Brazilian football star David Luiz appointed new UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador

UNAIDS leverages the power of football ahead of FIFA 2014 World Cup
Geneva, 16 April 2014—In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil starting in June, UNAIDS has teamed up with Brazilian football champion and vice-captain of the national Brazilian football team David Luiz, appointing him as UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador.
David Luiz, who is playing in the Premier League, will support UNAIDS by promoting the organization’s key advocacy and outreach initiatives. He will help mobilize football fans around the world, particularly young people, with important messages calling for an end to discrimination, advocating for HIV prevention and access to HIV treatment for people living with HIV.
“I am convinced that David with his heart and compassion will make a big difference reaching out to millions of young people,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. “In football, players come together to produce results. In the same way we must unite and as a team get to zero new HIV infections. During the World Cup, everyone’s eyes will be on Brazil and David will be an inspiration both on and off the pitch.”
“It is a massive honour to be a global ambassador for UNAIDS and I want to use this position to spread the word about how to overcome AIDS around the world,” said David Luiz. ”People will be looking to my country Brazil to see great football at the World Cup and this is a great opportunity for UNAIDS and I to speak out—and I want to help make UNAIDS the winning team.”
David Luiz is featured in Protect the Goal which is a UNAIDS campaign using the popularity and convening power of sport to raise awareness of HIV and drive young people to commit to HIV prevention. In addition, David Luiz is promoting UNAIDS’ #zerodiscrimination campaign, which calls on people to celebrate everyone’s right to live a full life with dignity – no matter what they look like, where they come from or whom they love.
Of the total estimated 35.3 million people living with HIV around the world, an estimated 5.4 million are young people aged 10-24. Many are unaware of their status. There are some 900 000 adolescents (10-14) living with HIV. In addition, an estimated 780 000 of the total 2.3 million new HIV infections worldwide are among adolescents and young people aged 15–24 with 97% of the new infections occurring in low and middle-income countries.

Additional materials
 Video news release featuring UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador David Luiz

https://www.hightail.com/download/elNLRGx4bEFLVlYzZU1UQw

 B-roll video footage of Mr Sidibé and David Luiz speaking about the new appointment

https://www.hightail.com/download/elNLRGx4bEFZY1F3anNUQw

 Public service announcement Protect the Goal available in English and Portuguese

UNCT holds 2014 retreat… meets Oyo State Governor, engages local communities

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) led by the Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure, recently held its 2014 annual retreat and engaged local communities in Ibadan, Oyo State, South-West Nigeria.
Attended by representatives of eighteen UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds including the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, represented by its National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, the retreat featured courtesy call on the Governor of Oyo State; visit to UN project sites; presentations on the implementation of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) III and its core component, Delivery as One (DaO).

The UNCT led by the Resident Coordinator (2nd right) at Agbaje community, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

The UNCT led by the Resident Coordinator (2nd right) at Agbaje community, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.


Receiving the team in his office, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, expressed his appreciation of the choice of Oyo State as the host the UN Country Team annual retreat. He pledged the support of his administration to all UN programmes and projects in the State.
The Governor therefore sought the assistance of the United Nations on seven fronts: Development of an Industrial park; Peace and Security; Physical Infrastructure; Preventive medical service delivery; Logistics centre; Agricultural development and Training especially vocational training, knowledge and skill acquisition.
In his remarks, the Resident Coordinator acknowledged the commitment of the government of Oyo State to infrastructural development and empowerment of the people. However, Mr Toure noted that there were still more to do, especially in the area of health management, education and youth empowerment.
L-R: The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure; Country Representative of ILO, Ms Sina Chuma- Mkandawire and the Country Representative, WHO, Dr Rui Gama Vaz.

L-R: The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure; Country Representative of ILO, Ms Sina Chuma- Mkandawire and the Country Representative, WHO, Dr Rui Gama Vaz.


