UNIC Lagos takes SDGs to NGOs, presents SDGs Year Planner

A participant works with UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner

A participant works with UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner

Lagos, 05 January 2016: In its quest to widely disseminate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its targets in Nigeria, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, has hosted an NGO-Partners’ meeting to introduce the 17 SDGs and its associated 169 targets with a view to enhancing Partners’ understanding of the SDGs framework and its place in programming.

The meeting which was attended by 95 representatives of 75 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), focused on UNIC Lagos priorities for 2016, SDGs Overview; mapping of NGOs based on their mandates and according to the SDGs as well as aligning Partners’ core areas of activities with UN Observances in the year.

Addressing the participants, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, highlighted SDGs, Climate Change and Counter-terrorism as part of the 2016 priorities of UNIC Lagos. He urged the partners to be strategic in programming this year by aligning their activities with the SDGs. The global goals, he noted, must be localized through the collaborative efforts of UNIC Lagos and its NGO-partners.

A cross-section of participants

A cross-section of participants

The mapping of the NGOs, he explained, was aimed at aligning the focus of ‘our NGO partners with the goals and targets of the SDGs. To facilitate deliberation at the meeting, every participant was given a copy of UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner which contains all the 17 goals and the 169 targets. Besides, it also features all the International Days.

Acknowledging the technical support of UNIC Lagos, the Executive Director of Women in politics and Governance (WIPOGOV), Barrister Obiageli Obi, noted that the meeting was rich in contents and much focused. Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Director of Strategy For Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, called for more of such quality engagements.

AFRICAN UNION CONDEMNS THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN NIGERIA

AU LogoThe Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, strongly condemns the terrorist attack on a village near Maiduguri, in north eastern Nigeria, on Saturday, 30 January 2015, by elements of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which left at least 65 people dead and 136 injured.

The Chairperson of the Commission expresses AU’s solidarity with the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She pays her condolences to the bereaved families and wishes speedy recovery to all the injured.

She reiterates the AU’s determination, through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) that was established by the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin to eliminate the Boko Haram terrorist group. She commends the (MNJTF) for its relentless efforts in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group and calls for stronger global cooperation in the efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, in line with various AU and international instruments

The Chairperson reiterates the appeal made by the AU Peace and Security Council, at its 571st meeting held at the level of Heads of States and Government on 29 January 2016, for AU Member States and international partners to sustain their collective efforts towards effective combatting of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, while addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of this phenomena.

Security Council condemns Terrorist Attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria

UN EmblemThe members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attacks on 30 January 2016 attributed to Boko Haram in Dalori village in north eastern Nigeria, which resulted in a large number of deaths and casualties.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of those killed and injured by these heinous acts, as well as to the people and the Government of Nigeria.

The members of the Security Council commended the efforts of the region, including through the Multi-National Joint Task Force, to effectively combat Boko Haram and encouraged further progress in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these terrorist attacks should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever and whenever, and by whomsoever committed.  They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

UNIC Lagos develops Holocaust Word Search Puzzle

scan0001The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos has developed a ‘Word Search Puzzle’ on the film, ‘The Path to Nazi Genocide’ to aid the understanding of the film and reinforce the key lessons learnt from the briefing on the holocaust.

Developed by Ms Abiola Bashorun, an intern with UNIC Lagos, the Word Search Puzzle aims at ensuring a long-term memory retention of Holocaust key words by the students as well as making teaching and learning interactive and interesting. The puzzle features key words such as Holocaust, Genocide, Nazi, Jews, Fuhrer, Austria, Germany, Annihilation, Disabled and Adolf Hitler, among others.Crosswords Puzzle group work.jpg1

Engaging the students after the screening of the film, Ms Bashorun summarised the story of the Holocaust using the key words and asked each of the five schools present to nominate five representatives to work together and figure out the puzzles. All the schools got the puzzles 100% but they finished at different time.

Demonstrating their excitement and deep involvement in the exercise, many of the students indicated to answer questions posed to test their understanding of Holocaust programme.

Ms Bashorun, a Post-Graduate student of Psychology, University of Lagos, said she was pleased by the response and level of involvement of all the students. ‘They seemed to have huge interest in the Holocaust story,’ she added.

 

UNIC Lagos remembers Holocaust, reaffirms faith in human dignity

Director speaksIn continuation of its activities marking the 2016 the International Day of Commemoration In Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in conjunction with Education District VI of the Lagos State Ministry of Education held a students’ briefing session and film screening on 27th January, 2016.

