Tag Archives: United Nations

UN75- Zambia a Call to Action

“Together we can learn from peoples across the world how we can improve in tackling the global challenges of our time.” Secretary-General António Guterres

To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations is igniting a people’s debate: UN75. Launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, it promises to be the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation ever on building the future we want.

In a world of dramatic changes and complex challenges, from the climate crisis to population shifts to the unknown course of technology, we need collective action more than ever before. Through UN75, the United Nations will encourage people to put their heads together to define how enhanced international cooperation can help realize a better world by 2045, the UN’s 100th birthday.

While UN75 seeks to drive conversation in all segments of society – from classrooms to boardrooms, parliaments to village halls – it will place special emphasis on youth and those whose voices are too often marginalized. The aim is to reach people from all communities and walks of life.

The views and ideas that are generated will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the General Assembly in September 2020, and disseminated online and through partners continuously.

Have your say and join the conversation at un.org/un75.

 

The Secretary General- Video Message on World Press Freedom Day 2020

“Journalism Without Fear or Favour”

New York, 3 May 2020

Journalists and media workers are crucial to helping us make informed decisions. As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, those decisions can make the difference between life and death.

On World Press Freedom Day, we call on governments — and others — to guarantee that journalists can do their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

As the pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories.

The press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis.

But since the pandemic began, many journalists are being subjected to increased restrictions and punishments simply for doing their jobs.

Temporary constraints on freedom of movement are essential to beat COVID-19. But they must not be abused as an excuse to crack down on journalists’ ability to do their work.

Today, we thank the media for providing facts and analysis; for holding leaders – in every sector – accountable; and for speaking truth to power.

We particularly recognize those who are playing a life-saving role reporting on public health.

And we call on governments to protect media workers, and to strengthen and maintain press freedom, which is essential for a future of peace, justice and human rights for all.

 

 

UNIC Lusaka Organises Holocaust Commemoration in Zambia

By Mizuki Uchiyama, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka

In its continued efforts to remind children and youth of the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust so as to help to prevent future acts of genocide, the United Nations Information Centre Lusaka conducted an educational outreach activity at St. Mary’s Secondary School in

Ms. Harriet Kawina, The District Commissioner for Livingstone Town, giving her remarks during the Holocaust Outreach held at St. Marys Secondary School.

Livingstone district on 28 January 2020. More than 100 pupils from five Livingstone-based schools namely St. Marys Secondary, Dambwa Private Secondary, Busongo Private, Hillcrest Technical Secondary and Livingstone Secondary participated in the event which was held under the 2020 global theme “75 years after Auschwitz – Holocaust Education and Remembrance for Global Justice” to honour the lives of the six million Jews and other groups who were killed by the Nazi regime between 1941 and 1945.

Livingstone District Commissioner Ms Harriet Kawina, who was guest of honour cautioned participants about the danger of indifference.

“We need to reflect on what this history means for our times. The obvious conclusion is that after 2,000 years of various forms of antisemitism, we know that antisemitism is not an eradicable disease. Nor is hate, nor indifference. Knowing this, we must ask whether we can tackle the problem of indifference, or whether it is ineradicable. We are all susceptible to indifference,” Ms Kawina said.

Speaking at the same even, Mr Aiden Kambunga, who is the Livingstone District Education Board Secretary said that in order for peace and security to prevail, youth must be actively involved in finding solutions to building peace.

“They must be given a say in peace and security so as properly address the causes of conflict. It is therefore important that we guard against evil ideologies in order to prevent such crimes from reoccurring. All manifestations of religious intolerance, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief must be rejected,” Mr Kambunga said.

The event included an exhibition titled “Butterfly Project” which tells of children’s experiences

A student asking a question after watching the documentary “The Path to Nazi Genocide.”

during the Holocaust as well as a historical video narrating events and decisions that forever changed the world. After watching the video, students expressed their views on the Holocaust and raised many questions such as why the Holocaust happened and what made such large-scale killings of people possible. As a Representative from Council for Zambia Jewry, Mr Shalomi Abutbul, answered the young learners’ questions, they deepened their understanding of the dangers of hatred and racism.

Zambian Youth Celebrate International Youth Day

By Charles Nonde, Public Information Assistant, UNIC Lusaka

International Youth Day (IYD) is observed annually on August 12th. It is meant as an opportunity for governments and other stakeholders to draw attention to issues that concern youth worldwide. During IYD, concerts, workshops, cultural events, and meetings involving national and local government officials and youth organizations take place around the world.