In line with its programmes, the UNCT made a field visit to Sabo Community to engage some young women who were beneficiaries of an empowerment scheme supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The team also visited another ILO-supported project site to engage rescued victims of child labour, who had been enrolled in Agbaje Memorial Primary School at Agbaje market area of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. The project which was to eliminate child labour in the community, had assisted over 110 children to go back to school.
In an interactive session, one of the rescued children, Mariam Agbaje, age 10, disclosed to the UNCT that she was engaged to pick melons in the market for which she was being paid the sum of Thirty-Naira (N30) per day. Another rehabilitated child worker, Ayomide Oladokun, 12 years said he was a street hawker of water in a sachet, popularly known as ‘pure water’ with a daily wage of N30 on a turnover over of N500. Both of them were grateful to the UN and Gallilee Foundation, the project managers, for rescuing them from the dangers of the street and bringing them to school. They expressed their joy of being with other children in the classrooms.
The Resident Coordinator (sitting from left) led the UNCT to consult with the leader of the Hausa community, the Seriki Hausawa of Ibadan, Alhaji Ahmadu Dahiru Zungeru, before going into the community.

The Resident Coordinator (sitting from left) led the UNCT to consult with the leader of the Hausa community, the Seriki Hausawa of Ibadan, Alhaji Ahmadu Dahiru Zungeru, before going into the community.


Engaging the women, many of whom were widows, the UNCT had a first-hand accounts of the huge impact a UN project had made in the lives of people. The women, who spoke one after the other, acknowledged that the project had organised them into cooperative society; empowered them in such a way that they could afford to send their children to school and make daily saving from the income generated from the project economic empowerment scheme.
In their deliberation at the retreat, the UNCT noted that elections is a major flagship programme for the UN in Nigeria; therefore, UNDP, the lead Agency on elections, was mandated to convene a meeting of Agencies that have planned activities related to elections to agree on a road map of working together to deliver as One.
Speaking on the elections, the Resident Coordinator assured that the UN would reinforce its advocacy to the Federal Government that issues of elections should not stop interventions in other thematic areas.
The UNCT engages some beneficiaries of the ILO-supported women empowerment project

The UNCT engages some beneficiaries of the ILO-supported women empowerment project


As regards Delivering as One (DaO), the UNCT noted that all the states of the federation were DaO states explaining that any UN Agency that had presence in any state, would speak and act for the UN. However, Agency leads in some states were decided: the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as the lead Agency; Lagos (World Health Organisation – WHO); Anambra (United Nations Children’S Fund – UNICEF); Oyo and Kogi (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation – UNIDO); Benue (UNICEF); Borno (UNICEF); Ekiti (United Nations Development Programme – UNDP); Cross River (United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA) and Niger (UNDP).
The retreat ended with a sound commitment by the UNCT to implement the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) III 2014 -2017, with vigour and within the framework of delivering as one United Nations.

Intensify efforts to meet MDG targets – UN Resident Coordinator urges

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Nigeria, Mr. Daouda Toure, has called on corporate bodies, the Civil Society, and other development partners to intensify efforts geared towards achieving the targets set for achieving the MDGs even as the United Nations and the entire world are already talking about post-2015 sustainable development.

2nd Right: NIO, Oluseyi Soremekun

2nd Right: UNIC Lagos, National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun

He made this call in his goodwill message delivered at the 36th Annual Lions Day with the United Nations, held recently at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Lagos. The theme of the day was ‘In fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals’ under the chairmanship of Prof Segun Awonusi of the University of Lagos. This was in continuation of the Lions Day with the UN held at the UN Headquarters in February 2014.

NIO about to exchange flags with the multiple Council Chairperson, Prof Ayoade Adesokan

Right: UNIC Lagos, National Information Officer about to exchange flags with the Lions Club’s Multiple Council Chairperson, Prof Ayoade Adesokan (Left).

The Resident Coordinator who spoke through the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, charged the participants to double their efforts towards eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving Universal Primary Education; promoting gender equality and women empowerment; reducing child mortality; and improving maternal.

Exchange of flags between Lions Club International, Multiple District 404 Nigeria and the United Nations Nigeria.

Exchange of flags between Lions Club International, Multiple District 404 Nigeria and the United Nations Nigeria.

He added that all hands must be on deck to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. “We have started and there is no looking back,” he declared.

In his opening remarks, the Multiple District Chairperson, Professor Ayoade Adesokan, observed that the Lions Club International and the United Nations shared some things in common. This, he said, included creating and fostering a spirit of understanding among the people of the world which is one of the purposes of the Lions Club.