Attended by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Her Excellency Dr. Idiat Adebule who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Education in Lagos State, Mrs Ariyo; the Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary for District VI, Mrs Abimbola Anifowoshe; and other dignitaries including representatives of NGOs and the media, the briefing noted that the 2016 theme, “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”, links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Delivering the message of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, noted that “TDirector and Dep Gov Rephe Holocaust was a colossal crime. No-one can deny the evidence that it happened,” he explained that “By remembering the victims and honouring the courage of the survivors and those who assisted and liberated them, we annually renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities and reject the hateful mentality that allows them.

The Secretary-General urged everyone to denounce political and religious ideologies that set people against people. “Let us all speak out against anti-Semitism and attacks against religious, ethnic or other groups. Let us create a world where dignity is respected, diversity is celebrated, and peace is permanent.” He added.

Cross-sectionIn her speech, Deputy Governor Dr. Adebule appealed to the audience to celebrate the day as a symbol and expression of respect for human dignity. she advised “everyone irrespective of colour, religious, political or ideological leaning must learn to love and freely associate, respect the worth of human life”. Dr Adebule concluded with a plea that everyone should make the world a better place through dialogue, understanding, cooperation, tolerance and reconciliation.

Welcoming the audience, the Tutor General and Permanent Secretary of Lagos Education District VI, Mrs Abimbola Anifowoshe, called on Non-Governmental Organizations and Government Agencies to do everything within their power to promote love and respect for human dignity.

The Principal of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School, Mrs Adebola Kolawole, in her closing remarks, spoke strongly against all forms of injustices which affect right to life, dignity of human person and all forms of abuses and discrimination which violates fundamental human rights principles.

To drive home the understanding of the Holocaust, after screening the film, ‘The Path To Nazi Genocide’, students were arranged in groups according to their schools, to resolve the ‘Holocaust Word Search Puzzle’ developed by Ms Abiola Bashorun, an intern with UNIC Lagos. They all did well with some achieving 100% completion.

The observance was attended by about 300 people of whom over 200 were students.

APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD JOURNALISM FELLOWSHIPS

United Nations, New York. The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists from developing countries for its 2016 fellowship program. The application deadline is March 18, 2016.

The fellowships are available to radio, television, print and web journalists, age 25 to 35, from developing countries who are interested in coming to New York to report on international affairs during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.  The fellowships will begin in early September and extend to late November and will include the cost of travel and accommodations in New York, as well as a per diem allowance.

The fellowship program is open to journalists who are native to one of the developing countries in Africa, Asia, 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 United Nations 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 United Nations.

In an effort to rotate recipient countries, the Fund will not consider journalist applications for 2016 from nations selected in 2015: Brazil, India, Ghana, and Kenya. Journalists from these countries may apply in 2017.

Journalists are selected each year after a review of all applications. The journalists who are awarded fellowships are given the incomparable opportunity to observe international diplomatic deliberations at the United Nations, to make professional contacts that will serve them for years to come, to interact with seasoned journalists from around the world, 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. The program is not intended to provide basic skills training to journalists; all participants are media professionals.

Information about the Fund, including fellowship eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and the application process can be found on the Fund’s web site at www.unjournalismfellowship.org.

Questions can be directed by email to fellowship2016@unjournalismfellowship.org.

Emotions flow as UNIC Lagos screens Holocaust film and exhibits posters

holocaust - Director 1‘A picture is worth more than a thousand words’, goes a popular idiom. The import of this saying manifested on Wednesday 26 January 2016, when scores of students and a few adults went emotional after watching the Holocaust film, ‘The Path To Nazi Genocide’ and afterwards taken round the Holocaust Posters Exhibition.

This was during the Day-One of the 2016 observance of the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the holocaust organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Education District III of the Lagos State Ministry of Education.

Attended by 140 participants comprising of 111 students from 5 different secondary schools; 12 NGOs representatives and 5 representatives of media organisations and 12 others, the film screening and Poster exhibition started with a briefing session. Speaking, the Tutor General and Permanent Secretary of Education District III represented by Mr Dele Obaba, a Director in the District, advised the students to stand-up in support of Human Dignity and stay away from political and social prejudice.

Delivering the message of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja noted that with this year’s theme, “the Holocaust and Human Dignity”, the UN links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations, as expressed in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  ‘As we do, we are reminded of our shared obligation to assure everyone the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law,’ he added.

Contributing during the interactive session that succeeded the film screening, the Health Prefect of Ireti Senior Grammar School, Miss Dorathy Onaji, became emotional when she observed that ‘Adolf Hitler manipulated the whole country and spearheaded the killing of about 6 million Jews.

