26 April 2013
Marking the International Day of Remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Brazzaville led 50 students from Marwitse Private High School on a tour of the site of the ancient port of slaves in Loango, a coastal city located close to Pointe Noire, the second city in Congo, at around 600 Km from the capital.
The activity started with a courtesy visit of the UNIC National Information Officer along with the Curator of Loango Museum and the local Director of Archives and Patrimony to the Administrator of Loango Cty.
Assisted by the Curator, the students visited the ancient port area on the seafront where stands a stele of the “Trip of no return”. They were briefed on the origin of the transatlantic slave trade and the role of Loango as a slave boat departure site to America. They also walked along “the road of caravans” where slaves were forcibly marched from the countryside.
On the basis of a few relics and pictures of the transatlantic trade displayed in the Museum, visitors were informed of how Mâ-Loango, the King of the area at that time, was dealing with slavers. He also emphasized the tough conditions of travel that slaves faced and the fight for abolition.
Students raised questions on claims, necessity of forgiveness and tolerance and the return back of slaves’ descendants to Africa as well. They expressed their profound gratitude to the UNIC for planning the event which they found very enlightening. The UNIC National Information Officer was interviewed by a local Television station at the end of the activity.
25 March 2013
On 8 March, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Brazzaville joined UNFPA in a partnership with the private university Superior School for Management and Administration of Enterprises to hold a discussion event marking International Women’s Day.
Around 1,500 people attended the activity, including students, academic lecturers and board of Directors, UN Staff and media. A gender specialist resource person and the UNIC Library Assistant briefed the audience on gender-based violence and discrimination within Congo. The discussions were very interactive. The same day, several UN Agencies Representatives joined the First Lady, Ms. Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, in various activities related to the celebration in Djambala, a city 450 km from Brazzaville.
In addition, from 18 to 25 March 2013, UNIC hosted an exhibition of paintings of six female artists. Paintings featured gender based violence and discrimination against women and women rights violation as well. The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Woman’s Promotion, Ambassadors of European Union, Cameroun and Egypt, UN Staff and Head of Agencies and media.
On this occasion, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator highlighted the UN efforts to end violence against women to promote gender issues in our society. Around five hundred people visited the exhibition.
21 February 2013
On 21 February, UNIC Brazzaville organized a panel discussion on “Hate Speech and Incitement to Genocide”. The activity was held to echo a meeting of experts convened by both the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Office of the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on 22 February in Geneva.
The UNIC Information Officer moderated the event and was interviewed by a local television station at the end. Key speakers were the Head of the Department of History at the National University, the Chairman of the Congolese Media Observatory (OMEC) and a prominent member of the High Council for Freedom of Communicating.
Participants included the Chairman of the High Council for Freedom of Communicating, the Acting UNDP Resident Representative, media, NGOs, UN staff and University students.
Presentations focused on analysis of the kind of speech in Congolese media, media speech and the implementation of genocide during the second world war, a case study of the “Radio Televison des Milles Collines, (the Thousand Hills Radio Television)” in Rwanda, and the issue of freedom of expression and journalists' social and moral responsibilities.
Before entering into a lively discussion, participants listened to a UN Radio interview by Mr. Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, talking about press freedom and hate speech and incitement to genocide.
25 January 2013
On 25 January, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Brazzaville marked the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a screening of "In the arms of strangers", a film about refugee children who were transported to Britain to escape the Nazis.
To learn about the courage of victims' rescuers during Holocaust, 80 high school students attended the UNIC-organized activity.
The UNIC Information Officer introduced the theme: “Rescue during the Holocaust: the Courage to Care”, distributed the UN Secretary-General's message and engaged young people “to be inspired by the shining example of great humanitarians, such as Raoul Wallenberg”.
A lively discussion ensued on compassion, tolerance and courage during constraints and risky situations, like Holocaust or conflict around the world.