UNIC commemorates Human Rights Day

Over 50 youths from Lusaka on December 21, 2017, attended a discussion dialogue in commemoration of the Human Rights Day held at the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Lusaka.

Group photo of participants

The event which was aimed at discussing various issues concerning people’s rights attracted students from various learning institutions such as the University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICAS) as well as Zambia Center for Professional Training and Consultancy (ZCTC) among others.

Gilbert Kasulwe, a Student at UNZA expressed concern at the levels at which elderly people’s rights are being abused as most of them get accused of practicing witchcraft because of their age.

“Most elderly people’s rights are being abused because the society thinks everyone who has grown very old and has grey hair is a wizard, and it is high time that these people’s rights are protected because not every old human being is practicing witchcraft,” Said Kasulwe

Meanwhile, in a message on the Human Rights Day from the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres, he stated that everyone has the right to speak freely and to participate in decision making that affect the people’s rights.

“All of us have the right to speak freely and participate in decisions that affect our lives. We all have a right to live free from all forms of discrimination and we all have a right to education, health care, economic opportunities and a descent standard of living,” said Mr. Guterres.

He further stated that since the proclamation of the Universal Declaration in 1948, human rights have been one of the three pillars of the UN along with peace and development.

UNIC Mobilises Community Members to say ‘NO’ to GBV

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lusaka, on the 8th of December 2017 successfully sensitized members of Lusaka’s Matero area on Gender Based Violence (GBV) under the localized theme “Leave no one behind.”

Group photo

The event which was attended by representatives from various organizations such as the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), Kwaza Kuutuka as well as Liberated Hearts Foundation among others attracted a number of residents from the area who were in full support of the fight against GBV.

And speaking at the function, Kwaza Kuutuka Chairman George Chipala, commended the work done by UNIC in ensuring that people are sensitized on the dangers of GBV as this is the core function of the organization he represents.

“I wish to thank the United Nations Information Center for organizing such an event aimed at reducing the cases of GBV as this is in line with our works at Kwaza, and I also thank the residents of Matero for taking part in such an event,” Mr. Chipala said.

The panelists introducing themselves to the gathering (not in picture)

Several suggestions were later made by the residents on how cases of GBV can be brought toan end and among them was the need for parents to talk to the children to ensure that they report all suspected GBV cases to the relevant authorities including the United Nations.

There was an earnest appeal from the community that such outreach programs should not just target specific dates on the calendar but need to be done on a regular basis as this helps create a more aware community who will better identify, respond and action on matters of GBV at a much quicker rate.

There was also a plea for organizations looking into matters of GBV to consider opening or providing safe havens for victims of GBV especially in cases where there is risk of further harm or repercussions to the victims.

The community expressed its gratitude to the continued efforts in sensitizing the people on issues of GBV.

 

 

 

UN Zambia staff dress to say “no” to Gender-Based Violence

By Mark Maseko, UNIC Lusaka

“Where is the party to celebrate? It feels great to be part of the winning team. As ILO we are happy to carry the day,” said Glenda Masebe, Communication Officer at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) office in Lusaka.

About the Contest

On 24 November 2017, about 500 staff in the 14 UN resident agencies in Zambia took part in a

UNICEF Zambia staff in orange attire during the Orange Day.

contest to dress in the colour orange and take group photos which best showed innovation in creating awareness about Gender Based Violence (GBV) which is sexual, physical or emotional violence targeted against women. The contest was held as part of the global 16 Days of Activism Against GBV.

The winning entry

Staff from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) were declared winners for submitting two photos which showed them positioned to spell out the words ‘Stop GBV.’

A winning photo by ILO

“…Big congratulations to Alexio [ILO Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique] and the ILO team. Spelling out “STOP GBV” in the two photos was judged as innovative and cool,” said Noala Skinner, UN Zambia Resident Coordinator at the time.

Every office was lit with the colour orange as staff proudly showed off their shirts, dresses, headscarves and other attire before taking group photos as agencies. The next four days had all staff waiting in anticipation for the results.

Gender-Based Violence in Zambia

Although the contest was fun, the most important takeaway is the seriousness and urgency of GBV in the country.

Zambia has witnessed an increase in GBV. While the country has strong cultural traditions that help promote harmony and peace, certain practices and beliefs such as teaching women to endure violence in marriage and that sexual intercourse with a virgin cures HIV, seem to contribute to violence against women and girls. These incidences include child defilement and rape. According to the Zambia Police Service, in 2002, 870 cases of girl child defilement were reported. Between 2014 and 2016, 7,518 girls were defiled. In 2016, the cases of child defilement had risen to over 2,000.

