Taking action where we can to stop Cybercrime

By Yury Fedotov

The author is the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The op-ed is on the need for cooperation to tackle cybercrime.

Cyber. It is the inescapable prefix defining our world today. From the privacy of individuals to relations between states, cyber dominates discussions and headlines – so much so that we risk being paralyzed by the magnitude of the problems we face.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

But we would do well to keep in mind that despite the many outstanding questions on the future of cybersecurity and governance, international cooperation is essential to tackle the ever-growing threats of cybercrime.

Online exploitation and abuse of children. Darknet markets for illicit drugs and firearms. Ransomware attacks. Human traffickers using social media to lure victims. Cybercrime’s unprecedented reach – across all borders, into our homes and schools, businesses, hospitals and other vital service providers – only amplifies the threats.

A recent estimate put the global cost of cybercrime at 600 billion US dollars. The damage done to sustainable development and safety, to gender equality and protection –women and girls are disproportionately harmed by online sexual abuse – is immense.

Keeping people safer online is an enormous task and no one entity or government has the perfect solution. But there is much we can do, and need to do more of, to strengthen prevention and improve responses to cybercrime, namely:

  • Build up capabilities, most of all law enforcement, to shore up gaps, particularly in developing countries; and
  • Strengthen international cooperation and dialogue – between governments, the United Nations, other international as well as regional organizations, INTERPOL and the many other partners, including business and civil society, with a stake in stopping cybercrime.

Cyber-dependent crime, including malware proliferation, ransomware and hacking; cyber-enabled crime, for example email phishing to steal financial data; and online child sexual exploitation and abuse all have something in common besides the “cyber” aspect: they are crimes.

Police, prosecutors and judges need to understand these crimes, they need the tools to investigate and go after the criminals and protect the victims, and they need to be able to prosecute and adjudicate cases.

At the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), we are working in more than 50 countries to provide the necessary training, to sharpen investigative skills, trace cryptocurrencies as part of financial investigations, and use software to detect online abuse materials and go after predators.

As a direct result of our capacity-building efforts in one country, a high-risk paedophile with over 80 victims –– was arrested, tried and convicted. We delivered the training in partnership with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and Facebook. This is just one example of how capacity building and partnerships with NGOs and the private sector can ensure that criminals are behind bars and vulnerable children protected.

Working with the Internet Watch Foundation, we have launched child sexual abuse reporting portals – most recently in Belize – so that citizens can take the initiative to report abuse images and protect girls and boys from online exploitation.

With partners including Thorn and Pantallas Amigas we are strengthening online protection and educating parents, caregivers and children about cyber risks through outreach in schools and local communities. Prevention is the key.

UNODC training – focused primarily on Central America, the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Africa and South East Asia – is also helping to identify digital evidence in online drug trafficking, confront the use of the darknet for criminal and terrorist purposes, and improve data collection to better address threats.

A critical foundation for all our efforts is international cooperation. Our work – which is entirely funded by donor governments – has shown that despite political differences, countries can and do come together to counter the threats of cybercrime.

We are also strengthening international cooperation through the Intergovernmental Expert Group, which meets at UNODC headquarters in Vienna.

Established by General Assembly resolution, the Expert Group brings together diplomats, policy makers and experts from around the globe to discuss the most pressing challenges in cybercrime today. These meetings demonstrate the desire and willingness of governments to pursue pragmatic cooperation, which can only help to improve prevention and foster trust.

As a next step, we need to reinforce these efforts, including by providing more resources to support developing countries, which often have the most new Internet users and the weakest defences against cybercrime.

Tech companies are an indispensable ally in the fight against cybercrime. We need to increase public-private sector engagement to address common concerns like improving education and clamping down on online abuse material.

Countering cybercrime can save lives, grow prosperity and build peace. By strengthening law enforcement capacities and partnering with businesses so they can be part of the solution, we can go a long way in ensuring that the Internet can be a force for good.

Public discussion on Peacekeeping documentary “Until There is Peace”

More than 60 guests attended the documentary screening of the “Until there is Peace” movie, which was held on 18 April 2018 at UNIC Lusaka.

The movie screening attracted guests from the Zambia Scouts Association, students from the

Patrons watching the documentary "Until There is Peace"

Patrons watching the documentary “Until There is Peace”

University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA), Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce, as well as UNIC Lusaka Library dairy clients among others.

Until there is peace, is a movie that was directed by Melonie Kastman and produced by Lynn Zekanis. The documentary aims to show the important role that UN Peacekeeping missions play to foster peace with a particular highlight of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The one hour thirty-five minutes documentary had the guests glued with silence as they watched, and later had a very educative and interactive question and answer session which resulted in UNIC Lusaka staff explaining more about the works of the UN Peacekeepers as most of the guests only after watching the movie did they appreciate the efforts of the peacekeepers.

