Plant a tree to preserve the earth – UNIC Director

DSC_0111The Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, has called on everyone to plant a tree to preserve the earth and for a better living environment for all. “If everyone plants a tree today”, he continued, “the mother earth will appreciate.”

He made this call while presenting the message of the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon, at the commemoration of the International Mother Earth Day and a Dialogue on the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, organised by UNIC Lagos in partnership with United Nations of Youth Network Nigeria (UNOY) and the National Environmental Society (NES), on the 22 April 2016 in Lagos.DSC_0137

Mr Kayanja said, as each tree plays its part in the biosphere, so should we as individuals who care about our planet and every living creature on it, respect and invest in Mother Earth. He added that 170 Countries are represented at the UN Headquarters in the New York, to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, he therefore urged everyone to support in domesticating the agreement.

DSC_0128Speaking on Climate Change Conference Impact (COP21) and its significance on the Nigeria, a Safeguard Specialist in Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mr Isaac Omoniyi, stated that climate influences man and man influences climate, a situation he said needed to be balanced. He called on the Nigerian government to domesticate the Paris Climate Agreement, to enable her to participate in the international scientific and technological cooperation on climate change.

DSC_0131The Head of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Lagos Zone, Engineer (Mrs) Christiana Okunubi, while making a presentation on Environmental Challenges in Nigeria and Solutions, highlighted various environmental challenges facing the country and stated measures to making for sustainable solutions.

DSC_0172The Chairman, Nigeria Environmental Society (NES), Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Eugene Itua, made a presentation on Trees for Life, during which he highlighted the many advantages of having trees around. He concluded by urging everyone to ‘Plant a Tree and Cut no Tree’.

The President, UNOY, Prince Goodluck Obi, while speaking, called on everyone to get involved in the Tree Planting Activity, in order to mitigate the effect of climate change.

The event was attended by members of the Civil Society and students.

Private sector, key to SDGs success in Nigeria – UN

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura addresses the audience

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura addresses the audience

The private sector remains a crucial sector with countless opportunities to drive the course of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated targets in Nigeria. The private sector has a huge contribution to make to the implementation of the SDGs through commitment to seeking shared value and environmentally sustainable ways of operating.

This was the view of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Ms Fatma Samoura, at the private sector engagement on the SDGs titled, Sustainable Industrial Development in Nigeria organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.RC and hightable

Delivering the keynote address at the private sector engagement on the SDGs, Ms Samoura explained that achieving the new SDGs in Nigeria will be near impossible without the active involvement of the private sector. The private sector, she continued, should also start scaling up its efforts to end poverty, to protect the environment and save planet Earth.

Ms Samoura and other dignitaries take a tour of exhibition at the event

Ms Samoura and other dignitaries take a tour of exhibition at the event

“We know, many of you in business are increasingly joining the fight to deliver progress in Nigeria but we need to collectively redouble our efforts and commit more for Agenda 2030,” the Resident Coordinator added.

Speaking, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire represented by the Secretary Programmes, Mr Ochopa Ogenyi, reiterated the importance of the private sector to sustainable development and noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria would work with partners to ensure the success of the SDGs in the country.

According to her, the SDGs is a robust 15-year global development framework to which national development priorities of Nigeria and countries around the world would be aligned.RC and Ronald at exhibition

In an 11-point communique issued at the end of the workshop attended by over 300 members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), participants recommended a continuous dialogue amongst relevant agencies in the public and the private sector of the economy in order to hasten and sustain industrial development in Nigeria.

The workshop also requested that UNIC Lagos should facilitate the setting up of a United Nations-Private sector consultative committee to study, identify and integrate opportunities from the SDGs and the mechanics of mainstreaming them into the operations of the Organised Private Sector.

Students say ‘No’ to hate speech as UNIC Lagos remembers the genocide in Rwanda

A student makes commitment against hate speech and genocide

A student makes commitment against hate speech and genocide

It was a great moment of pledges and commitments by over 200 students from six public High Schools in Lagos at the commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos.

With their right hands placed on the left hand side of their chests, the students chorused in unison: ‘I hereby say ‘No’ to hate speech’; ‘I pledge to respect other people’s religions and tribes’; ‘I hereby make commitment to promote peace at all time’; ‘I pledge to love my neighbours for who they are’; among others.

rwanda - A minute of silence for victims

A minute of silence for victims. L-R: Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Education Matter, Mrs Seriki Ayeni; Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi and Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja

These commitments were made following the message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Keynote address by the Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi and the message of the Special Guest of Honour, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule.

Delivering the message of Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja noted that “the theme of this year’s observance is ‘Fighting Genocide Ideology’. It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence.  We must promote inclusion, dialogue and the rule of law to establish peaceful and just societies.”

rwanda - A female student reads a survivor's testimony 1

A student reads the testimony of a genocide survivor

Ambassador Kamanzi, in his address urged the students to learn from the lessons of the genocide in Rwanda by being tolerant of one another while shunning every form of discrimination and hatred.