The UN in Zambia commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people

The United Nations (UN) in Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People which falls on the 29 th of November anually.

Group Photo: Participants who took part in the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine.

The event which was held at International Labour Organisation in Lusaka was attended by the Ambasssdor of the State of Palestine H.E.Dr. Walid Hassan, the United Nations Developpement Programme(UNDP) Country Representative Ms. Mandiso Mashologo who was representing the UN Resident Coordinator Ms Janet Rogan as well as the Acting Director for Zambia Mine Action Centre in the Ministry of Foreign affairs who was representing the Guest of honor the Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Isabel Lemba.

In her remarks, Mrs. Lemba commended the UN for successfully organising the event under the theme; “peace , freedom and national building,” as it is in line with the values of the Zambian Government.

” I wish to express my gratitude to the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Lusaka and the Embassy of the State of Palestine for successfully organizaing this year’s observance and I also commend the Government of the State of Palestine for its efforts aimed at finding an amicable solution to the Isreali-Palestine Conflict,” Mrs Lemba said.

Speaking at the same function, H.E.Dr. Hassasn stated that the question of Palestine has always

Students from David Kaunda Secondary School recite a poem on peace.

remained a priority of the UN since its establishement in seeing to it that the people of Palestine have a free State.

” The question of Palestine has remained a standing item and a priority on the United Nations agender since its inception and this institution has adopted resolutions and recommendations that constitute a solid basis of a just and lasting peace,” Dr. Hassan said.

He further said that the people of Palestine await the day when everyone will come together and celebrate the independence of the State of Palestine.

Meanwhile, in a statement read on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator by the UNDP Country Director Ms. Mandisa , the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres stated that during his last visit to Israel and Palestine he met both leaders of the States and encouraged them to create an enabling environment for peace negotiations.

” Last August, during my visit to Isreal and Palestine, leaders on both sides restated their commitment to a negotiated peace, and I encouraged them to tangibly demonstrate this commitment and create the conditions for a retur to meaningful negotiations,” Mr.Guterres said.

He further stated that this is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian State and live in peace with the State of Israel.

Matonjeni beverages donates to SDGs cyclists

Matonjeni Beverages Company on 1st November donated 63 cases of assorted drinks to 17 cyclists where

COMESA Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Kipyego Cheluget flags off SDGs cyclists at COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka as they begin their tour on SDGs awareness from Lusaka to Livingstone. photo;UNIC/Lusaka/Nyambe/2017

on an awareness cycling tour of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from Fringila to Livingstone.

Speaking when making the donation, Matonjeni Company Managing Director Cleopas Mungani said that the company is making the donation because it is in full support of the SDGs.

“We as Matonjeni have decided to make this donation because we are in full support of the SDGs as they are aimed at poverty eradicating among other issues,” Mr. Mungani said.
He further urged the cyclists to make use of the drinks as they will give them enough energy during their tour.

And speaking on behalf of the cyclists, Chifuchi Kandala, one of the cyclists thanked the Company for coming on board to support the event.

“I am happy to be here this morning to witness the handover of drinks by Matonjeni towards our cycling event. As a young person, I believe the future is in our hands and as for me, it is in my legs since am one of the cyclists,” Kandala said.

Meanwhile, Africa Speaks Director Munyaradzi Muzenda urged the cyclists to cycle for their dreams and establish what they need in life as they embark on the journey.

“When the 17 cyclists take to the road, they will be cycling for their individual dreams, their personal SDGs and the Africa they want,” Muzenda said.

The cyclists covered a distance of 540km in 10 days for the awareness campaign.

The only female among the 17 cyclists who cycled from Fringilla to Livingstone 540km on awareness tour of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Elizabeth Nsomba, has urged women to as well take up roles that men can do. Speaking during the handover ceremony of assorted drinks to the cyclists by Matonjeni Beverage Company, Eliza who is cycling for goal number 5 which states, “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” said that she chose to be part of the team because she has been cycling for a long time and that she wants to represent the women of Africa this campaign and tour.

“I have been cycling for a long time now, since 2004 and the longest distance I covered was from Lusaka to Mumbwa (143km) which I cycled in 4 hours and I returned to Lusaka the same day making it a total of 286km covered in 8 hours,” Eliza said. Apart from cycling, Eliza is a business lady who sells Chikanda known as (African Polony) and she urged other women out there to venture into the same or other types of businesses instead of engaging in bad vice such as drinking beer, gossiping, and prostitution and begin lazy. Other distances that she covered include Lusaka to Kabwe, Lusaka to Kafue-Gorge a mountainous area.