2nd right: UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun

2nd right: UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun

Professor Adesokan added that the relationship between the United Nations and Lions Club International was dated back to 1945 when the leaders of the Club were asked to help develop the non-governmental organisation charter for the United Nations.
The peak of the ceremony was the traditional exchange of flags between the two organisations.

RECENT UN PUBLICATIONS: FEBUARY 2014

DPA / DPKO / OHCHR / UNDP / UNICEF / UN Women
“The UN Constitutional – A Newsletter on United Nations Constitutional Support”
The first issue launched in January 2014 and primarily illustrates the UN’s constitutional
assistance on the ground. It also offers an interview with the UN Deputy Special Representative
for Political Affairs in Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, and provides a digest of recent
publications.

http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/UNConstitutional-Issue1.pdf

Read more: https://iseek2.un.org/newyork/article/six-un-offices-join-efforts-launch-first-its-kind-newsletter-focused-constitution-making
“Highlights of the Security Council Practice, 2013″
The 2013 Highlights offers a snapshot of the activities of a principal United Nations organ
during the course of the year, focusing on five core aspects of Council activities: meetings,
missions, agenda, decisions and subsidiary bodies.
Full text (15 pages): http://www.un.org/en/sc/inc/pages/pdf/highlights/2013.pdf
UNDP: Multidimensional Livelihoods Asessment in Conflict Areas in Yemen:
Integrated Summary Report [EN/AR]
The aim of the ‘Multi-dimensional Livelihoods Assessment in Conflict Affected Areas’
is to provide a comprehensive understanding of livelihoods opportunities and gaps in
vulnerable governorates in Yemen. The assessment provides, for the first time, a
holistic view of the livelihoods systems of people at household and community level. It
includes sources of vulnerability, their asset base, jobs, businesses, household structure,
coping and adaptive strategies, as well as how these change as result of shocks and
stresses resulting from conflict and disasters.
Read more: http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/multidimensional-livelihoods-asessment-conflict-areas-yemen-integrated-summary-report
Full Report: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNDP-YEM-Multidimensional%20livelihoods%20asessment%20in%20conflict%20areas%20in%20yemen.pdf
Full Report Arabic: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNDP-YEM-Multidimensional%20livelihoods%20asessment%20in%20conflict%20areas%20in%20yemen%20AR.pdf
United Nations 2013 World Youth Report
The report highlights some of the concerns, challenges and successes experienced by
young migrants based on their own lives and told in their own voices.
Press release: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/youth_on_the_move_the_un_world_youth_report_2013_on_youth_migration/#.Uv4-jfldV8E
Full report:

http://www.unworldyouthreport.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=29&Itemid=219

UNFPA “ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report”
The report is the first global review of progress, gaps, challenges and emerging issues in
relation to the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),
held in Cairo in 1994. It gathers data from 176 countries alongside inputs from civil society
and comprehensive academic research. The findings provide compelling evidence strongly
reinforcing the ground-breaking focus of the Cairo Programme of Action, placing human
rights and individual dignity at the heart of development.
About the Report: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/sitemap/ICPDReport
Summary: http://icpdbeyond2014.org/uploads/browser/files/icpd_global_review_report_12_feb_2014.pdf
Press release: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/16704
UNESCO “Building Inclusive Knowledge Societies –
A review of UNESCO’s action in implementing the WSIS outcomes”
The report is on UNESCO’s action in achieving the WSIS goals as another significant
contribution to the WSIS+10 review process. It summarizes the main activities
undertaken in coordinating, facilitating and implementing the WSIS outcomes.
Full text (66 pages): http://www.itu.int/wsis/review/inc/docs/ralfreports/WSIS10_ALF_Reporting-UNESCO.pdf

OCHA “World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2013″
The report highlights major trends in the nature of humanitarian crises, the underlying
causes and drivers, and the actors that participate in crises prevention, response and
recovery. The rising scale of needs, a collective inability to resolve protracted crises,
and the interplay of new factors such as climate change, are making it harder for
Governments and aid workers to effectively respond to humanitarian challenges, the
United Nations today reported, stressing that development aid must contribute to
managing crisis risk.

http://www.unocha.org/what-we-do/policy/resources/world-humanitarian-data-and-trends-2013