Representing the Deputy Governor, the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Education Matter, Mrs Seriki Ayeni, reaffirmed the commitment of Lagos State government to ensuring that students in the State are well educated and informed about global issues and learning from them.

rwanda - students make commitmentrwanda - A student reads a survivor's testimony 1Video testimonies were screened while Testimonies of Survivors were read by Mr Samuel Eliadun, a student of Government Senior College, Ikoyi and Miss Idowu Aniogbe of Akande Dahunsi Memorial Secondary School, Ikoyi Lagos.

Students watch the video testimonies of some survivors

Students watch the video testimonies of some survivors

Earlier, a female survivor of the genocide in Rwanda recounted her sad experience as a 9-year old girl at the time and answered a few questions from the audience.

The event was also well attended by members of the Rwandan community in Lagos.

I have been remodelled – UNIC Lagos intern admits

Mr Yinka Olaito (Left) and Ms Abiola Bashorun (Right)

Mr Yinka Olaito (Left) and Ms Abiola Bashorun (Right)

‘My period of internship at UNIC Lagos has changed my perspectives. I learnt a lot about programming, networking and working in a structured multi-cultural environment. I can say I have been remodelled for greater challenges.’ These were the parting words of Ms Abiola Bashorun, a post-graduate student of Psychology, University of Lagos, after her three-month internship at UNIC Lagos. Her colleague, and another intern, Mr Yinka Olaito, noted the demand for excellence at all times and expressed his appreciation of the opportunity to learn from the professionals at the Centre. Mr Olaito is Communication student of University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Youth dominate discussion on music and sustainable development

UNI Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the audience

UNI Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the audience

Youth, once again, took the center stage of discuss on music and sustainable development. This was the focus of a youth engagement event on ‘Say No to bad lyrics’ organised recently by Do The Dream Youth Development Initiative and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos. With emphasis on good lyrics, the youth, numbering over eighty, agreed that good music must have a good message that could add value to people’s lives.

The programme explored and described good lyrics as those that promote societal development, uphold human dignity and engender socio-cultural unity of Nigeria.

A musical renditionAddressing the youth and a few School Principals in attendance, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, noted that youth is a priority group for the United Nations and very critical to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He emphasised the role of music in promoting the SDGs and charged the youth to compose songs on the 17 SDGs to bring the global goals to the door steps of the people. Mr Kayanja added that musical lyrics on the SDGs, would be a classic example of ‘good lyrics’ capable of stimulating development.

Speaking, the Founder of Do The Dream Youth Development Initiative, Adebusuyi Olutayo Olumadewa, explained that the ‘Say No to bad lyrics’ campaign was aimed at promoting virtues through music and to debunk the erroneous belief that only erotic lyrics were marketable. ‘Lyrics that promote social cohesion and strengthen national unity are marketable and popularly accepted.

On the regulation of broadcast, including music on the air waves, the Assistant Director, Monitoring, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, Ms Ijeoma Theo-Obodo, reaffirmed the commitment of the Commission to monitor what goes on the air waves, intervene and apply appropriate sanctions whenever there are breaches.

Earlier, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, urged the participants to channel their creative energies towards those activities that would add value to their lives.

The programme was interspersed by musical rendition and live portrait painting.

Let’s work together for equal opportunity and justice for people of African descent – Ban Ki-moon

Ronald speaks

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun curates the exhibits

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun curates the exhibits

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on everyone to work together for equal opportunity, justice and sustainable development for people of African descent. Africa’s influence and legacy, according to him, are plain to see in the vibrant music, bold art, rich foods and inspiring literature that infuse modern culture.

Delivering the Secretary General’s message on the 2016 International Day of remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Lagos, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja noted that the theme of this year’s observance was “Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots”. ‘Less recognized, perhaps, are the contributions that the people of the African diaspora have made to medicine, science, government and general leadership in society,’ he added.

Screening of Queen Nanny

Students watching the film, ‘Queen Nanny: The Legendary Maroon Chisftainess

Exhibition - Seyi curating - 4The activities marking the day, held at Southfield Academy, Bariga Lagos, included screening of the film, ‘Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess’; Poster Exhibition on ‘Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers’; briefing and quiz on the ‘The Ark of Return’; and a WebEx interlink with students in Accra and Nairobi.

Curating the poster exhibits, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, urged the students to learn from the resilience and determination of Africans who were taken to India as slaves. Many of them, he informed, went on to become Generals, Rulers, and leading professionals while their women became queens in India.

Proprietress of Southfield Academy-Mrs Chioma  Dawodu addresses the participants

Proprietress of Southfield Academy-Mrs Chioma Dawodu addresses the participants

Recalling lessons learnt from the exhibition, 17-year old Chisom Maduba of Southfield Academy Lagos, said she learnt that ‘we should not deny our roots. We should be proud of our African heritage’ while 15-year old Emmanuel Udeaja, acknowledged that he had learnt to say ‘No’ to any form of slavery, racism and human trafficking and added that the film taught him courage and morals.

