Tag Archives: SDGs

United Nations Secretary Generals Op-ed on Investors’ Alliance

People around the world are taking to the streets to protest against rising living costs and real

UNSG Antonio Guterres

or perceived injustice. They feel the economy is not working for them — and in some cases, they are right. A narrow focus on growth, regardless of its true cost and consequences, is leading to climate catastrophe, a loss of trust in institutions and a lack of faith in the future.

The private sector is a critical part of solving these problems. Businesses are already working closely with the UN to help build a more stable and equitable future, based on the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 global goals were agreed by all world leaders in 2015 to address challenges including poverty, inequality, the climate crisis, environmental degradation, peace and justice, by a deadline of 2030.

There has been some progress in the four years since the global goals were adopted. Extreme poverty and child mortality are falling; access to energy and decent work are growing. But overall, we are seriously off-track. Hunger is rising; half the world’s people lack basic education and essential healthcare; women face discrimination and disadvantage everywhere.

One reason for the faltering progress is the lack of financing. Public resources from governments are simply not enough to fund the eradication of poverty, improve the education of girls and mitigate the impact of climate change. We need private investment to fill the gap, so the UN is working with the financial sector. This is a critical moment for business and finance, and their relationship with public policy.

First, businesses need long-term investment policies that serve society, not just shareholders. This is starting to happen — some major pension funds are cutting fossil fuels from their portfolios. And more than 130 banks with $47tn in assets have signed up to the Principles for Responsible Banking, designed in collaboration with the UN. They represent an unprecedented commitment to business strategies that align with the global goals, the 2015 Paris Agreement to prevent global temperatures from rising, and banking practices that create shared prosperity. I urge all financial institutions to sign up to this transformation.

Second, we are finding new ways for the private sector to invest in sustainable growth and development. In October, 30 leaders of multinational companies launched the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance at the UN. Top executives at Allianz and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are among those who have publicly committed to acting as agents of change in their own companies and more widely. They are all already backing major sustainable infrastructure investments including clean, accessible energy projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the use of innovative financial instruments to mobilise billions of dollars for food security and renewable energy. They will now take on an even bigger role in channelling capital towards sustainable development, matching opportunities with investors.

I hope all business leaders follow their lead, investing in the economy of the future: clean, green growth that provides decent jobs and improves people’s lives for the long-term. Business must move further and faster if we are to raise the trillions of dollars required to meet the global goals.

Third, we call on business leaders to go beyond investment and push for policy change. In many cases, companies are already leading the way. Sustainability makes good business sense. Consumers themselves are exerting pressure. One investor described sustainable finance as a “megatrend”. But private finance is often battling subsidies for fossil fuel that distort the market and entrenched interests that favour the status quo. Major investors including Aviva warn that subsidies for fossil fuels could decrease the competitiveness of key industries, including in the low carbon economy. Governments lag behind, reluctant to change outdated regulatory and policy frameworks and tax systems. Quarterly reporting cycles discourage long-term investment. Fiduciary duties of investors need updating to include broader sustainability considerations.

We need business leaders to use their enormous influence to push for inclusive growth and opportunities. No one business can afford to ignore this effort, and there is no global goal that cannot benefit from private sector investment.

It is both good ethics and good business to invest in sustainable, equitable development. Corporate leadership can make all the difference to creating a future of peace, stability and prosperity on a healthy planet.

About the Author; Antonio Guterres, is the current Secretary General of the United Nations.

Zambia Hosts SDGs Sub-Regional Centre for Southern Africa

By Charles Nonde, Public Information Assistant, UNIC Lusaka

In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United

H.E. President Paul Kagame cuts the ribbon after being presented with keys to the SDGs Sub Regional Center as H.E. President E. Lungu of Zambia looks on. Photo:Nonde/UNICLusaka/2019

Nations Member States. The agenda is anchored on five pillars of People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnership aimed at guaranteeing growth, social inclusion while protecting the environment. The SDGs comprise an ambitious and interrelated set of 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. Following the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015, Africa has made commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals Universal Agenda (SDG 2030) and the African Union Agenda 2063.

At the adoption of the SDGs Africa’s starting point was lower than all the other regions. Additionally, 37 African countries were classified as low human development indicators within the Human Development Index (HDI) of less than 0.55.

The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) is an international not-for-profit institution that was launched in September 2015 by African Leaders, in order to provide support technical support, neutral advice and expertise as input to national governments, private sector, civil society, academic institutions to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs agenda across Africa.   In July 2016, the SDGC/A signed a host country agreement with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda as an international, non-profit continental institution, and officially launched its headquarters a few months later, in January 2017. Its main engagement and invention areas are; planning, costing, tracking and reporting, financing and governance, setting agenda for policy dialogue, Center engagement on global forums and espousing synergies and partnerships of key stakeholders.

