Année internationale de Solidarité avec le Peuple Palestinien

17 November 2014
Tableau de peinture « Processus de Paix »

La question palestinienne à la lumière des mutations régionales

Dans le cadre de la célébration de l’Année Internationale de Solidarité avec le peuple Palestinien, le Centre d’Information des Nations Unies (CINU)  , à Alger , en collaboration avec l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Sciences Politiques  (ENSSP) et l’Ambassade de Palestine , ont organisé  , le lundi 17 Novembre 2014  une conférence débat intitulée « La question palestinienne à la lumière des mutations régionales » , au niveau de l’ENSSP. La conférence débat a été animée par des experts en Droit Internationale, en Sciences Politiques et relations internationales et en sociologie.

L’approche juridique de la question palestinienne a été au centre de l’intervention du   Dr Ghechi El Khier, spécialiste en droit international, Recteur de L’université de Sétif 2. Devant un parterre composé essentiellement d’enseignants universitaires et d’étudiants en Sciences politiques et journalisme, Dr Ghechi a éclairé l’assistance sur le traitement juridique de la question palestinienne par les Nations Unies en soulignant l’impartialité de la Cour Internationale de Justice dans plusieurs dossiers citant en exemples la Palestine, le Sahara Occidental, la Namibie et le Nicaragua. Concernant la question palestinienne, il a tenu à préciser que « Les décisions émanant du Conseil de sécurité, l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies et la Cour internationale de justice, dans son ensemble, étaient en faveur des Palestiniens, mais Israël, intransigeante a poursuivi sa politique qui vise à disperser le peuple palestinien ».

Pour sa part, Dr Samira Al Sakka, sociologue, s’appuyant sur son expérience personnelle au tant que réfugiée palestinienne, a dressé un tableau du difficile quotidien des réfugiés palestiniens tout en retraçant l’historique de la question palestinienne avant de conclure, avec une note optimiste, que la reconnaissance de l’Etat palestinien par la Suédé ouvre la voie vers de nouveaux horizons et de nouvelles perspectives pour la question palestinienne.

De son côté, le professeur en sciences politiques à l’université d’Alger, Mokhtar Mezrak, s’est penché sur les perspectives politiques de la question palestinienne, estimant quant à lui, qu’« Israël est le plus grand gagnant des tensions et des guerres civiles au Moyen-Orient, en particulier en Syrie et en Irak ».

Et en marge de la conférence débat, le CINU a organisé une exposition photos et tableau de  peintures sur la question de Palestine ainsi qu’une exposition des publications onusiennes sur la question de la Palestine et les Nations Unies.

Celebrating harmony and tolerance

15 November 2014

The Sant Nirankari Mission Festival was just the place for a celebration of the International Day of Tolerance, a day that serves to remind us of the need to respect and appreciate the vast diversity of the world’s cultures and forms of expression.

Over half a million people attended the observance at the Mission, known as the Universal Brotherhood Mission, an all-embracing spiritual movement dedicated to human welfare. The Mission has over 100 branches outside India, including in the United Kingdom and North America. Its world headquarters is located in Sant Nirankari Colony, New Delhi, and its leader, Baba Hardev Singh, provides spiritual guidance to Nirankari devotees.

UNIC Director Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, along with Padmashri S.P. Varma, Chairperson of the Gandhi Global Family (GGF), attended the Sant Nirankari Samagam, a three-day festival of harmony and one-ness, where they handed over the Mahatma Gandhi Award, presented to GGF to the Sant Nirankari Mission for its exemplary social and humanitarian work. 

The Gandhi Global Family is a renowned NGO working for the betterment of humanity according to the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The wide range of socio-spiritual activities carried out by the Mission led to the grant of special Consultative Status to it by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Mission has been working proactively towards assisting in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Delegates have participated in several UN summits and conferences on a number of issues. The Mission also celebrates international days and observances and undertakes a range of philanthropic activities, including blood donation drives – over one million blood units have been collected over the past two decades.

The Director of UNIC New Delhi quoted from the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the International Day of Tolerance: “I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future”. She also quoted Mahatma Gandhi who had said that tolerance does not mean indifference towards one’s own faith, but a more intelligent and pure love for it.

