deriving from the Bosnia case study used before. The results of the exercise was well drafted resolutions that the UNIC team was truly proud of. The time and effort put in for the workshop was worth every minute!

With sixty delegates in attendance, the UNIC team facilitated a vibrant and interactive training session allowing ample time for questions and answers at the end.

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Categories: Windhoek
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FUN Day: Steve Tshwete secondary school

23 May 2014

IOM official addressing the students

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria had a FUN Day (Fridays with the UN) at Steve Tshwete Secondary School, Olievenhoutbosch, in Pretoria West on 23 May 2014. About 90 grade 10 pupils participated in this event. A delegation from International Organization for Migration (IOM) also participated in the event and one IOM representative spoke on migration. 

The UNIC Librarian, Hope Kabamba, introduced the students to the work of the United Nations as well as the different UN agencies. Ntokozo Mahlangu, IOM Communication Outreach Consultant briefed learners about migration. He explained the work of IOM and answered questions such as “what is migration”, “what is a migrant”, “what is emigration”, and “what is immigration”.

The students learned about the different reasons why people migrate and how migration benefits the economy of a country. They also learned about the need to accept migrants because ‘everyone is a migrant’. A student remarked that, “my hair has been done by a foreign national, therefore we are benefiting from their skills”.

The students were given a chance to participate in a quiz and those who managed to answer questions correctly were rewarded with IOM t-shirts “I am a migrant too”.

UNIC team donated UN information materials and posters to the school library and teachers’ kits were given to history teachers for more information about the United Nations and different work programmes in order to promote greater understanding of the UN to students. 

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Categories: Pretoria
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UNIC joins UNA family in India in discussing peace component of post-2015 agenda

23 May 2014

Participants at the event

The World Federation of UN Associations organized a workshop on the critical importance of peace as the baseline for all other post-2015 sustainable development goals. Funded by SIPRI in Sweden, the local partner for the workshop was the Indian Federation of UN Associations (IFUNA), headed by its Secretary-General, Suresh Srivastava. Taking advantage of the presence of both WFUNA and IFUNA members in New Delhi, UNIC New Delhi swung into advocacy mode and set up a series of meetings and briefings on the sidelines of this WFUNA-IFUNA workshop.

UNIC first held discussions with the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA) on its newly-established WFUNA-India Foundation and explored ways and means to collaborate with it in the various activities that UNIC already promotes with the State UN Associations under the umbrella of IFUNA. Beyond these activities, for the upcoming seventieth anniversary of the United Nations in 2015, UNIC also discussed possible collaboration for some of its unique ‘YoUNg@70’ project components. “We now have this new entity that is just being born,” UNIC Director Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman told WFUNA Secretary-General Bonian Golmohammadi and the Foundation’s representative in India Sandeep Bhutoria, “that is the WFUNA-India Foundation, which we hope will grow to be a new and vibrant source of support for diverse initiatives that seek to promote UN values and we very much look forward to collaborating with you”.

At the conclusion of the four-day workshop, Meghalaya Chief Minister and Chairman of IFUNA, Dr. Mukul Sangma, hosted a dinner at which he was introduced to various State UNA colleagues. He was very appreciative of the role that UNIC has played in energizing the UNAs and providing them with a strengthened framework through IFUNA cooperation. He hoped that this collaboration and cooperation would continue to produce even more impact. He talked of his vision of providing employment to youth, so that they are not just job seekers but entrepreneurs and job creators.

UNIC Director thanked Dr. Sangma for his support through the Northeast UNA network and the Resource Centre for the UN in the Northeast and commended the UNAs for their intensive efforts over the past few years in working with UNIC. “I am certain that your role will be even more significant in the post-2015 period and we at UNIC look forward to working closely and even more effectively with you all to achieve the new set of goals that are currently under consideration”.

As discussions focused on young people, the backbone of India’s population today, Ms. Mehra-Kerpelman lauded the role of civil society in helping to reach out to youth and also to use them as agents of advocacy and change. “This is where the role of civil society comes in”, she said; “Your role – your powers of persuasion, your ability to reach out to diverse audiences, to influence policymakers, the media, students and academics are absolutely crucial, and you are our partners in the field, promoting the messages of the United Nations”.  As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has observed, young people want “more and better job opportunities, a good education, access to affordable quality health care, responsive and honest governments, and increased efforts to tackle climate change.”

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Categories: New Delhi
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