The launch of the SDGCA Sub-Regional Center for southern Africa follows the Host Country Agreement signed in September 2018 between the Government of Zambia and the SDGC/A as a continuation of the Centers commitment to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development throughout the five regions of Africa.

On 7 August, 2019 during a one day event at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka saw the official launch of the Sub-Regional Center where over 200 government officials, international development partners, development finance institutions, Statistics Institutions and

Ceremonial key presentation for the SDG Sub Regional Center. Left to Right Dr. Belay E. Begashaw, Director General, SDGC/A, H.E. President Paul Kagame, Rwanda and H.E. President E. Lungu, Zambia. Photo:Nonde/UNIC Lusaka/2019

experts from the Southern Africa and aboard, joining high level dignitaries to discuss the major themes relevant to the implementation in Africa with focus on the southern Region.

The United Nations in Zambia was represented by the Resident Coordinator a.i. Dr George Okech with some members of the United Nations Country Team in attendance. Dr. Okech participated in the first panel discussion on the key findings of the SDGs 3 years report and the 2019 SDGs Africa that was presented by Dr. Enock Twinoburyo, Senior Economist from the SDGC/A.

His Excellency, Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia where present for the launch. During the keynote address given by President Kagame who is also the Chair of the SDGCA Board, thanked the people of Zambia for accepting to hosting the first Center in Southern Africa. He also expressed his gratitude at the commitment to leadership demonstrated by his counterpart in making this a reality.

In his acceptance speech the Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu said the city of Lusaka was synonymous with the struggle for freedom and self-determination in the region. It was a struggle that was successfully waged from here by the liberation movements.

“Today, we meet to rekindle that hope among our people through yet another wave of self-determination from the sustainable Development Front” Lungu said.  He reiterated that the launch of the Centre renewed the hope, and win the war against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and the negative effects of climate change and other challenges.

The Republican President said the centre would bring everyone together and together make the Centre a critical asset in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063.

At the close of the ceremony President Kagame presented a symbolic key to President Lungu officially launching the SDGC/A for Southern Africa with Dr Belay E. Begashaw also on hand to receive the key.

UNIC Lusaka promotes better understanding SDGs among pupils

By Shiho Kuwahara, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka

In continued efforts to create awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Shiho (middle) presenting the SDGs to students.

Shiho Kuwahara (middle) presenting the SDGs to students.

among children and youth, UNIC Lusaka conducted educational outreach activities in three Lusaka-based schools (North Park, Great North Road Academy and Rhodes Park) from 12-14 February 2019. More than 200 eleventh and twelfth grade pupils participated in the activities.

The presentations focused on how pupils can contribute to the goals at their ages in their attainment. As an introduction, there was a short video of the background of SGDs to let them know about its history. Presenters explained each SDG and needed actions to achieve the goals with actual examples which are familiar with children’s daily life. Pupils were eager to learn about it and participated actively in all the sessions through questions and contributions.  A crucial point that all the goals are important and interlinked was made and that there, therefore, need to make progress on all of them in order to have sustainable development.

As part of the sessions, a lively quiz was given to assess the knowledge levels of the pupils. The pupils deepened their understanding of SDGs.

“Is it really possible to achieve these goals by 2030,”? asked one pupil and Rhodes Park School. It was later emphasized that progress on the SDGs depends on efforts and cooperation by everyone including governments and individuals.

The SDGs were adopted by the 193 UN Member States, including Zambia, at the Sustainable

Shiho Kuwahara, shares a light moment with students at Great North Road Academy.

Shiho, shares a light moment with students at Great North Road Academy.

Development Summit in New York in 2015. The 17 goals focus on the three interconnected elements of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection with the aim to make a better world by the year 2030. The first step to achieve the goals is to know about them, especially for youth because they are the future leaders. UNIC Lusaka will continue to work with UN agencies in Zambia to create awareness about the SDGs and encourage people to act for the Global Goals.

 

Worrisome risks lurk beneath solid global growth

By Elliott Harris

On the surface, the world economy remains on a steady trajectory moving into 2019. Headline

Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and Under Secretary General for Economic Development

Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and Under Secretary General for Economic Development

figures suggest that – while global growth has likely peaked – activity around the world will continue to expand at a solid pace. Several developed economies are operating close to their full potential with unemployment rates at historical lows.

Yet, headlines do not tell the whole story. Beneath the surface, a much more worrisome picture of the world economy emerges. The newly-released World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019illustrates how a combination of rising economic, social and environmental challenges hampers progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. There are several risk factors that could disrupt activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects. Over the past year, trade policy disputes have escalated, and financial vulnerabilities have increased as global liquidity tightens, casting a shadow over the outlook for 2019 and beyond.