UNESCO “United Nations World Youth Report 2013″
The report is an in-depth study of youth migration from the perspective of young
migrants themselves. It reflects the experiences, successes and challenges of young
women and men involved in or affected by migration all over the world. There are over
232 million migrants in the world today, and young people account for over 30% of
this figure. It also assesses the information available to help young migrants, and the
experiences of youth whose families have migrated without them, as well as encouraging
the involvement of young people in national policy-making in order to improve the lives of
young migrants and enhance their participation in their destination societies.

http://www.unworldyouthreport.org/

Press Release: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/youth_on_the_move_the_un_world_youth_report_2013_on_youth_migration/back/9597/
Philippines
ILO/UNDP/Save the Children: Workshop Report on Framing Priorities for
Non-Agriculture/ Non-Fisheries Livelihoods and Community Early Economic
Recovery for the Typhoon Haiyan Response. The objective of the hub workshops
was to identify non-agriculture/non-fisheries livelihoods and community early economic
recovery priorities for the Typhoon Haiyan response that could realistically be addressed
with the resources of the Cluster in the immediate (0-3 months) and short term (0-12 months).
(24 pages)

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ERL_hub_workshop_report_Jan_2014.pdf

Yemen
UNDP: Fostering Resilience in times of Change: 2012 towards 2014 – Progress Report
With the adoption of the Gulf Co-operation Council Implementation Mechanism for Yemen, in
November 2011, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Yemen realigned its
resources and capacities to support the new transition priorities. Our main premise then was simple,
and it remains so today: without a successful and genuine transition, it will be very difficult to think
about lasting stability and development in Yemen.(104 pages)

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNDP-YEM-Annual%20Progress%20Report.pdf

UNICEF
“Humanitarian Action for Children 2014″
UNICEF appealed for almost US$2.2 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian
assistance in 2014 to 85 million people, including 59 million children, who face
conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries. The report

USG extends frontiers of partnership in Nigeria… engages media, students, NGOs, others

It was an eventful and excitingly engaging week that would remain indelible in the minds of partners of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos. That was the week that ended 30th March, 2014, when the United Nations Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Communications and Public Information, Mr Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, visited Abuja to join other senior UN officials to discuss Africa and its development initiatives especially in the context of African Union Agenda 2063.

L-R: USG, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, The Chair, African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the Deputy Secretary General, Mr Jan Eliasson at a Panel discussion in Abuja

L-R: USG, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, The Chair, African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the Deputy Secretary General, Mr Jan Eliasson at a Panel discussion in Abuja


In addition to his scheduled panel discussion during the just ended conference on the Fifteenth Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa) of United Nations Agencies and Organisations working in Africa in support of the African Union and its NEPAD programme, the Under-Secretary-General in continuation of his commitment to extending the frontiers of Communication partnership in Nigeria, engaged representatives of the Nigeria Union of journalists; the media, the students, the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and the creative community, to explore new areas of partnership and cooperation with the UN, especially the UN Information Centre.
USG and some members of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) after a meeting in Abuja.

USG and some members of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) after a meeting in Abuja.


In his interaction with the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by its President, Garba Muhammed, in Abuja, Launsky-Tieffenthal reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to the promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of the press anywhere in the world. Press freedom, he explained, ensures government’s accountability to the people as an important component of democratic governance and a thematic area of huge interest to the UN.
Responding, the NUJ President, who is also the President of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), commended the Under-Secretary-General for his interest in the development of media institutions and contents in Nigeria. He observed that media independence is dependent on welfare of journalists, and as such, should be taken more seriously by media entrepreneurs.
At the interactive session with the representatives of Non-governmental Organisations (NGO), the USG noted that youths and women remained priority groups for the UN in its interventions to save lives and improve the wellbeing of people around the world. The NGO restated their commitment to working with UNIC and other UN Agencies. However, they requested for training opportunities in their various thematic areas.
USG and some members of the creative community after a meeting in Abuja