Meanwhile, Colonel Rex Mwenda a member of the Zambia Scouts Association emphasised that UNIC Lusaka needs to host more of such events, so that many Zambians can see and commend the UN Peacekeepers for the job well done in filling up the loopholes in war torn countries to eradicate conflict.

More information on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

The Commemoration of The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

On April 6 and April 7 2018 UNIC Lusaka successfully organized two school outreach activities at Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School and St Paul’s Boys Secondary School in the Copperbelt and Central provinces

Pupils at Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School viewing the poster exhibition.

Pupils at Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School viewing the poster exhibition.

respectively, in commemoration of The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 2018 makes it exactly Twenty-four years ago, when more than 800,000 people were systematically killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

More than 550 students from Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School and St Paul’s Boys Secondary School participated in the activities which were held from 6 – 7 April 2018. At both schools, apart from offering a brief history on the genocide, UNIC Lusaka staff also showed two videos, a short film documentary titled ‘Kwibuka’ and another video of testimonies by survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The videos later moderated a heated and enlightening discussion with the participants who passionately talked about the effects of genocide on society and the need to preserve peace

Martin Siame a pupil from St Paul’s Secondary School asking a question on what the United Nations was doing when people were being killed in Rwanda and what role they played in ending the civil war during the question and answer session.

Martin Siame a pupil from St Paul’s Secondary School asking a question on what the United Nations was doing when people were being killed in Rwanda and what role they played in ending the civil war during the question and answer session.

through co-existence among tribal groupings, tolerance, respect for human rights and continued awareness creation among the public.

The programme also had a question and answer session through which UNIC Lusaka clarified a lot of issues on the role of the United Nations in peace and security and advised everyone to learn from the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda tragedy.

Participants also further urged UNIC Lusaka to continue sensitizing children and the youths as they were the future and are in need of such information so that such atrocities and crimes against humanity never occur again.

Observance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Remember Slavery

The United Nations Information Centre in Zambia undertook two school outreach activities in

Students from Chibombo Boarding School watch the documentary “Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora”

commemoration of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Remember Slavery, reaching about 900 students. The activities were conducted at Chibombo Secondary School and Moomba Secondary School in Zambia’s Central Province on 26 March 2018 and 29 March 2018 respectively on the theme “Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality.” The activities were organised in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of General Education.

At both schools, the activities a presentation on the Transatlantic Slave Trade, poster exhibition on notable people of African descent, screening of a film entitled “Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora” and a discussion with the students.

Students at one school, Moomba, showcased a captivating play and educative poem depicting the effects of the slavery on families and communities. UNIC Lusaka also shared key messages with the public about the commemoration through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) as well as bulk SMS, reaching 10,000 mobile phone users.

Students from Moomba Boarding acting a play on slavery and its effects on communities.

Mark Maseko, the National Information Officer, Racheal Nambeya, Staff Assistant and Charles Nonde, Team Assistant, coordinated the activities.

 

UNIC Lusaka commemorates International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

UNIC Lusaka organised commemorative activities to use the Holocaust to promote tolerance, co-existence, conflict prevention and promote peace among different racial, religious and cultural groups in Zambia.

This year’s Holocaust Remembrance was built around the theme, “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility”. The theme emphasises the universal dimension of the Holocaust and how education about the tragedy should encourage all humankind to firmly reject all forms of racism, violence and anti-Semitism. Shared values can compel people to

Holocaust Outreach 2018

Boy Scouts viewing the butterfly project poster exhibition at the University of Zambia Chapel Lusaka.

embrace dignity and respect for all.

The Holocaust Memorial Ceremony was held on 15 February 2018, at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. The ceremony had over 100 guests who included school pupils, youths from youth led Organisations, representatives from Faith Based Organisations and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations.

The event had a lineup of activities which included remarks from the Jewish Community in Zambia, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Representative, and the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, a Jewish Prayer, candle lighting and moment of silence for over 6 million Jews that died, a documentary film:  Children of the Holocaust , a discussion around the holocaust and why education on it is very important, and finally closed with a  poster exhibit: The Butterfly Project: Remember the Children of the Holocaust.

UNIC Lusaka organised two (2) school outreach activities at Kafue Day Secondary School and

Naboye Secondary School Students

Naboye Secondary School Students

Naboye Secondary School in Kafue District, this was done as an effort to reach out to pupils not only in the capital city but rather even pupils outside Lusaka. Using the lesson plan that was provided and the guidelines for use of the posters with school pupils, UNIC Lusaka made the school events very interactive, centred around the pupils themselves.

The events at both schools started with poster exhibitions of the, The Butterfly Project: Remember the Children of the Holocaust, to show the impact of the Holocaust on children, then followed by the video presentation of the Path to Nazi Genocide, so that the pupils can fully and better understand the origin of the Holocaust, remarks from the Mayor of Kafue and closed with a discussion session around the poster exhibition and video to get the pupils views, questions and share their understandings.

 

 

 

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.