Youth Delegates following the proceedings. Photo credit/UNICLusaka/Nonde/2019-07-13

IYD was designated by the United Nations in 1999 with the adoption of Resolution 54/120. International Youth Day’s Slogan for 2014 was Youth and Mental Health. For 2015, it was Youth and Civic Engagement. The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day was “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production.”  For 2017, the theme of IYD is “Youth Building Peace”. The theme for IYD 2018 was “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

The 2019  theme for IYD was “Transforming education” to make education inclusive and accessible for all youth.

Against this background, youth from various backgrounds in Zambia converged at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka on August 13, 2019to discuss various issues affecting the youth in the country and find solutions to address these challenges.

The youth where joined by representatives from the United Nations in Zambia headed by Dr. George Okech who as Resident Coordinator, a.i, Hon. Emmanuel Mulenga, MP, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development who was Guest of Honour as well as representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Ministry of General Education and various youth groups.

Group photo. Photo Credit/UNICLusaka/2019-07-13

In his goodwill message, Dr. Okech noted that the 2019 theme calls on all to think about education and ensure its transformation so that it could positively impact young people everywhere.  He quoted the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres’ message on the 2019 International Youth Day “We are facing a learning crisis.

Too often, schools are not equipping young people with the skills they need to navigate the technological revolution. Students need not just to learn, but to learn how to learn.”

Dr. Okech commended the Government of the Republic of Zambia for its unwavering commitment to improving the lives of young people in the country. He noted that the Government’s support had contributed to enhanced awareness of the importance of transforming education at individual, community and national levels.

Honorable Emmanuel Mulenga, MP, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development and Dr. George Okech Resident Coordinator a.i. Photo Credit/UNICLusaka/Nonde/2019-07-13

The Minister said that government recognized the importance of education as a cornerstone of development for every nation. “Education takes centre stage in government programmes including Vision 2030 and the Seventh National Development Plan,” Mr. Mulenga said. Furthermore, he highlighted that the high rates of youth unemployment were a mismatch between industrial demands and skills training.

As part of the commemoration, multi-sectoral youth-led panel discussions were held. The first one tackled the theme “Transforming Education for a Brighter Future of Work using ICT and Innovation for the Youth” with panelists being representatives from the Ministry of General Education, Copperbelt University and an organization called i-School.

The other multi-sectoral youth-led panel discussion focused on the theme “How can Transforming Education help us to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the Youth” with discussants from Friends of Inmates Zambia, University of Zambia, Copperose Zambia and Good Neighbors International Zambia.

The last presentation tackled the theme “Transforming Education in the Context of Migration” with panelists from Mansa General Hospital, Ministry of General Education, National Qualifications Authority and the Ministry of Higher Education.

at the close of the meeting Francyc K.M. Bwalya a youth representative thanked Government and its cooperating partners for recognizing the contribution by the youth make in the development of Zambia.

She also made an appeal that youth should be given an equal opportunity to help develop the country by providing quality education that is responsive to 21stcentury needs and one that will help the youth not depend on getting jobs but be able to be self employed with equal access and favorable condition in market for the to develop and move the country forward.

Read the Youth Communique here

Zambia to Host 2019 United Nations All Africa Games

PRESS RELEASE

LUSAKA 14 AUGUST 2019 – Zambia will from 10 to 12 October 2019 host the 12th United Nations All Africa Games 2019. The games, which will be organised and hosted by the United Nations in Zambia, will see about 1,200 participants from over 14 countries compete for honours at the annual United Nations sporting event to be held in Lusaka.

The objective of the UN All Africa Games is to promote good health and well-being among UN staff in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 3 as well as encourage unity in the UN family. This is the first time that Zambia is hosting this prestigious event, with last year’s games having been held in Mphumalanga, South Africa, under the auspices of United Nations South Africa.

The United Nations is open to partnership, sponsorship and co-branding with Government, private sector and sports associations, for Zambia to successfully host these annual continental games. Twelve disciplines including athletics, basketball, chess, football, netball, swimming, golf, tennis, volleyball and parasports present life changing opportunities for the private sector in the areas of brand marketing, sales, and Corporate Social Investment.

“As UN Zambia, we are honoured to host the games. This is a huge undertaking that needs sponsors to join hands with us. We invite the private sector to come on board and partner with us to ensure success of these games,” said UN Zambia Resident Coordinator, a.i
Dr George Okech.