USG and some members of the creative community after a meeting in Abuja

In a separate meeting, representatives of the creative community which included Writers, Producers, Movie makers as well as Arts and Theatre workers, commended the USG for convening the meeting and unanimously agreed to explore further opportunities of collaboration with UNIC, especially in the area of creative media training. They had earlier agreed to consider the USG’s proposal requesting them to include UN themes in their works.
The quest for expanding the reach of the UN took the USG to the campus of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), where he had an interactive session with the students, management and faculty members of the Institute and those of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Abuja. The students were upbeat with their probing questions on the UN activities in Nigeria and around the world.
USG being interviewed by a reporter of African Independent Television (AIT), Abuja

USG being interviewed by a reporter of African Independent Television (AIT), Abuja


In a related meeting with the Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Radio Nigeria), Mr Ladan Salihu, the USG acknowledged the significance of radio as a medium of mass communication in Nigeria and other African countries. UNIC, he said, was ready to partner with Radio Nigeria to develop programmes on good governance, health, literacy, peace, human rights and other areas that of interest to the UN and the Nigerian Government.
USG being interviewed by China's CCTV reporter in Abuja

USG being interviewed by China’s CCTV reporter in Abuja


Among other issues discussed with the various audiences, Launsky-Tieffenthal also spoke about the Model United Nations; elections monitoring; celebrity advocates; welfare of journalists and media independence; multilingualism and UN communication; collaboration with local Radio/Television stations; and Peace Keeping Operations.

Horror of Rwanda Genocide echoes in Lagos as UNIC marks 20th year anniversary of the genocide

“As they were cutting people, blood was falling on us. I confess that I was so thirsty that when the blood ran into my mouth, I drank it.”; “…my body was struck with sticks and machetes, but I still ran on. I was raped and abused…”; “I heard my parents scream as they were hacked down with machetes and udufuni (small hoes)”; “After killing people for about eight hours, they said they were tired, that they needed something to help them regain their energy. So they picked girls who were still alive and raped them.”; “…no justice can bring back my sanity and life…”. These were few of the testimonies of survivors of the Rwanda Genocide.

A cross-section of participants

A cross-section of participants


In 1994, as the international community watched, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsi, were massacred by Hutu militia and government forces over a period of just 100 days. To pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the survivors and help the international community to prevent future tragedies of such nature, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, joined other UN offices and peoples around the world to commemorate the 20th year anniversary of the Rwanda genocide.
The observance featured showing of ‘Kwibuka20’ short film; Rwanda Video Timeline, covering from 1884 to today; Video testimonies by survivors (Simeon and Claire); Short video by United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) featuring a perpetrator and two survivors; as well as transcripts of survivors’ accounts.
National Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun speaks

National Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun speaks


It was an emotion-filled hall with graveyard silence, interrupted only by the sound of the video film as tears rolled down the cheeks of some students while others were moved to tears on account of the survivors’ testimonies.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in his video message acknowledged the inspiration drawn from the ability of the Rwandan people to unite and show that reconciliation is possible even after a monumental tragedy. ‘And we pay tribute to their determination to renew their country and pave the way to a secure and prosperous future’, he added.
Snr. Public Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic speaks

Snr. Public Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic speaks


Providing the background on the observance especially as related to ending impunity through judicial action, the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, disclosed that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) established through a UN Security Council resolution of November 1994, and which began operating in 1995, had issued a total of 92 indictments, two of which were withdrawn, and 10 of which were referred to national jurisdictions, including two to France and eight to Rwanda. “Two accused died before the completion of their cases. As of March 2014, of the 63 completed cases, 14 accused were acquitted, and 49 were found guilty and convicted.” He continued.
A cross-section of the audience

A cross-section of the audience


Speaking on the occasion, the Senior Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic, urged the students to embrace one another irrespective of tribe or religion. She added that while remembering the genocide, they should unite and renew friendships across cultures and ethnic groups.
The Proprietress of Southfield Children Academy welcomes the participants

The Proprietress of Southfield Children Academy welcomes the participants

The event was attended by about 200 participants comprising of four schools, representatives of Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) and the media.

World Health Day: Protect yourself against mosquitoes and other vectors

‘Wherever you are, protect yourself against mosquitoes and other vectors. Their small bites are big threats.’ This was the message that ran through the 2014 World Health Day observance organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos in collaboration with the United Nations of Youth Network Nigeria (UNOY).

Snr. Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic makes an opening remark

Snr. Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic makes an opening remark


The observance which started with an introductory video titled, ‘World Health Day 2014 – Small bite, big threat’, featured the screening of short animated video documentary, and was attended by over 150 participants which included secondary school students, representatives of Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) and the media.
The National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, speaks.

