Tag Archives: UN

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on flooding in Zimbabwe

The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of people due to the heavy rains and flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai.

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to people and Government of Zimbabwe.

The United Nations expresses its solidarity with the Zimbabwe authorities and stands ready to work with them as they respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from this disaster.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 17 March 2019

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attack at two mosques in New Zealand

The Secretary-General is shocked and appalled at the terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. He extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

and to the Government and people of New Zealand.

The Secretary General recalls the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship. He calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community.

The Secretary-General reiterates the urgency of working better together globally to counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism in all its forms.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 15 March 2019

The UN Secretary General- Remarks At The Wreath Laying For Victims OF Ethiopian Air Crash

New York, 15 March 2019

[As delivered]

Dear Colleagues and dear Friends,

We come together in sadness and solidarity to pay tribute to our fellow UN family members who perished on Sunday.

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

In doing so, we also remember all the victims of the air crash that claimed so many lives – including civil society partners and humanitarian workers.

We send our deepest condolences and heartfelt wishes to their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.

With our condolences also to the people and the Government of Ethiopia.

But the very nature of a tragedy such as this, is something that we should be able to think about, our colleagues were in many ways a random group. They were from many agencies, with many areas of expertise, from the highest level in the hierarchy, to all kinds of functions within the UN and coming from all over the world.

Yet, together, they also were a mirror of the United Nations: they really represent what the United Nations is, and the best of the United Nations. Women and men; some in the beginning of their careers, others closing in on retirement but each on an individual mission, but at the same time together, representing our larger quest – doing their part, in solidarity with all of us, to build a better world, brick by brick, deed by deed, day in and day out.

As we continue that mission, let us reflect on their lives, let us honour their service and let us be inspired by their extraordinary example.

I ask all of you please to join me in a minute of silence paying tribute to the colleagues that we shall never forget.

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.

More information

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. 

Press Release: Holocaust Day – UN Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan calls for Love and Peace

MANY CALL FOR PEACE AND LOVE AS ZAMBIA MARKS THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

LUSAKA, 31 January 2019 – On 29 January 2019, United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet

UN Resident Coordinator Zambia, Ms. Janet Rogan

UN Resident Coordinator Zambia, Ms. Janet Rogan

Rogan spoke at a commemorative event in Lusaka to remember the victims of the Holocaust with a call for love and need to defend human rights. Six million Jews and other groups of people were killed during the Holocaust between 1941-1945 by the Nazi regime and their collaborators.

“It is necessary for us not only to remember the people who were mercilessly murdered during the holocaust, during the genocides, but also to think hard about the reasons why they were killed; to think about how the general population was incited against those people of difference. And it is necessary to do everything possible to teach ourselves and our children how to defend ourselves against such evil ideologies so that such crimes can never, ever again be perpetrated in our presence or our collective knowledge,” Ms Rogan said.

The event, organised by the UN Information Centre Lusaka, was held under the theme: ‘Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights.’
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Reverend Godfridah Sumaili, MP, was guest of honour. In her speech, the Honourable Minister called upon youths to reject violence and instead contribute meaningfully to Zambia’s development.

“I call on youths to refuse to be used as tools to injure other people simply because they are different from one group…The youths should take their rightful place as future leaders and

A student makes comments reflecting upon the commemoration.

A student makes comments reflecting upon the commemoration.

seek meaningful participation in the development of Zambia. Zambia depends on youths as agents for change. Fighting is not one of the ways to participate in development,” Rev. Sumaili said.

The event involved informative exhibitions including a historical video narrating events and decisions that forever changed the world, and a multi-paneled exhibition where students read testimonies, viewed family photographs and learned about The Butterfly Project: stories from children and their families during the Holocaust.

Others who joined children and youth at the event in expressing their views on peace, unity, love and tolerance were a representative from the Council of Churches in Zambia, Zambia-Israel Initiative Bishop Peter Tande Mulenga, former Namwala Member of Parliament Dr. Ompie Nkumbuka-Liebenthal, Chairperson of the Council for Zambia Jewry Simon Zukas and other members of the Jewish Community in Zambia including Cynthia Zukas, Shalomi Abutbul, Izak Ephrati and Robert Liebenthal.

On 1st November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 60/7 designating 27th January as an annual International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. This day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness and bolster inclusivity among every person within their daily lives by continuing to thrive and to strive for better living standards together, undivided.

For more information, please contact:

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lusaka
Mark Maseko, National Information Officer
P: +260-211-225-494  E: info.lusaka@unic.org

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’

Mr. Annan was the seventh man to take the helm of the global organization and the first Secretary-General to emerge from the ranks of its staff.

The current UN chief, Antonio Guterres hailed him as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”

“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured

Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General 1997-2006

Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General 1997-2006

by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement.

“He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world.  In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.”

Kofi Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938.

He served as UN Secretary-General for two consecutive five-year terms, beginning in January 1997.

Mr. Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, rising to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance, and peacekeeping.

As Mr. Guterres noted: “In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.”

From his beginnings in Geneva, Mr. Annan held UN posts in places such as Ethiopia, Egypt, the former Yugoslavia and at Headquarters in New York.

Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he was tasked with facilitating the repatriation of more than 900 international staff as well as the release of Western hostages.

He later led the first UN team negotiating with Iraq on the sale of oil to fund purchases of humanitarian aid.

Immediately prior to his appointment as Secretary-General in January 1997, Mr. Annan headed the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations during a period which saw an unprecedented growth in the Organization’s field presence.

His first major initiative as UN chief was a plan for UN reform, presented to Member States in July 1997.

Mr. Annan used his office to advocate for human rights, the rule of law, development and Africa, and he worked to bring the UN closer to people worldwide by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners.

As Secretary-General, he also galvanized global action to fight HIV/AIDS and combat terrorism.

Mr. Annan and the United Nations jointly were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

In his farewell statement to the UN General Assembly in December 2006, Kofi Annan expressed emotion over leaving what he called “this mountain with its bracing winds and global views.”

Although the job had been difficult and challenging, he admitted that it was also “thrillingly rewarding” at times.

“And while I look forward to resting my shoulder from those stubborn rocks in the next phase of my life, I know I shall miss the mountain,” he said.

However, Mr. Annan did not rest, taking on the role of UN Special Envoy for Syria in the wake of the conflict which began in March 2011.

He also chaired an Advisory Commission established by Myanmar in 2016 to improve the welfare of all people in Rakhine state, home to the minority Rohingya community.

His homeland, Ghana, established an international peacekeeping training centre that bears his name, which was commissioned in 2004.

Source: UN News 

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.