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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Categories: Lagos
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MUNNAM session on ICT regulation

14 July 2014
One of the participants

 

Academia Secondary School’s Model UN (MUN) club received ongoing training after the 3rd Annual Model United Nations High School Conference held in June 2014.   The excited Model UN delegates from the School were all new to the Model UN world and were thus very determined to religiously meet every week for two afternoons to practice and flex their MUN muscles.

Following a preparatory session on Information Communications Technology (ICT) regulation and an in depth discussion, the delegates were assigned countries and asked to prepare their position papers and draft resolutions for the mini mock classroom session which was held on 7 July 2014. The delegates proved that novice “MUNers” who were determined enough, could do a first-rate job presenting their position papers as well as negotiating like real diplomats. It was a fun filled session with many key insights shared and a positive learning experiences, and moreover, practical experience for the learners.

At the end of the session, information kits were distributed in preparation for the next week’s simulation on 14 July, to discuss global warming 2015. The promising delegates from Academia Secondary School reminded the UNIC team the difference the Model UN programme makes in the lives of ordinary high school students, who become involved in a whole new world, where they transform into extraordinary, insightful young people.

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Categories: Windhoek
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Azerbaijani youth discuss their priorities for the global post-2015 Development Agenda

14 July 2014

Participants

 

Opening a dialogue among civil society to discuss the future they want and to share aspirations, UNO Baku - in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) - organized a workshop for youth, representing different regions of Azerbaijan. The event took place within the framework of the second round of Post-2015 national consultations at UN House on 14 July, and gave an opportunity for youth to influence the post-2015 development agenda. 

“People from every corner of the world suggest priorities to build a collective vision that will be used directly by the United Nations and world leaders in order to plan a new development agenda beyond 2015,” said Ruslan Ismayil-zada, a Communications Officer of the United Nations and UN Development Programme in Azerbaijan. Facilitating the event, Mr. Ismayil-zada also mentioned that by joining the global discussion, Azerbaijani youth can also make their voice to be heard. 

Participants of the event analysed the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) achievements and challenges in the country and discussed issues that matter in identifying Sustainable Development Goals for Azerbaijan. After three hours of heated discussions, youth participants highlighted issues that matter most for them, including better healthcare, good education, equality, and political freedom. 

“Today we discussed our priorities and views, which I hope, will help to provide our inputs to the global debate in implementation of the global post-2015 Development Agenda,” said workshop participant Nuriya Guliyeva. 

“It was very insightful and inspiring workshop that gave us an opportunity to hear the voices of Azerbaijani youth and their desire for the future they want,” said Zaka Guluyev, from UNO Baku.

2014 Youth Symposium

06 July 2014

From 1 to 3 July, the Youth Symposium was held within the framework of the realization of the will to involve young people in the development process of Madagascar under the theme All forward for Malagasy youth. The main goal was to make Madagascar thrive by creating a platform for dialog between young people and their elders: intergenerational collaboration aiming to transfer skills. 

The official opening of the event in question took place at ISTS Andoharanofotsy in the presence of three hundred Malagasy students from six provinces of Madagascar as well as some people including members of the Malagasy Government and representatives of UN agencies. Among them, we can mention: the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Christopher Roger KOLO, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Jean Anicet ANDRIAMOSARISOA, the Minister of Economy and Planning, the UN System Resident Coordinator Mrs Fatma Samoura and the Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Agathe Lawson. To better situate the context of the event, the Representative of young people, Ms. Hasina Ratovonirina, took the example of a young Malagasy, Fernando. Son of peasants, this latter, aware of the value of education and having the ambition to become Minister of the Environment, was able to conduct his studies at term with the support and sacrifices of his parents. 

The family, indeed modest, was mobilized to allow him to continue his studies to higher education. Their sacrifices, bearing fruits, allow him to leave soon for the University of Costa Rica, in order to obtain a doctorate on the environment. This example was taken to highlight the difficulties faced by Malagasy youth which represent 35% of the current population - number likely to double by 2025 – facing financial difficulties often forcing them to leave the education system earlier, meeting health issues (including infection by sexually transmitted diseases, or early pregnancy) because of lack of information, youth cannot act; contribute to the development of their nation. It was strongly emphasized that these young people represent a "demographic bonus" highly necessary action taken to improve the situation of the country and the challenges and obstacles to overcome to integrate into the globalization process. 

Establishing a platform for dialogue between the three hundred young people and inviting various members of civil society and professionals to attend the symposium should help provide conclusions that can be taken into account in the framework of the national youth policy. 

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Categories: Antananarivo
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