Tag Archives: United Nations

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 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.

Zambia Celebrates 70 years of the United Nations

United Nations this year celebrates its 70th anniversary on 24th October 2015. This marks the day in 1948 when the Charter of the United Nations was brought into force. UN Day is celebrated every year to recognize how much the UN contributes to the world peace and common progress.

Zambia commemorated the UN Day under the global theme “UN@70-Strong UN Better World”.
The UN Day celebrations are an opportunity to promote universal values and principles and renew its relations with its various national and international partners. 2015 is unique and historic as it being promoted as the “time for global action” for Sustainable Development.

Furthermore, the UN day celebrations are a great opportunity to promote the UN system as a development partner with the government and various partners. It is a time to reflect on the many areas in which the UN works such as human rights, gender and environmental norms and values across the sustainable development partnership.

This year the UN day celebrations in Zambia raised awareness, of the UN’s vision and role in Zambia, to create greater understanding across government and society of the sustainable development goals in particular SDG 16 and the UN in Zambia’s strengthened focus on partnership and to strengthen relations between the UN county team and partners, both present and potential new actors such as the private sector.

Amid the threat of poverty, economic crises, underdevelopment and regional conflicts, peacekeeping has become the main focus of the UN, whose vast family of agencies are tirelessly engaged in improving people’s lives around the world. Better rates of child survival, greater environmental protection, improved human rights, health research and continuing work to eliminate poverty, among countless other achievements, are all examples of the UN’s success since its establishment were the many things highlighted during the celebrations.

Students from Northmead Secondary School preparing art works

Students from Northmead Secondary School preparing art works

As part of the UN Day activities, a school art exhibition was also organized under the theme “bluing the UN” which runs from October 22 to November 1 at various locations including the UN Information Centre. Students used the UN corporate colors blue and white to interpret what the UN meant to them. 10 schools representing 60 students participated to produce 70 art works, the themes covered included health, gender equality, education, peacekeeping, refugees and the flagship theme UN@70 among the many other broad areas in which the UN is engaged in worldwide.

At the reception hosted at the residence of the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Janet Rogan on October 20, 2015. It was a colourful ceremony for invited guests that included Government, UN partners, donors, Civil Society and corporate entities like Standard Chartered Bank. The UN used this occasion to also rally the men to sign up for the HeforShe Campaign as a way of showing their support against gender based violence.

The climax of the celebrations was with a UN staff Day on 0ctober 22, 2015 held at the Mulungushi Conference Centre dubbed the “UN Staff learning day” were staff learnt about their unique position in the delivering as one process and how they are expected to continue to deliver on the promise of leaving no one behind. Later in the day it was time to relax and dance the night away as they celebrated 70 years of the United Nations.

HeforShe registration, left to right Vincent Mwale, the minister of youth and sport, Stephen Kaunda, UNDP and Mulenga Sata, Deputy Minister State House

HeforShe registration, left to right Vincent Mwale, the minister of youth and sport, Stephen Kaunda, UNDP and Mulenga Sata, Deputy Minister State House

Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Rising to the Challenge: Enabling Access to Clean and Safe Water Globally
By Justin D. Brookes and Cayelan C. Carey

Justin D. Brookes is Director of the Water Research Centre at the Environment Institute, School of Biological Sciences, at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Cayelan C. Carey is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States of America.

Access to clean, safe and secure water resources is an essential prerequisite for communities to prosper. While access to water and sanitation is often taken for granted in developed countries, this basic right is denied to many across the globe every day.

Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Sustainable development goal (SDG) 6, as formulated by the United Nations Open Working Group, presents an ambitious, yet achievable mission for the next two decades: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” We propose that this goal can be achieved by applying four principles: 1) Separating drinking water from wastewater; 2) Accessing and treating drinking water to remove chemical and biological contaminants; 3) Protecting and restoring freshwater ecosystems; and 4) Guaranteeing water access and water rights.

1. Separating drinking water from waste water
Historically, the single biggest factor contributing to the increased longevity of humans was the separation of drinking water from waste water. Building sanitary infrastructure has enabled communities—and in turn, economies—to flourish, free from the burden of waterborne disease. Yet, today a staggering 1 billion people still do not have access to improved sanitation, in spite of the fact that it would reduce disease and infant mortality. There are many examples of successful sanitation projects in the developing world when financial resources and engineering are available. They demonstrate that it is possible to separate water for drinking from waste water in regions that traditionally have lacked this infrastructure. Although many challenges remain to ensuring adequate sanitation for all, building sanitary infrastructure is a critical step needed to achieve SDG 6.