Dag Hammarskjöld Remembered

On 20th September 2017, over 50 youths in Lusaka joined the rest of the world in

Dag Hammarskjöld

commemorating the 56th memorial of the death of former United Nations Secretary General (UN) Dag Hammarskjöld who died in a plane crash near Ndola while on a peace mission involving the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1961.

The event which was held at the United Nations House in Lusaka attracted guests that included Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Henrik Cederine and Resident Representative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Zambia Alexio Musindo (who represented the UN Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan).

In a speech read on her behalf by Mr. Musindo, Ms. Rogan expressed sadness at the use of youths in Zambia as perpetrators of violence.

“It is sad to note that the youth have been used as tools to injure others simply because they belong to a political party different from their own,” Ms. Rogan said. She urged the youths to refrain from violent activities and embrace peace as they are vibrant and can act as agents for change.

His Excellency the Ambassador said that the life of Hammarskjöld shows that one man can make a difference. “Dag Hammarskjöld showed as that one man can make a difference. He followed his own convictions, and he had the ability to shape events as well as tirelessly defending the ideals of the UN charter,” The Ambassador said.

Other institutions such as the Dag Hammarskjöld foundation in Sweden represented by Ms. Karin Abbor-Svennsson, the Pillars of Peace, Global Platform, Zambia Scouts Association as well as Agents of Change were present at the event.

As part of the event, dialogue was held on the role of youths in building peace. Several proposals were later made by participants on how youths can ensure that they are advocates of peace. One of the proposals made was the need for the youths to be actively involved in events that are aimed at promoting peace.

Laying of Wreaths on Cenotaph erected in honour of Mr. Hammarskjold

Laying of Wreaths on Cenotaph erected in honour of Mr. Hammarskjold

On 22nd September 2017 In Ndola, a solemn event was held at the Dag Hammarskjold crash site in honour of the work that Dag did. There were songs, poems and dance with messages of peace. in attendance was the Provincial Minister Hon. Bowman Lusambo, The Swedish Ambassador, Representative of the Dag Foundation in Sweden, the United Nations, various educational institutions and the Defense Forces. The Minister called on the nation to come together and work for peace.

Wreaths were laid at the cenotaph erected in honour of Mr. Hammarskjold and a tour of the crash site was conducted by the Site Manager Mr. Hanguwa who explained a few significant findings at the site such as how long it took the recovery team to reach the site, where Dag was found and how the site was designed in the shape of the plane based on the direction the plane was facing at the time of the crash.

Promoting Media Awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals

On 27 July 2017, UNIC Lusaka as part of the UN Communications Group and in partnership with UNESCO, held a media engagement activity to raise journalists’ awareness on the Sustainable

Journalists having a brainstorming session

Development Goals and reporting on gender, education and ending child marriages. The training ended with the creation of media network for reporting on gender, education and ending child marriages. Presenters were drawn from the UN and the Ministry of National Development Planning.

In 2018 the UNCG will sponsor media awards to recognize the best media coverage of the SDGs through the Media Institute for Southern Africa.

UNIC Lusaka Trains Librarians on SDGs Advocacy

On 18 July 2017, UNIC Lusaka conducted a one-day training on advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 100 library managers drawn from government, learning institutions and parastatal bodies across all 10 provinces of Zambia. The participants were first oriented on the 17 Goals and what role information centres have in helping attain the goals. Advocacy issues were later identified and advocacy plans drawn which each institution represented is expected to implement.  The Advocacy training was conducted in Siavonga, Southern Province on July 18, 2017 by Mark Maseko, National Information Officer and Charles Nonde, Team Assistant.

Librarians during a training on SDGs conducted by UNIC Lusaka.

Nelson Mandela School Outreach in Lusaka

UNIC Lusaka organized outreach activities to two schools involving 600 children. At Asher Jewel Academy, UNIC in partnership with the South Africa High Commission, the United Nations Communications Group and a local Non-Governmental Organisation, Youth Bridge Foundation, led children in making compost and establishing a vegetable garden to support school’s feeding programme. This empowered children with knowledge and skills to make vegetable gardens at school and homes using simple and cost effective means thereby taking action against poverty.

Children at Asher Jewel Academy in Lusaka enjoy an activity using the Nelson Mandela colouring book.

South African High Commissioner to Zambia, Ms Sikose N. Mji and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Zambia Country Representative Mr. George Okech officiated at the event where Zambian and South African companies also made in-kind donations to the school. Secondly, at Nyakezu Vision School, UNIC staff had a presentation and discussion with children on the life and virtues of Nelson Mandela and the need for justice, peace, human rights and tolerance.

 

Nelson Mandela Day at Nyakezu School