DPI USG Akasaka with journalists
With 2010 marking a decade since the proclamation of the Millennium Development Goals, the need to profile global efforts to meet these targets is greater than ever.
With this in mind, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr Kiyotaka Akasaka, paid his first official visit to South Africa in February 2010.
Mr Akasaka used this two-day visit to meet with key partners of the The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Model UN of South Africa and the National Library. The aim of these meetings was to mobilise interest in the MDGs and work on joint programmes to promote the MDGs and their attainment.
South Africa hosting the upcoming Soccer World Cup provides a unique opportunity to generate interest in the MDGs and use this invaluable platform to highlight the work of the United Nations. In this regard, Mr Akasaka met with the UN cluster group that is working on a song for the MDGs which he was keen to hear more about.
The media is a useful and powerful tool in this regard hence UNIC arranged interviews for Mr Akasaka with Morning Live television, Channel Africa Radio and SABC International television. In addition, a Press Breakfast was held for Mr Akasaka which afforded the opportunity to discuss matters of interest in a more informal manner.
12 journalists representing weekly and daily newspapers, television and radio were present as the discussion focused on the MDGs as well as the need to strategically promote ‘good news’ stories.
The session was informative for all concerned and was followed by one- on-one interviews with Mr Akasaka by the Independent Newspaper Group, ETV Africa and the Business Day newspaper. Communication and public information are key to galvanizing ordinary people to lobby member states to achieve the MDGs and the visit of the Under-Secretary-General afforded UNIC a platform to do so.