2. Accessing and treating drinking water
Having water available at home or within short distances obviates the need to cart it from other sources, often over long distances. A direct result of greater water accessibility is a substantial increase in time available for productive work, attending school, developing a business, or raising a family. This is particularly relevant for women and children who spend significant time gaining access to water when it is not piped to their home. Ultimately, water will require treatment before drinking, but this challenge can be overcome with adequate resources for filtration and disinfection. In particular, point-of-use devices that are robust, reliable, require low maintenance and are widely available are needed to enable treatment for small drinking water systems. In tandem with principle 1 above, this will ensure there are multiple barriers to pathogens, offering greater protection to consumers.

3. Protecting and restoring freshwater ecosystems
We must also be cognizant of the relationship between ecosystem well-being and human health. Most of the world’s fresh waters have already been degraded due to unsustainable withdrawal, contaminants, climate change, nutrient pollution (eutrophication), and other human activities. The net result of human misuse and mismanagement of fresh waters is decreased water quality and inadequate quantity for consumption. Preserving and enhancing the ecological integrity of our freshwater lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater is critical for ensuring that pollutants and pathogens do not contaminate drinking water supplies. Functioning freshwater ecosystems have many built-in mechanisms that help naturally clean water that we need for drinking (e.g. riparian buffers that absorb stormwater run-off). As with principles 1 and 2 above, developing sanitary infrastructure is pivotal for protecting fresh waters from eutrophication, which is one of the greatest challenges to functioning freshwater ecosystems. Balancing the maintenance of natural capital and the provision of ecosystem services with development and increased productivity is the key to ensuring the future sustainability of our water resources.

4. Guaranteeing water access and water rights
Economic development inevitably requires water resources. However, it is imperative that planners and Governments are considerate of the needs of diverse water users, including communities, agriculture, industry, mining and the environment. All development and land use changes have consequences. For example, land clearing will alter river flows, increasing the risk of flooding. Similarly, deforestation will decrease evapotranspiration, reducing precipitation needed for agriculture downwind. As the need for water for agriculture and industry increases, it is critical that we develop water-sharing agreements to ensure equitable access for all water users, including the environment. These agreements will require negotiations across local, regional and national boundaries and must include participants representing all stakeholders, such as community and industry leaders, and scientists. While these discussions may be difficult, they are not impossible and will help ensure adequate water access for all.
Implementing the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda

Tremendous progress has already been made towards meeting SDG 6. As nations have become more prosperous, they have undertaken sanitation and drinking water improvement programmes. Nevertheless, the astonishing statistics regarding the number of people who still lack sanitation and access to safe drinking water emphasizes that this problem remains one of the greatest humanitarian challenges.

Leadership is required at every level to implement water reform: within the household, within municipalities and within Governments. The solutions for supplying potable water and sanitation vary depending upon the available resources, the size of the communities and the scale of the desired improvement. We advocate both “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches. Top-down water quality improvement and water allocation may appear as an imposition, but are often accompanied with more resources and provide the legislative framework necessary for sustainable development. “Bottom-up” improvement is also desirable as communities take responsibility and stewardship for the water resources and land for which they are custodians.

Education is the common prerequisite for water quality improvement. In developing nations, educating women and children in every household on the benefits of hygiene and sanitation is a fundamental first step for building awareness and implementing change. Advancing water quality in villages, towns and cities requires engineering, but also understanding of the close links between water quality and quantity, and land management. In developed nations with more advanced water treatment infrastructure, the educational focus should be on improving water sustainability and developing policies required for water reform.

Human water use across the globe is coupled with social and natural systems, both by the globalized economy, trade and capital, as well as by the global water cycle and climate systems. Therefore, local and regional water use cannot be managed in isolation. The responsibility of developed nations is not just to provide financial aid, but also to assist developing countries in building human capital with the skills necessary to improve water quality and sanitation. Developed nations can help research and advance new water treatment technologies, providing sustainable solutions for water management. Investment of time and resources to the development of low-cost, robust and reliable point-of-use devices is urgently needed.