Should such a downturn materialize, prospects are grim. Global private and public debt is at a record high, well above the level seen in the run-up to the global financial crisis. Interest rates remain very low in most developed economies, while central bank balance sheets are still bloated. With limited monetary and fiscal space, policymakers around the globe will struggle to react effectively to an economic downturn. And, given waning support for multilateral approaches, concerted actions – like those implemented in response to the 2008/09 crisis – may prove difficult to arrange.

Even if global growth remains robust, its benefits do not reach the places they are needed most. Incomes will stagnate or grow only marginally in 2019 in parts of Africa, Western Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Many commodity exporters are still grappling with the effects of the commodity price collapse of 2014-16. The challenges are most acute in Africa, where per capita growth has averaged only 0.3 per cent over the past five years. Given a rapidly growing population, the fight against poverty will require much faster economic growth and dramatic reductions in income inequality.

And, perhaps most importantly, the critical transition towards environmental sustainability is not happening fast enough. The nature of current growth is not compatible with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In fact, the impacts of climate change are becoming more widespread and severe. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing.Floods, coastal storm surges, droughts and heat waves are damaging vital infrastructure and causing large-scale displacements. The human and economic costs of such disasters fall overwhelmingly on low-income countries.

Many of the challenges before us are global in nature and require collective and cooperative policy action. Withdrawal into nationalism and unilateral action will only pose further setbacks for the global community, and especially for those already in danger of being left behind. Instead, policymakers need to work together to address the weaknesses of the current system and strengthen the multilateral framework.

The author is UN Chief Economist and and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development

The UN Secretary General- Message on The International Day of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation

6 February 2019

Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent human rights violation affecting women and girls

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

around the world. It denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.

Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances– and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential. An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subject to this harmful practice. And every year, almost 4 million girls are at risk.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030. The United Nations joins hands with global, regional and national actors in supporting holistic and integrated initiatives to achieve this objective. Tackling FGM is also a central part of our efforts in the Spotlight Initiative, launched in partnership with the European Union to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

With strong political commitment, we are seeing positive change in several countries. However, if current trends persist, these advances will continue to be outpaced by rapid population growth where the practice is concentrated.

On this Day of Zero Tolerance, I call for increased, concerted and global action to end female genital mutilation and fully uphold the human rights of all women and girls.

Message in other UN official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian,Spanish.

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Ending poverty is possible, but it means facing up to inequality: within and between countries

Op-ed by Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

World leaders have committed to ending poverty everywhere for all people by 2030. Achieving this aim means facing up to the need for dramatic declines in inequalities – in income, in opportunity, in exposure to risk, across gender, between countries and within countries – over the next decade.

Inequality is a well-recognized barrier to poverty eradication, as well as many other

Mr. Liu become the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Liu, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

development challenges. It features in multiple dimensions across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the universally adopted plan to promote prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. According to many metrics, income inequality among countries has declined somewhat in recent decades, driven primarily by strong growth in East Asian and South Asian economies.  But there are many countries—particularly in parts of Africa, Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean—where income levels have continued to fall further behind, exacerbating income inequalities between countries.

The latest United Nation’s analysis in the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019indicates that per capita income levels essentially stagnated or declined in a total of 47 developing and transition economies last year. Most of these countries have been consistently falling behind for several decades. This poses an enormous challenge as countries strive to reduce poverty, develop essential infrastructure, create jobs and support economic diversification. Most of the lagging countries are highly dependent on commodities, stressing the importance of both diversification and effective management of natural resource wealth to tap into their development potential. Several countries have also suffered long-standing armed conflict or civil unrest and political instability.

If this trend continues, eradicating poverty and creating decent jobs for all will become increasingly out of reach. Weak economic performance is also linked to insufficient investment in quality education, health services, social protection, programs for marginalized groups and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Faster GDP growth alone will not necessarily lead to broad-based improvements in living standards. Deep inequalities also persist in the distribution of income within countries, acting as a major barrier to development progress.  High inequality within countries is associated with social exclusion and fragmentation; weaker institution-building and governance; and increased risk of violence and internal conflict.

Fundamental transformations are needed going forward, to narrow the income gaps between and within countries. According to UN estimates, without significant changes in behaviour, more than 7 percent of the global population may remain in poverty by the year 2030, including about 30 per cent of the populations in Africa and the least developed countries (LDCs).

In Africa, where the population is expanding at a rate of more than 2 per cent per year, reducing the level of extreme poverty to below 5 per cent by 2030 will require a combination of double digit GDP growth and dramatic declines in inequality; well-outside the realms of historical precedence.

Integrated and cross-cutting policy measures that both raise prospects for economic growth and reduce income inequalities are essential to shift the world towards a more sustainable and inclusive path. This includes investing in education, health care, resilience to climate change, and financial and digital inclusion, to support economic growth and job creation in the short-term, while promoting sustainable development in the long term.