Curating the Poster Exhibition, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, explained the good life enjoyed by the Jews in the pre-war Europe; the persecution, the state-orchestrated discrimination, the final solution according to Nazi Germany; the end of the Holocaust and the birth of the UN as well as the efforts of the UN in ensuring that the events that led to the Holocaust never happens again anywhere in the world.

UN Recommended Clean Up Brings Hope to Niger Delta – Nigerian President

President Buhari being briefed on the layout of UN Offices at Nairobi which occupies 140 hactres-UNIC NairobiThe President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari said implementation of a clean up recommendation from UNEP has given hope to people of Niger Delta whose land has been damaged by crude oil spillage.

Speaking at the United Nations Office at Nairobi yesterday, the Nigerian President said one of his first tasks when he assumed power in May last year was authorizing the UNEP recommendation of cleaning up Niger Delta where the ecological land of the Niger Delta region has been significantly damaged by crude oil spillage.

President Muhammadu Buhari flanked by UN Executives at UNON led by Director-General Sahle-Work Zewde as he signs visitors book today; 28 January-UNIC Nairobi“The devastation caused by this spillage has destroyed lives and livelihoods and it’s clearly a driver for the reason why many people of that region have lost faith in Government resorting to many criminal activities we are seeing in the region today. The action our Government took to implement the UNEP recommendations has given the indigenous people of the region hope that there are better days ahead,” said the Buhari who is on a three day state visit to Kenya.

On arrival, the leader of Africa’s most populous nation was received by the UNON Director General, Sahle-Work Zewde, inspected a Guard of Honour and was introduced to senior members of the UN family, including the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos.

Following a tradition established at this headquarters to mark the visit of dignitaries, the President planted a tree on the 140 acres compound.

UN Staff and accredited diplomats then crammed themselves into a medium-sized conference room to listen to a short address by the Head of State. In his remarks, President Buhari noted that since his ascension to President, he has taken heed of UN recommendations on the clean up of the environmentally challenged Ogoni Land.

His visit coincided with an on-going Model United Nations simulation consisting of over 800 students from 47 schools in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Responding to an informal invitation from the students, the President adjusted his programme and walked into the Conference room where he received an explosion of applause as delegates craned their necks to get a glimpse of the Head of State.

Following an introduction to the Model UN Nigerian delegation, the President was escorted by Secretary General of Middle School UN Model, Matthew Yun and his Deputy, Hashil Shah to the podium where he made brief remarks.

Reacting to the unexpected visit, delegate Krish Joshi remarked that “it was very fun the first time I met the President. He was tall, smart and kind.

 

Call for Application: 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme

Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon meeting with the 2015 Reham Al-Farra Fellows

Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon meeting with the 2015 Reham Al-Farra Fellows

The United Nations Department of Public Information is currently seeking applications from Nigerian young journalists and broadcasters for the 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme.

The Programme provides journalists with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the work of the United Nations. It is also an opportunity to meet journalists from other countries and exchange ideas with UN communication professionals.

Selected journalists and broadcasters will spend four weeks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 8 September through 5 October, 2016

Upon completion of the Programme, participants are expected to continue working in journalism or broadcasting and help promote better understanding of the United Nations in their home country.

Applicants must be aged between 22 and 35 and currently employed by a recognized media organisation, with several years of professional experience and oral and written fluency in English. The United Nations will cover the cost of a round trip ticket and a daily subsistence allowance. For further information, please visit http://outreach.un.org/raf.

Dangers of unwholesome use of lands, forests, terrestrial ecosystem and biodiversity

Goal 15 - 2Available statistics have it that 99.9% of humans live on habitable land. Land is cultivated for human subsistence. The land therefore is vital for human progress and development. The land, forest, provides a safe habitat for Millions of other mammals and creatures.

The increase level of deforestation is gradually affecting our climate and hence, it is leading to global warming. The effect of mining and quarrying is also doing a lot of damage to land value leading to erosion among many other destructive tendencies. In addition to this man-made land destructive approach, there are other damages to land which may be due to natural disaster like drought.

Drought and desertification account for the loss of about 12 million hectares (23 hectares per minute), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown. The rate at which our world is losing arable lands to these destructive tendencies is estimated to be at about 30 to 35 times high. In fact, of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 percent are extinct and 22 percent are at risk of extinction.

It is now estimated that Thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year. The population that is worst hit are the poor in the developing worlds.

If these continue unabated, the world and its inhabitants may risk extinction. To prevent this, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 is therefore aimed at protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Since this issue affects everyone, there is an urgent need for re orientation and attitudinal change to the way we use the land resources bestowed on us by nature in order to secure future of humanity.