The National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, speaks.


In his message on the occasion, the United Nations Secretary. General, Ban Ki-moon, observed that every year more than one million people died from diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other insects.
“They present a risk in all regions, including countries where the threat had formerly been eradicated, but the most affected are the world’s poorest people, especially those who live in remote rural communities far from health services or in urban shanty towns,” he explained, “Everyone has a role to play in the fight against vector-borne diseases – international organizations, governments, the private sector, civil society, community groups and individuals. “
A corss-section of the facilitators and participants

A corss-section of the facilitators and participants

In her opening remarks, the Senior Public Information Officer at UNIC, Envera Selimovic, implored the student-audience to be the change agents in their schools and communities by playing active roles in the cleaning of their environments and helping in the dissemination of life-saving information on how to prevent malaria and other vector borne diseases.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Small bite, big threats’, the Keynote speaker, a Public Health Specialist, Dr Olubunmi Omoseyindemi, called for the involvement of communities in the campaign against vector borne diseases. He added that when such a campaign was being designed, the culture of the people should be considered.

A student reading a part of the Secretary General's message on the occasion

A student reading a part of the Secretary General’s message on the occasion


‘Nigerian youths have an important role to play in the campaign to prevent vector-borne diseases,‘ President of UNOY, Prince Goodluck Obi, said in his remarks. He urged youths to be the vanguard of good sanitation and healthy living.
National Surveillance Officer, WHO, Dr Irene Isibor speaks.

National Surveillance Officer, WHO, Dr Irene Isibor speaks.

Contributing to the discussion, the National Surveillance Officer of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Irene Isibor, urged the students and other participants to keep their environments clean and to ensure at all times, that no water stagnated around their homes. ‘Stagnant water in used tyres, bushes,’ according to her, ‘are breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.’
A cross-section of the participants

A cross-section of the participants


The event was also attended by a representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr William Wu Shigin.

UNIC Lagos holds rally, film show, video conference, in honour of victims of slavery

In pursuance of its commitment to strengthening public awareness about international observances, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, recently organised awareness rally and film screening to commemorate the 2014 International Day of remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This year’s remembrance coincides with the 20th year of UNESCO Slave Route Project.

Awareness Rally

Awareness Rally


Attracting over 200 people, the International Day of remembrance of the victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade started with an awareness rally across some streets of Lagos after which the film, “Akwantu – The Journey” was screened to the audience comprising of five secondary schools, twelve NGOs and twelve media organizations.
A cross section of participants watching the film, 'Akwantu - The Journey'

A cross section of participants watching the film, ‘Akwantu – The Journey’

The awareness rally which was spiced up with dances and sonorous renditions of exciting anti-slavery songs, attracted the attention of motorists and pedestrians. While some took pictures of the “UN-blue” procession, others applauded and danced along. The rally terminated at the UNIC office, the venue of the film screening and other presentations.

A Nigeria student discusses with her fellow students in Harare, Zimbabwe during the video conference.

A Nigerian student discusses with her fellow students in Harare, Zimbabwe during the video conference.


Welcoming the guests, the Senior Public Information Officer of UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic, urged the participants to eschew all acts of oppression and coercion of disadvantaged persons which were the hallmarks of the transatlantic slave trade.
A student speaking during a video conference between students in UNIC Lagos premises and their counterparts in Harare, Zimbabwe

A student speaking during a video conference between students in UNIC Lagos premises and their counterparts in Harare, Zimbabwe


‘By recalling the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, we recommit to educating current and future generations of the dangers of racism and prejudice.’ The Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the observance. He added that the theme of this year’s observance, “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond”, was a tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world.
In his keynote address on this year’s theme, “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond”, the Executive Director of African Anti-Slavery Coalition (ASLAC), Mr Olufemi Phillips, recounted the history of Slave Trade and observed that this year also marked 210 years since the Republic of Haiti became the first nation to win independence as a result of the struggle of enslaved men and women. He called on Nigerians to guide against modern day slavery as exemplified by child labour, child abuse and forced labour, among others.
Executive Director, African Anti-Slavery Coalition (ASLAC), delivers a keynote address on the theme, 'Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond´