She lauded the Mission for their massive outreach effort, for talking about things “that are so important in India and in the world today”. 

“Talking about peace, about service, about harmony in one-ness – this is what we all need to remove intolerance from the world once and for all,” she added. In addition to the half a million people present at the observance, a larger audience watched the live webcast of the event, coming together in a sincere and joyous commemoration of the three pillars of the UN – peace, sustainable development and human rights.

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Categories: New Delhi
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UN in Kenya gathers for the first DaO Town Hall meeting

11 November 2014

The United Nations Kenya Country Team held a Town Hall meeting, on 11 November, on Delivering as One (DaO). The meeting organized by the United Nations Communication Group (UNCG),  was chaired by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Nardos Bekele-Thomas. 

The Town Hall meting was designed to be an informational session, one of a number to come, so staff can comprehend what DaO means and eventually become its energetic advocates. DaO is the spirit of cooperation between various agencies of the United Nations, the government and the civil society in achieving common goals.

The Resident Coordinator reiterated that the UN in Kenya would also like to start working towards studying root causes of various problems so that we do not only come in during a crisis.

The Resident Coordinator outlined the four Strategic Area Groups of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in Kenya: Transformational Governance;  Human Capital Development; Inclusive and ustainable Growth; and Environmental Sustainability, Land Management and Human Security.

The UNICEF Acting Representative Pirkko Heinonen challenged all UN staff to read the UNDAF document so they understand the goals that the UN in Kenya is pursuing.

After the presentations, the staff members engaged the agency representatives in a question and answer session. 

The DaO’s slogan in Kenya is “Umoja ni Nguvu”, meaning unity is strength.

DaO is to ensure that the UN collaborates in delivering the national priorities agreed to with Government in the UNDAF.  The UN has been keen to ensure that its role was one of providing support together with other development partners, while leadership in realizing UNDAF lies with the Government.

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Categories: Nairobi
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UN Staff Pitch in for South African Model UN

08 November 2014
Model UN students

UN staff in Pretoria joined the South African Model UN (SAMUN) 2014 in Cape Town where 36 “born frees” from all nine provinces of the country as well as a team from Namibia came together to take on the roles of UN Member States in three debates over two days.

The generation of South Africans born after the country’s first democratic elections of 1994 are often referred to as the “born frees” as they did not live under apartheid. These students had been selected by UN adjudicators at debates around the country in August. 

During the competitions, students engaged in dynamic debates on the controversial issues of “Fracking for natural gas”, “State-sanctioned homophobia” and the “Ebola crisis”, which is currently plaguing several West African countries. Teams of four students (two from a resourced school are matched with two from an under-resourced school) argued their respective UN Member States policies on these issues.

UNDP Resident Coordinator a.i. Opia Kumah joined UNIC Director Helene Hoedl as “adjudicators”, assessing the performances of the teams. Head of the UNEP Office Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, who had presented on fracking, and UN Women Representative Auxilia Ponga, were impressed by the learners.  “It is remarkable how these learners grappled with the complex issue of fracking and how eloquently and convincingly they presented their countries’ positions”, said Ms. Njenga.  UNIC National Information Officer Sudeshan Reddy conducted individual interviews with the students who were in the running for an international Model UN conference in New York in February 2015.

It was encouraging to see the alumni of this 16 year-old programme, organized by the NGO Education Africa with the UN Information Centre Pretoria, taking on the role of tutors to the high school teams. Local media, including radio reporters and television crews, followed the debates and interviewed the UN representatives. 

Participants had the rare opportunity to spend the night on South Africa’s iconic Robben Island, where the late president Nelson Mandela was confined for 18 of his 27 years in prison. Students found themselves being treated like the political prisoners during apartheid, even eating the dreadful prison food. 

Ms. Hoedl and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Education, Enver Surty, addressed the closing awards ceremony on Robben Island, where a team of 12 students was selected to participate in the MUN conference at Cornell University in New York. “We are very pleased that these students are learning so much about the UN”, said the Deputy Minister. “The UN has played an important role in eliminating apartheid and supporting us in the transition to a multi-racial democracy."

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Categories: Pretoria
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