Water reform needs to address the protection of water quality through prudent land management and the allocation of water between different users. Equitably sharing water resources between human consumers, the environment, industry, and agriculture is complex

The SDGs

The SDGs

and requires strong water governance and policy so that the needs of both upstream and downstream users are met. This is further complicated by the fact that rivers flow across local, regional and national boundaries. Integrated water-trading markets are one tool that enables water to be bought and sold as a tradable commodity. This practice, however, does not consider water for the environment, which needs protection through policy and legislation.

Conclusion

Water sustains life, but clean, safe drinking water defines civilization. Achieving SDG 6 promises dramatic improvement to the quality of life and longevity in some of the world’s poorest nations. If we declare that access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right, then providing the necessary education, infrastructure and support to ensure the success in achieving SDG 6 is the responsibility of us all.

The United Nations in Zambia receive a new UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Janet Rogan

UN Resident Coordinator submitting credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Ms Janet Rogan, yesterday presented her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Mr Harry Kalaba MP.

During a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Rogan commended Zambia for its exemplary role in the family of nations, fully in the spirit of the words of the UN Charter, promoting unity among all Zambians and living in peace over the fifty years since the country joined the United Nations as an independent state. “You (Zambia) have long been, and continue to be, a generous haven for those fleeing violent conflict.  You are now taking an innovative and people-centred approach to the sustainable integration of former refugees in Zambia, which may serve as a shining example to others,” said Ms Rogan.

Ms. Rogan congratulated Zambia on assuming Chairmanship of the United Nations Land Locked Developing Countries group.  She applauded the key role Zambia has played to date in the Post-2015 Dialogue, leading debate on the future direction of Sustainable Development and pressing globally for a bold and inspiring Post-2015 Development Agenda aimed at achieving fair socio-economic development, promoting democracy and protecting and preserving the rights of all people.  She reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to support Zambia’s own sustainable development priorities, including reducing poverty, equitable access to health and other services, and respect for the rule of law and human rights according to the Universal Declaration.  She expressed her personal commitment to supporting Zambia’s aims for women and youth, particularly the girl child and adolescents.

 

UN ZAMBIA JOINT STATEMENT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, 2014

This year’s United Nations theme for International Women’s Day stresses that “Equality for women is progress for all.” Achieving equality for women and girls is important not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

An investment in the improved health and education of women, leads directly to a healthier and

International Women's Day march past

Women in uniform marching

more prosperous household, village and larger community. Giving women the power to make choices over their lives is one of the first steps towards a world with zero hunger. In every country where UN works, including in Zambia, women are front and centre in programmes to tackle many development challenges, including food insecurity and nutrition.

“It is evident that equality for women and girls means progress for all. This simple fact must be central as we work to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 deadline, and design an ambitious agenda for the Post-2015,” said Martin Clemensson, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i in Zambia. “We are seeing some progress on gender equality indicators in the area of health and education; continued commitment and intentional policies and programmes however, are essential to accelerating the progress made so far.”

Over 50 per cent of Zambia’s population is female. The chance to go up the education chain, without having to drop out, be beaten or become a child labourer, and having the same access to skills and resources required to participate fully in the country’s economic development will more than double Zambia’s GDP, and halve the levels of child malnutrition and ill-health.

The UN in Zambia commends the efforts that have been taken by government to address Gender Based Violence in Zambia, through the enactment of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act. The UN acknowledges the political commitment attached to this issue, and takes special note of the fact that work to establish ‘fast track courts” is being undertaken. The UN System is actively collaborating with Government, the Police and the Judiciary on these initiatives. “I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: Realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of governments, the United Nations and every human being,” said the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon in his message on International Women’s Day.

The Secretary General also appealed men and boys to play their part. “All of us benefit when women and girls – your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.

Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all.”

Human Rights Day 2013

On December 10, 2013 The UN in Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the
Human Rights Day under the Theme “20 years working for your rights”. The UN Information Centre organized an edutainment outreach in the community of Chipata Compound, Lusaka through Taipa Community Theatre which focused the on the 20 achievements accomplished by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Taipa Community theatre members emphasing one of the twenty achievements of OCHCR

Taipa Community theatre members emphasing one of the twenty achievements of OCHCR

Other activities was the distribution of information flyers and sending of bulk sms messages in a “did you know format” focusing on the 20 achievements of OHCHR and where people could find information on human rights via the web or physical locations.

In related events, the UNDP Country Representative in the interim Ms. Viola Morgan at another function reiterated that the UN in Zambia will continue to foster and defend human rights and support the government of the day in its quest for a society that respects and up holds and recognizes that its people are equal and their rights are respected and defended.

