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

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

International Women's Day march past

Women in uniform marching

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Rights Day 2013

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

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

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

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

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

World Environment Day 2013-Lusaka, Zambia

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

World Environement Day 2013

Community waste collection exercise in Kalingalinga, Lusaka.

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

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

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

World Environement Day 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Theme for UN International Peacekeepers Day 2013

Theme for UN Peacekeepers International Day 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNIC Lusaka commemorates International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

Lusaka – The UN International Day of Peace Keepers was celebrated in Lusaka at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross where various high schools, Zambia Army, Air force, Zambia Police and Zambia National Service personnel held a joint church service. The theme this year was “Haiti Standing and Zambians’ contribution in Peacekeeping Operations.”

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