Dr. Okech also noted the support so far received from the Zambian Government in the lead up to the UN games.

“We are grateful to the Government of the Republic of Zambia through line ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Youth, Sport and Child Development for the support and guidance provided to us this far to ensure that we hold a truly memorable and professional sporting event,” Dr Okech added.

A local organising committee comprising UN staff and representatives from the Government has since been constituted to arrange games schedules, accommodation, venues, transportation and communication, among other issues.

About UN Zambia

Through resident and non-resident funds and agencies, the United Nations in Zambia delivers as one in providing development and humanitarian support to the people of Zambia and refugees through the Zambia-United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework. UN Zambia has, through the Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team made significant progress in systematically moving forward the UN reform agenda in the country, striving to reach the highest standards of accountability, transparency and impact.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Maseko, National Information Officer
UN Zambia
P: +260-211-225-494 | M: + 260-955767062 | E: masekom@un.org

Michael Phiri, Chairperson, 12th UN All Africa Games Organising Committee
UN Zambia
P: +260-211-254421 | M: + 260-966743244 | E: mphiri@unfpa.org

Jacqueline Chishimba, Partnership and Sponsorship, 12th UN All Africa Games Organising Committee
UN Zambia
P: +260-211-253802 | M: + 260-977795416 | E: Jacqueline.chishimba@wfp.org

“Your prisoner could be your President”

By Moses Magadza

KABWE, ZAMBIA – The year is 2003.  Mr Lloyd Chilundika, now the Deputy Commissioner General in charge of Operations within the Zambia Correctional Service, is a young Senior Superintendent of Prisons and Officer in Charge for Kamwala Remand Prison in Lusaka. He is having a busy day in the office.

An angry tough-talking man has just been arrested and is led into his office. The unwilling and belligerent guest of the state is holding a cigarette. Despite being in the Officer in Charge’s office, the ‘suspect’ proceeds to take several puffs, filling the office with smoke. Chilundika is not amused but maintains his cool.

“Sir,” he says politely to his guest, “you can’t smoke in here, not even in your cell.”

The accused man turns out to be the now late Michael Chilufya Sata, then a Zambian opposition politician. On that September day, it did not seem probable that the sharp-tongued Sata would became the fifth President of Zambia. Yet that is what happened from 23 September 2011 until  his death on 28 October 2014.

Regardless, Chilundika treated him humanely and even allowed Sata’s wife to bring him nicotine sticks so that he would not smoke in his cell, which was not allowed. Six years later, Sata became President.

On Thursday, 18 July 2019 the world marked the Nelson Mandela Day and reflected on how correctional services are implementing the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the

Inmates at Mukobeko follow a sensitisation activity on the Mandela Rules. Photo: Nonde/UNIC Lusaka/2019

Treatment of Prisoners, now known as the Nelson Mandela Rules. Among other things, the Nelson Mandela Rules encourage Member States to offer prisoners health care services comparable to what obtains in mainstream society free of charge and without discrimination.

On the sidelines of colourful commemorations at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in Zambia’s Central Province at which inmates received food and non-food items courtesy of UNODC, UN Information Centre, UN Zambia staff and the private sector (Unilever, Unified Chemicals and Freshpikt), Chilundika reminisced about his 2003 encounter with the late President Sata.

In a brief interview he said he treated Sata with respect even though he did not have the foggiest idea that the now late politician – fondly remembered widely as King Cobra on account of his sharp tongue – would become Head of State and Government because he acknowledged “his innate dignity as a human being.”

While calling for practical steps from punitive to rehabilitative custody, Chilundika said Nelson Mandela Day provides an opportunity for correctional services all over the world to reflect and hold candid discussions on what can be done differently to improve care of people in incarceration.

“How do you treat an offender today who can be your President tomorrow? If we can see an offender in the same circumstances in which President Nelson Mandela was as he fought tuberculosis and reflect on the way he was treated, that would be a good standard. Let us recognise the inherent dignity of all people,” he said.

Mr Mwape Kasanda, Assistant Secretary in the Office of the President in Zambia, holds the same view. Speaking when the UNODC Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa Ms Signe Rotberga and other UNODC staff paid him a courtesy call in his office in Kabwe on Nelson Mandela Day, he said access to equitable health care was a human rights issue.

