Children’s film festival promotes UN values

08 February 2015

UNIC Director Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman was in Lucknow at the City Montessori School, to unveil the poster and logo for the 7th International Children’s Film Festival. The festival is being held in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan under its 70th anniversary yoUNg@70 campaign. “It aims to promote world unity and world peace and has been termed the world’s biggest such festival” said Mr. V. Kurian, the Festival Director. “We have received an amazing 1020 entries from 80 participating countries,” he said.

“This is a unique festival during which only children’s films are screened for entertainment as well as for learning lessons of character building qualities and spiritual inspiration from them”, said Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, who wants to bring education out of the four walls of the classroom and to build a safe society of values. Six years ago, CMS, which is now an UN-accredited NGO, conceived of this concept to eliminate the adverse effects of commercial films in which violence and vulgarity is depicted randomly. The festival was also designed to bring about social transformation by promoting universal values and global understanding through the powerful medium of films.

Another unique feature is that when the films are screened in early April, the plan is to bring more than 100,000 children from scores of schools of Lucknow and surroundings to several shows over a week. Invitations are also being sent to teachers and parents. That number in itself is staggering record-breaking one, and we are looking forward to a wonderful experience. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said: “There is no greater tool than education to enhance human dignity, promote a culture of non-violence, and build lasting peace. Through education, we can craft new ways of living with each other and the planet. Education can also lay the foundation for developing new forms of global citizenship and solidarity that are so essential in today’s world”. And the film festival is providing an entertaining path to education.

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Categories: New Delhi
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Remembering victims of the Holocaust in Lusaka

05 February 2015
Holocaust Exhibition

The United Nations in Zambia held a series of outreach activities in various educational institutions from January 26 to 28 January 2015 namely Lake Road School, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, and a public display at the UNIC Lusaka premises. The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, is an important reminder of the universal lessons of the very dark and sad period in human history.

The Holocaust was a unique evil in the 20th century which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten especially at a time in the 21st century when in some parts of the world, similar atrocities are being committed of indiscriminate killings of defenseless people mostly women and children. 

Inspired by the theme “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”, this year’s observance coincides with two milestone events: the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end and the founding of the United Nations. First and foremost a testament of our respect to those who survived and a tribute to the memory of the victims, this International Day also was an opportunity to recall the commitment of the international community to taking action against anti-Semitism and racism, and to preventing similar violence from occurring in the future. It was a time to reflect on how deeply the Organization was shaped by the experience of the Holocaust, the principle of human rights for all was enshrined in both the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

In the video shown during the discussions one of the survivors, Gilbert Schie recalls memories of the journey taken during this dark period, from deportation to incarceration to freedom. A story of pain and suffering, yet ultimately also of triumph and renewal, serving as a guiding force for future generations.

In order to put the discussion into perspective, Charles Nonde from UNIC Lusaka, gave a brief background of the Holocaust during the Second World War and gave insight on the theme for this year. He shared with the audience present that the purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember and learn from the lessons of the past by looking at different themes every year, as was the case with this year whose focus was on “liberty, life and the legacy of the holocaust survivors”. He further added that it also provided a way to discussing difficult issues such as racism, xenophobia, discrimination and bigotry among different faiths and diverse communities within a country.

Besides the presentations done at various schools, there was a public display of panels exhibiting the stories of some of the survivors. Social media tools such as bulk sms were used to reach out a further 20000 people around the country - in 10 provinces, with the following messages sent out;  

1. 2. Today's is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. More information at https://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/ 

2. Do you know about the Holocaust? Visit the UN Information Centre to learn more

During the question and answer session, the major concern that was raised was the senseless killings that were perpetrated because of ethical differences, there was a plea that outreach activities must not be restricted to commemorative days such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was agreed that there is need for the outreach to be done on a regular basis so that people were continually reminded of the dangers associated with intolerance and the consequences thereof.. 

UN 70 Preparations

04 February 2015
Brigadier-General Paolo Nardone, Director of the Vicenza Carabinieri’s COESPU posing with the UN 70 Logo
Giuliana Schiavi, Director of the Vicenza Institute for Linguistic Mediators Medlingue

UNRIC/Italy started on this occasion the snapshot campaign aimed at taking pictures of Italy-based high-ranking partners carrying the ad hoc Italian version of the official banner for the anniversary. This will feed over time, a photo gallery on the theme. It serves the purpose of celebrating the observance, raising awareness among the stakeholders, strengthening valuable partnerships around the idea of an Organization at the service of the national public and whose image gest publicized in a wide array of fields, reflecting the diverse nature of the Desk’s interlocutors.

The first two guests were;  Brigadier-General Paolo Nardone, Director of the Vicenza Carabinieri’s COESPU Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units and Ms. Giuliana Schiavi, Director of the Vicenza Institute for Linguistic Mediators Medlingue, training translators and interpreters, UNRIC/Italy’s partner in the Distance internship program aimed at fostering multilingualism in the UN through the translation of UN documents, backgrounders, fact-sheets, press kits into Italian by Master’s students. This, according to the Italian Foreign office, makes UNRIC/Italy’s website the richest web source of UN-related documents in Italian.

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Categories: Brussels
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UNIC partners with NGOs, calling for peace during and after elections

03 February 2015

UNIC partners NGOs, calls for peace during and after electionsAs Nigeria prepares for the general elections, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, has called on Nigerian youths to eschew violence and promote peace before, during and after the general elections in the country.

Making the call was the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun while speaking at different youth fora organized by UNIC and partners. 

Addressing youths and leaders of youth-led organisations at the Library auditorium of UNIC Lagos during a one-day symposium on ‘2015 Elections and Citizens Right To Peace’ organized by UNIC Lagos in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation, Community Agenda For Peace,  Soremekun noted that the current democratic process in Nigeria should be allowed to be peacefully concluded. He asserted that no country could reach her potential in an atmosphere of strife and rancor.

In his address, the Executive Director of Community Agenda For Peace, Barrister Phillips Obuesi called politicians to regenerate themselves by stopping hate propaganda and preventing incitement to violence.

At a similar forum  on violence-free and fair Elections, organized by the United Nations of Youths (UNOY), the National Information Officer enjoined the over 150 youths in attendance to channel their energies to productive ventures rather than being a willing tool of perpetrating political violence.

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Categories: Lagos
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