Macroeconomic stability and a strong development-oriented policy framework, including a well-functioning and robust financial system, are key elements for successfully tackling inequality. Well-designed fiscal policies can help smooth the business cycle, provide public goods, correct market failures and directly influence the income distribution. Broadening access to quality education is also crucial, coupled with employment policies, such as raising minimum wages and expanding social protection. Prioritizing rural infrastructure development, through public investment in transport, agriculture and energy, can also support poverty alleviation and narrow inequalities within countries.

While there is no one-size-fits-all policy prescription that guarantees delivery of a more equal and prosperous society, one overarching message is clear: calls to eradicate poverty are meaningless without concerted and committed policy action to reduce inequality.

***

Mr. Liu become the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs in July 2017. Prior to his appointment, he was the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China since 2013. Mr. Liu brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. He was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations, including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. 

United Nations Secretary Generals Message on International Day Of Education

Today we celebrate the first International Day of Education.

Education transforms lives. As United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai once said: “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Long before I served at the United Nations or held public office in my own country, I was a teacher. In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.

Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We need education to reduce inequalities and improve health.

We need education to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage.

We need education to protect our planet’s resources.

And we need education to fight hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance, and to nurture global citizenship.

Yet at least 262 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school, most of them girls.  Millions more who attend school are not mastering the basics.

This is a violation of their human right to education. The world cannot afford a generation of children and young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy, nor can we afford to leave behind half of humanity.

We must do far more to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Education can also break and reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty. Studies show that if all girls and boys complete secondary education, 420 million people could be lifted out of poverty.

Let us prioritize education as a public good; support it with cooperation, partnerships and funding; and recognize that leaving no one behind starts with education.

 

 

Experts define sustainable packaging priorities for Africa Efficient packaging systems reduce food losses, scale up trade

On 10 September 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International

Participants of the food packaging meeting. Photo/UNIC/Lusaka/Maseko/2018

Participants of the food packaging meeting. Photo/UNIC/Lusaka/Maseko/2018

Trade Centre (ITC) held a regional packaging meeting in Lusaka as prelude to the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) that Zambia hosted from 11 – 13 September 2018. Food losses and waste are an enormous drain on natural resources. The meeting was held against a backdrop of statistics that indicate about one-third of the annual food produced globally for human consumption (approximately 1.3 billion tonnes) being lost or wasted. These losses are particularly unfortunate in Africa where approximately 20 percent of the population is undernourished.

Appropriate packaging has a significant impact in improving food quality and safety, thereby reducing food losses, whilst enhancing the competitiveness of Africa’s agro-enterprises and boosting trade. Furthermore, packaging plays a key role in improving the marketing of produce and is an important part of a strategy to enhance competitiveness of small and medium agro-enterprises (SMAEs).

Better packaging, traceability and labeling is necessary to enhance the quality and safety of products, noted Hon. Christopher Yaluma (MP), Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s Director for Foreign Trade, Lillian Bwalya,. “New entrepreneurs want to grow businesses that are both profitable and sustainable, reflecting the aspirations of their customers in Africa as well as buyers throughout the world,” he added.

Mitigating packaging constraints

Through a project implemented by FAO and ITC and funded by Industria Macchine Automatiche, industry packaging leaders and experts from several sub-Saharan African countries have come together to make recommendations on how to scale up packaging solutions for the agri-food sector.

Among the significant bottlenecks associated with packaging, African firms and packaging experts cited the lack and high cost of packaging equipment and materials. The also noted the high maintenance and servicing costs, absence of advice to source inputs among others. These challenges were hindering the value chain development and the SMAEs effort to generate income.

George Okech, FAO Representative in Zambia, noted that poor packaging is one of the key constraints facing small and medium agro-enterprises, who in aggregate manufacture the bulk of locally processed food products on the continent. “Improving packaging systems will contribute to strengthening the entire food supply chain, improve the competitiveness of these enterprises and benefit all food chain actors and consumers,” he said.

Among proposed solutions are options for shared service centers; quality management and branding training for small firms; access to relevant digital printing technologies; and access to packaging-related market information.

Reducing the environmental impact

To reducing the overall environmental impact of food packaging systems, the continent should also take into account the environmental impact of the packaging material itself.

The ITC Deputy Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, noted that packaging is recently hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. Its contribution to pollution was leading to very negative consumer reactions, particularly to single-use, non-recyclable plastics.

“Production lines can be adapted at minimal cost to reduce waste, pollution and your carbon footprint, whilst improving overall profitability and the attractiveness of your products. African Enterprises must lead in green packaging for Africa to keep its natural environment whilst bolstering opportunities for its people”, she said.

The workshop recommended the urgent need for; facilities to test new packaging designs, information platforms to inform processors about available materials and equipment, and advisory support services to help enterprises adapt production and product design to reduce costs, waste and pollution. Also, the meeting advocated for the need to attract investors to develop scalable and recyclable packaging manufacturing facilities.

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.

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.