“Health and welfare of people in incarceration are very important. If one is incarcerated, one does not cease to be a human being. Basic rights must be upheld so that rehabilitation efforts are fully supported. Penitentiaries are meant to rehabilitate people. Mandela’s voice and fight for those in prison and the underprivileged must not be forgotten,” Kasanda said.

Dr Charles Msiska, the Provincial Health Director in charge of Central Province led 30 health practitioners including medical doctors from the Ministry of Health to Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility and began screening inmates for various health conditions free of charge.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Clinic in Lusaka initiated the screening, which the Ministry of Health enthusiastically embraced. The screening targeted at least 3000 male and female inmates and staff for non-communicable diseases that include hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions; eye diseases; and other diseases that include epilepsy, herpes zoster, asthma and dental carries.

UN staff and partners pose for a photo with correctional service authorities after the presentation. Photo: Nonde/UNIC Lusaka/2019

Msiska told inmates and scores of people that the Minster of Health had personally called him and instructed him to see to it that all inmates at the correctional facility were screened. He explained that in so doing, the Minister had taken leadership in the quest for universal access to equitable heath care and was toeing the line drawn by Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who has declared that no one would be left behind as the world strives to end AIDS by 2030.

“We have decided that we will also screen all correctional officers. While here, we will not stop until we have seen the last client. No one should be left behind,” he said to applause.

By midday on Thursday, 1000 inmates had been screened. Depending on their conditions, some inmates were treated on site while others were referred to health facilities for further treatment. Rotberga hailed Zambia for lending much-needed political will to efforts to reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders.

“As we reflect on the Nelson Mandela Rules and rules that are specific to health, seeing the work that is being done in Zambia is heart-warming. There is good collaboration between the Zambia Correctional Service and the Ministry of health in line with the Nelson Mandela Rules that say health care services should be organized in close relationship to the public health administration to ensure continuity of treatment and care.”

Chilundika thanked UNODC and other partners for supporting correctional services reforms in Zambia.

“Let us help future generations of correctional officers to adopt practices that would enable them to stand as being part of truly correctional and not largely punitive or retributive facilities,” he said.

Among the highlights of commemorations was a play written and performed by inmates on the rights of inmates. The play shows correctional officers from the old school brutalizing inmates while progressive ones caution them and teach them about the rights of inmates as outlined in the Nelson Mandela Rules.

In providing screening services for inmates, the Zambia Correctional Services and the Ministry of Health have joined Malawi Prison Service, which recently collaborated with the Ministry of Health to screen all female inmates for cervical cancer, in taking health care services to people in prison.

  • Moses Magadza is the Communication Officer at UNODC Regional Office for Southern Africa.

The UN Secretary-General’s message on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2019

A free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.

No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres

speaking truth to power.

This is especially true during election seasons — the focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives.

Yet while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred.

Civic space has been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate.

And with anti-media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harssasment against journalists, including women.

I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.

According to UNESCO, almost 100 journalists were killed in 2018.

Hundreds are imprisoned.

When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.
On World Press Freedom Day, I call on all to defend the rights of journalists, whose efforts help us to build a better world for all.

Thank you.

The UN Secretary General’s message on World Radio

13 February 2019

Radio is a powerful tool.

Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform.

It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues.

And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.

For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war.

On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace.

Thank you.

Message in other UN official languages: ArabicChineseFrench, PortugueseRussianSpanish.

Applications Invited For Journalism Fellowships At United Nations Headquarters

New York, NY. The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists for its 2019 fellowship program. The application deadline is March 1, 2019. 

The fellowships are available to radio, television, print and web journalists, age 25 to 35, who are interested in coming to New York to report on international affairs during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly during the opening 10 weeks. Travel and accommodations in New York, as well as a per diem allowance are provided. 

The fellowships are open to journalists who are native to the mainly developing countries in Africa, Asia (including Pacific Island nations), and Latin America/the Caribbean and are currently working for media organizations. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in and commitment to international affairs and to conveying a better understanding of the U.N. to their readers and audiences. They must also have approval from their media organizations to spend up to three months in New York to report from the U.N. The program is not intended to provide basic skills training to journalists; all fellowship recipients must be media professionals.

In an effort to rotate recipient countries, the Fund will not consider journalist applications from nations of the 2018 fellowship recipients: Argentina, India, Kenya and Yemen. Journalists from these countries may apply in 2020. 