World Environment Day 2013-Lusaka, Zambia

The United Nations in Zambia, together with the Government of Zambia and other national partners commemorated this year’s World Environment Day with a theme “Think. Eat. Save”. The following outreach activities took place over a two day period to mark the day.

World Environement Day 2013

Community waste collection exercise in Kalingalinga, Lusaka.

On Tuesday 4 June, there was a community waste collection exercise, where The United Nations family in Zambia carried out a waste collection exercise in Kalingalinga community. Community residents, UN staff and other volunteers collected an assortment of waste, including litter, plastic bags and other waste materials and handed them over to the Waste Management Department of the Lusaka City Council for proper disposal. The objective of the initiative was to encourage community spirit to waste collection and highlight the importance of keeping one’s environment clean.

The clean-up activity was done in collaboration with the Lusaka City Council, a Community Based Enterprise (CBE) and Kalingalinga residents. Residents also got insights into how they could cut down on unnecessary waste that pollutes their environment.

On Wednesday, 5 June, There was a march from ZESCO to Levy Business Park; during this match public awareness was being conducted as well as inviting the public to be part of the activities that were taking place at Levy Park shopping mall.

World Environement Day 2013

A member of Green Namunga Club explains to her audience on the importance of recycling food.

There was an exhibition based on the theme “Think, Eat, Save” by the various stakeholders such as Green Namunga Club, University of Zambia Natural Resources Department, Sunny Money, Makeni Women and Youth Cooperative Society, ZESCO, as well as the UN agenices, where staffers raised awareness with the public to take action in their homes to help reduce food waste and minimize the environmental impact of food production.

They also demonstrated source separation of waste using recyclable materials like papers and plastic bottles. Recycled items produced by climate change youth ambassadors, posters and flyers on World Environment Day and flyers/brochures on the work of UN Zambia where also exhibited.
Present at the observance was the Deputy Ministers of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Honourable David Chung’imbu and Honourable Dr. Mwali, Mrs Daisy N’gambi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Senior Government Officers, The Management of Levy Business Park, school children and the Media.

The resounding message was “The decisions we make in the home, in our kitchens and at our dining tables, as well as national plans and systems for crop production, post harvesting and food processing should be planned through the lens of the likely chain of impact our food-print is having on the well-being of our neighbours and our shared environment. Let’s all think, eat, save and reduce our Food-Print”.

The UN and the Government of the Republic of Zambia observe the UN Peacekeepers International Day

Theme for UN International Peacekeepers Day 2013

Theme for UN Peacekeepers International Day 2013

Lusaka- The UN International Peacekeepers Day was established by the by the UN General Assembly resolution 57/129 in order to “pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.”

The resolution invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals to observe the day in an appropriate manner.

This year Zambia joined the rest for the world in observing the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers with a solemn church service that was held on May 29, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka under the theme “Adapting to new challenges”.

Zambia over the years has sent personnel in various parts of the world as peacekeepers most notably Angola, Sudan, Sierra lone among others and its record in those countries it has served in has been very exemplary and many other countries have emulated the record set by Zambian peacekeepers.

Among the invited guests was the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, who was represented by the United Nations Security Advisor for Zambia Ms. Rakhi Sahi who read the UN Secretary General’s Ban Ki-moon remarks, other UN members of staff   and guest of honor was the Honorable Member of Parliament Mr. Georfrey Mwamba Minister of Defense who delivered the a keynote speech. Also present were members from the various defense wings of the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service and Zambia Police Service.

The Minister in his key note address stipulated the importance adapting to new challenges through overcoming them by using all possible strategies. He mentioned that the UN has recognized the important contribution Africa has made towards the creation and sustainability of peace in the world.

Mr. Mwamba reminded his audience that peacekeeping missions are a necessity in countries that are ravaged by war, as they help mitigate and promote the revival of social economic development in affected countries. The minister also commended the United Nations and Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for the material and support rendered to the Zambian Peacekeepers.

Furthermore, he paid tribute to all peacekeepers in active service and those who have fallen, saying that their sacrifice has not been in vain because their contribution has resulted in stability, unity, cooperation and economic development to countries that previously were torn apart by war. He also urged families of officers currently serving to continue supporting their loved ones as they raise the Zambian flag wherever they are serving.