A student with 'The Ark of Return' brochure

A student with ‘The Ark of Return’ brochure

Earlier, the Proprietress and Administrator of Southfield Academy, Mrs Chioma Dawodu noted the impact of UNIC’s educational programmes and urged the students to seize the opportunity to learn about Slavery and the TransAtlantic Slave Trade which according to her, would help them in recognising those situations that could lead to modern day slavery.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of African Anti-Salvery Coalition, Mr Olufemi Philips, urged everyone to stand firm for freedom and do what is right at all cost just like Queen Nanny.

Citizen Joseph canvasses for peace, presents Art work to UN

Ronald and Seyi receives the art work

Mr. Osejie Ewaose Joseph (middle) presents to UNIC Director, Mr Ronald Kayanja (Left) and the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun (Right)

The need to promote peace and unity around the world was once again highlighted yesterday as Mr. Osejie Ewaose Joseph of Osebless Communick, adopted an artistic medium to communicate the sanctity of global peace.

The framed artwork which features the world map and the inscription, “Peace Be Still in the World”, was received by the Director, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja in his office.

Mr. Osejie Ewaose Joseph (Left) explains the concept of the art work

Mr. Osejie Ewaose Joseph (Left) explains the concept of the art work

Presenting, Mr. Joseph said he was motivated by the UN priority, the vast amount of lives and properties lost to the First and Second World War, as well as the prevailing acts of terrorism around the world. He added that he was committed to promoting peace all over the world with the use of Art works, Stickers, Poems and Songs.

Responding, commended Mr. Joseph for his action towards promoting peace and encouraged him not to give up on the advancement of peace and unity in the world.

 

Address water challenges – UNIC Director urges

12888783_475105299340028_345295314821862743_oAs this year’s World Water Day focuses on the link between Water and Jobs, the Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja urges everyone to address water inequity as part of our efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He made this call, while delivering the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon’s message on the occasion of the World Water Day Celebration organized by UNIC Lagos in partnership with the Nigeria Environmental Society on the 23rd of March 2016 at the Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR).

Mr. Kayanja added that the basic provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene at home, school and in the work place, enables a robust economy by contributing to a healthy and productive population and workforce.

Speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, NIOMR, Dr. G. R Akande, who was represented by the Director of Aquaculture, Dr. Pat Anyawu , called on every individual to join in the protection of water resources, so as to prevent water stress in the future.

While giving a lecture, the former Commissioner, Ogun State Ministry of Water Resources, Hon. Kola Onadipe, advised everyone to utilize water properly and stop the wastage of water.

Dr. Julius Agboola, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, spoke on “Water: A Revolutionary Rethink for Sustainable Livelihood and Jobs” as he urged the audience to invest in Water as it can provide a lot of job opportunities.

Support persons with Down Syndrome – UNIC Director

Children with their artworksThe Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja has urged everyone to support persons with Down syndrome condition by giving them freedom to make choices, as part of broader efforts to usher in a life of dignity for all.

Ronald speaksHe made this call while presenting the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the 2016 World Down Syndrome Day observed on Monday, 21 March 2016, by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in partnership with the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), held at the Library Auditorium of UNIC Lagos.

According to him, ‘Persons with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, are more than persons in need of assistance; they are agents of change who can drive progress across society – and their voices must be heard as we strive to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.’

Mr Kayanja added that others in the society should similarly appreciate the potential and power of the members of our human family with Down Syndrome.Group pix - the children

Speaking, the Hon. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, represented by the Director, (Women Editor) Ministry of Information and Strategy, Ms. Olugbemi Ozojiofor, commended the effort of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria in promoting the rights and acceptance of persons with Down Syndrome conditions.

ArtworksHe urged every member of the society to see persons with Down Syndrome disability as valuable and equal members of the Society.

In her closing remarks, the National President of Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), Mrs Rose Mordi, called on parents not to lock up their children with Down Syndrome conditions as this would affect their social and economic development. Persons with Down Syndrome should be integrated into the society as they also have value to add to the development of the nation.

The event, attended by 180 people including representatives of eleven media organisations, featured an exhibition of creative Artworks and Dance performances by persons with Down Syndrome disability as well as a video documentary on Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria.

UNIC, NIIA organise Nigeria’s first photo and book exhibition on SDGs and women

Book Exhibition - NIIA Librarian curatesThe United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) have staged a book and photo exhibition which arguably was Nigeria’s first book and photo exhibition on ‘Women and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.

The exhibition, held at the NIIA, was part of the activities marking the International Women’s Day in Nigeria, and was declared open by Her Royal Highness, Erelu Abiola Dosumu.Exhibition panel

Featuring forty-eight (48) books, seventeen (17) pictures for the 17 SDGs and thirty (30) newspaper clippings that establish, depict and explain the centrality of women and gender equality in the SDGs, the exhibition was attended by women-related NGOs and a few members of the public.

Erelu Abiola Dosumu cuts the tape to declare the exhibition openSpeaking, Erelu Dosumu commended the managements and staff of NIIA and UNIC Lagos for their commitment to the issues that affect women. Gender parity in all sectors, she added, would promote socio-economic inclusiveness that would engender national development.

In his brief remarks, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, noted that the exhibition provided another dimension to appreciating the role of women and the importance of gender equality to sustainable development.