Four journalists are selected each year after a review of all applications and given the incomparable opportunity to observe international diplomatic deliberations and to gain a broader perspective and understanding of matters of global concern. Many past fellows have risen to prominence in their professional and countries. 

Fellowship eligibility criteria and documentation requirements, as well as the fellowship application, form can be found on the Fund’s web site at www.unjournalismfellowship.org 

Questions about the program, eligibility and the application process can be directed by email to fellowship2019@unjournalismfellowship.org. 

Although the Fund is based at the U.N., it does not receive financial support from the world organization. The Fund was established as an independent entity by U.N. journalists 56 years ago as a living memorial to the legacy of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjóld. It continues to be operated by U.N. journalists and relies on financial support from U.N. Missions, foundations, organizations and individuals.

70 years of the Genocide Convention – demonstrating our commitment to the promise of “never again”

By Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

This year we will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention

Mr. Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

Mr. Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, on 9 December 1948, just three years after the birth of the United Nations. Its adoption was largely the result of the tireless efforts of one man, Raphael Lemkin who, after losing most of his family in the Holocaust, was determined to do what he could to make sure that this crime could never happen again. Some six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, one of the most devastating human tragedies of the twentieth century, as well as many others whom the Nazis considered “undesirable”. The Genocide Convention represents the United Nations commitment to the often quoted “never again”; a commitment to learn from and not repeat history.

Regrettably, this commitment has often failed to translate into action, even when it has been most needed. We saw this in 1994 in the abject failure of the international community to prevent the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, which cost the lives of almost a million people in the space of 100 days. No more than a year later, we witnessed it again as the international community, including United Nations peacekeepers, looked away during the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Important progress has been made since – and because of – these failures. In 1998, the International Criminal Court was established, a permanent court already foreseen by the Genocide Convention in 1948. In 2005, the Secretary-General established the post of Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, a position I currently hold, to ensure that there is a voice within the United Nations system that can alert the Secretary-General and, through him, the Security Council, to early warning signs of genocide and advocate for preventative action before genocide becomes a reality.

In addition, at the 2005 World Summit all United Nations Member States made a ground-breaking commitment to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity (atrocity crimes) and to take collective action when States manifestly fail to do so, in accordance with and using the tools provided by the United Nations Charter. This has become known as the principle of “the responsibility to protect”

Despite these achievements and the continued commitment to “never again”, we have not managed to eradicate genocide. International crimes, including genocide, are a terrible reality faced by populations across the globe. We know the warning signs and we know how to prevent these crimes, but we often fail to act in time, or to act at all. In the Central African Republic, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and in so many other places, people are being targeted because of their identity – because of the religion they practice, the culture in which they were raised or simply because of their distinctive physical characteristics. This is unacceptable.

We also fail to invest sufficiently in prevention, to build the resilience needed to address the risk factors for genocide, or to take timely and decisive action when we see the warning signs.

Our commitment to the Genocide Convention must be reinvigorated. The fact that we have not eradicated genocide is not because the Convention is flawed, but rather because its potential has not been fully realised. And despite universal rejection of genocide, some Member States have still not taken the fundamental step of ratifying the Convention.

At the time of writing, 145 States have ratified the Genocide Convention. Surprisingly, 45 United Nations Member States have not yet done so. Of these 20 are in Africa, 18 in Asia and seven in Latin America.

Universal ratification of the Convention is fundamental to demonstrate that genocide has no place in our world. That no one should fear discrimination, persecution or violence simply because of who they are.

What message are the States who have not ratified the Convention sending, 70 years after its adoption? That genocide could never happen within their borders? Genocide can happen anywhere. History has shown us time and again that no region or country is immune. Yet many States seem reluctant to even consider this a possibility or to undertake a critical evaluation of their risks and vulnerabilities.

In December last year, I launched an appeal for universal ratification of the Genocide Convention, urging the 45 United Nations Member States that have not done so to take steps to ratify or accede to the Convention before its 70th anniversary on 9 December 2018. The aim of this appeal is to refocus our attention on the Convention, underline its continued importance as the legal standard for ensuring the punishment of this crime, as well as its often-untapped potential as a tool for prevention.

The Genocide Convention, together with its sister treaties on human rights and the Rome statute for the International Criminal Court, remains the most important legal standard we have to fulfil the commitment to “never again” that the world made 70 years ago. For our own sakes, and for the sake of future generations: #PreventGenocide.

 

To learn more about the Convention and how you can support the appeal click here

To learn more about the Special Adviser and the work of his office click here