Executive Director, African Anti-Slavery Coalition (ASLAC), delivers a keynote address on the theme, ‘Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond´


As part of the activities marking the Day, the UN-DPI New York headquarters organised a video conference between some Nigerian students gathered in the UNIC Lagos office and their counterparts in Harare, Zimbabwe which afforded them an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas about the film, ‘Akwantu – The Journey’.
In their discussions, the students expressed their admiration of the courage of the Maroons who braved the oppressive circumstances and decided to settle in a place that was extremely not conducive for habitation as a prelude to their freedom. They noted that courage, perseverance and unity were the qualities that won them freedom.Participants watching film.jpg 2
Speaking during the video conference, the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, urged the students from both countries to imbibe the spirit teamwork, perseverance and unity of purpose in their endeavours.

Journalists Discuss How to Balance the Reporting of Drug and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria

“The experience we have gained here cannot be quantified.”; “I have been enlightened by the program and have learnt how to balance the stories.”; “I am personally glad to have learnt invaluable lessons that have occasioned a paradigm shift in my reporting.” These were some of the opinions expressed by participants at a media roundtable on drugs and related organized crime in Nigeria.

Twenty-one crime reporters and 10 staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had gathered in Abeokuta on 10 and 11 March, 2014, for the roundtable which was facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Information Center (UNIC), Lagos, under the European Union funded project “Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria.”

Envera facilitating a session

Envera facilitating a session

The roundtable was to strengthen the capacity of crime reporters to provide accurate and balanced reporting of drugs and related organized crime in Nigeria and raise awareness of project activities. It is apparent that the focus of media reporting on drugs and related organized crime in Nigeria has been on the arrest of suspects and the seizure of illicit drugs, with little or no mention of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services provided to drug users.

Facilitating one of the sessions, the Senior Public Information Officer for UNIC Lagos, Envera Selimovic harped on the techniques of conducting investigative journalism on drugs and organized crimes especially how to obtain information from victims and perpetrators without identity compromise. The organisers and the participants both acknowledged that her presentation was inspiring and it changed the perspective of the training.

During the program, the journalists visited the Amechi Anumonye Drug Abuse Treatment, Education and Research (DATER) Unit at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, where they received a presentation on the treatment and rehabilitation services provided to drug users by the unit. They also were taken on a guided tour of the unit to help them understand how services are provided.

Feedback from the journalists demonstrated that the roundtable has helped equip them to better report drugs and related organized crime issues. Many of them, in fact, resolved to expand their scope of reporting to include drug demand reduction as well as treatment and rehabilitation of drug users.

Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria is a European Union funded project being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to support Nigeria’s efforts to tackle drug-related challenges using a multi-faceted approach.

UNIC joins other literary minds at Nigeria’s prize award for literature …promotes equality for women

It was a gathering of Nigeria’s literary heavyweights at the Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, when the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) joined the creative community and hundreds of students to applaud the presentation of the Nigeria’s most prestigious prize for literature 2013, won by Mr Tade Ipadeola.

Envera  engages the students

Envera engages the students

Acknowledging the presence of the UNIC Lagos team, the organisers expressed their gratitude for the reminder on the observance of the International Women’s Day, and called on the large audience to join, on the following day, programmes being organised to mark the Day.
Oluseyi Soremekun engages some students

Oluseyi Soremekun engages some students


In their interaction with the students, the UNIC team comprising of the Senior Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic and the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, engaged the students in groups and urged them to spread the words that equality for women is progress for all.
Envera and Oluseyi sharing copies of Secretary General's message on the Women's Day.

Envera and Oluseyi sharing copies of Secretary General’s message on the Women’s Day.


They later shared copies of the Secretary General’s message amongst the students and teachers who were of different schools. The famous poet, whose winning entry was ‘The Sahara Testaments’ and has read his poetry to audiences in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and India, promised to join UNIC in boosting the reading culture in his native Nigeria as well.
Envera, Oluseyi and other in a group photograph with the award winner, Tade Ipadeola

Envera, Oluseyi and others in a group photograph with the award winner, Tade Ipadeola


Ipadeola has agreed to partner with UNIC to organise series of reading sessions for secondary school students.