Category Archives: Latest news

UN Secretary General, Nigerian President meet… discuss security, sustainable devt., others

UN-Nigeria logoThe Secretary-General, Mr Ban Kimoon met on Tuesday, 24th September, 2013, with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCON. They discussed recent developments in Nigeria, particularly the persistent violence in the north of the country and the need to ensure that humanitarian aid remains accessible to all civilians. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the readiness of the United Nations to continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to restore peace and security and to protect civilians in that part of the country.

The Secretary-General and the President exchanged views on the welcome progress achieved in Mali, and Guinea-Bissau, and also in implementing the Greentree agreement between Nigeria and Cameroon.

The Secretary-General underlined the importance of the post-2015 agenda and he welcomed the critical role that Nigeria will play as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development.

World Environment Day 2013

United Nations Information Centre Lagos in collaboration with an NGO – The Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) Lagos Chapter, marked World Environmental Day 2013 on Friday 07 June at a market in Mushin Local Government area of Lagos called ‘Daleko’.

The event which was based on the theme for this year’s celebration: “Think Eat. Save. Reduce your Foodprint” was attended by over 250 participants including the market women and men of the market, Mushin Local Government Officials, Environment Staff of the Local Government (LAWMA), NGOs and Media organizations.

The Local Government Environment Officials, who had been contacted earlier about the programme, had mobilized the market women and men so they could participate in the programme. The market women and men leaders were already seated waiting for our arrival at the venue. They were all uniformly dressed.
Scene at 'Daleko' Market at the event
As speeches were being delivered in the English language, they were also being translated to the local language –‘ Yoruba’ for the benefit of the non-literate amongst the market women and men.

Participants were welcomed to the event by the Vice Chairman of Mushin Local Government who laid emphasis on food conservation and sustainability in his address. He said ‘This event is a clarion call for all Nigerians to address the challenge of food waste. Rather than eat beyond what is needed for healthy growth, the excess should be given to those who do not have to eat so that they would not wake up and go to bed with empty stomach.’

Thereafter the UN Secretary- General’s message was read by UNIC’s Officer-in-charge, Mrs. Olajumoke Araba.

The Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) Vice-Chairman – Mr. Eugene Itua, delivered the keynote address laying emphasis on the theme of the event. He emphasised his concern over how many homes in Nigeria waste food. He said that the amount of waste generated through Rice was too much, saying that was why the Daleko Market (majorly rice merchants) was picked to celebrate the World Environment Day.

Dr. Adeniyi Sanyanolu also from NES delivered the main paper for the event titled “Preservation and Risk of food waste”. As he was addressing majorly market women and men who are not all literate, he spoke mainly in the Yoruba language which was understood by majority of the participants. In his speech, he implored the market women and men to store raw food materials like grains properly especially during the rainy season. As raw food gets spoilt when soaked by flood waters to avoid waste and such items should not be sold to the public. He said “The environment is our common patrimony and as such, we all (irrespective of our vocation or calling) must jointly endeavour to preserve its sanctity for the generations yet unborn”. And also , good quality food taken in moderation guarantees good health. In addition, an environment messed up with garbage (remnant food inclusive) is a sure breeding ground for all manner of disease vector and pathogens” Members of the high table at the event. L-R is the Key Speaker Dr. Adeniyi Sanyaolu, UNIC Officer-in-Charge -Ms. Olajumoke Araba, Standing is the Vice-Chairman of Mushin Local Government Council - Mr. Emmanuel Bamigboye, LAWMA Chairperson and  NES Vice-Chairman - Mr. Eugene Itua

There were some goodwill messages from the Market men and Women. One of the Market women responded by appreciating UNIC and NES for bringing the programme to their market out of all the markets in Lagos. She said they understood very well the message of food loss and waste. This she said they would practise not only in the market but in their various homes as well.

Fliers titled “Some food waste facts “were shared to all participants and throughout the market to those who did not attend the event.

This event was aired on Radio 96.5FM same day, on Television stations like – Channels TV, Silverbird TV (STV) and Lagos TV (LTV). It was also published by the following newspapers – The Guardian, The Nation and ThisDay.

International Day of Families 2013

United Nations Information Centre Lagos Nigeria, in collaboration with an NGO – Women’s Board Educational Co-operation Society (NGO in Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the UN, working for the development of the Nigerian woman) organized an NGO/Media Forum on Wednesday 15 May 2013 on the Preparations of the twentieth anniversary of the Year of the Family and the Observance of the International Day of Families 2013.
Sitting L-R Dr. Frank  Attoh, Ms. Rosario Monfort (Women's Board), UNIC Officer-in-Charge -Ms. Olajumoke Araba, Dr. Oscar Nliam (Senior Associate Kenna Partners.
The forum was held to create awareness of this anniversary and spread the importance of the family in the society in the context of the themes to guide the preparations for the twentieth anniversary, which are: confronting family poverty and social exclusion; ensuring work-family-balance; advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity of which the theme for 2013 International Day of the Family is “Advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity”
About 61 participants including NGOs, Civil Society and Media organizations attended the forum, which was held at the UNIC Lagos.
Guest speakers were Dr. Franca Attoh, a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, who spoke on “Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity”; and Dr. Oscar Nliam, who has a doctorate in Law, a senior associate at Kenna Partners, Barrister/Solicitors, spoke on “The Family in the Nigerian Law: The Legal Mechanisms for empowering the Nigerian Children through Education”.
Prior to their presentations, Ms. Olajumoke Araba, the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos gave the welcome remarks and read the Secretary General’s message for the International Day.
In her welcome remarks, Ms Rosario Monfort, (Project Director of Women’s Board-ECS) gave a brief historical background of the International Day of Families and a summary of what Women’s Board does.
In her speech, Dr. Attoh spoke about the Marginalization and Identity Crisis of our youth who are neither Nigerians nor Westerners. She proffers a solution by suggesting that a policy of mentoring should be established so as to encourage the older generation to work with young persons in order to impact knowledge and entrust them with certain roles. ‘The youths being the future of this great country, we cannot but shape them right’. Dr. Attoh is of the opinion that in this 21st century, society should look beyond these two factors (that is Social integration and intergenerational solidarity) and begin to focus on new frontiers such as bridging the general space and resuscitating the core values such as integrity, hard work, fortitude and justice which hitherto were the bedrock of the human society.
Dr. Oscar Nliam, in his speech enumerated the International and Domestic laws on Education. Education being a fundamental Human Right. He dealt extensively on Education as tool to empower the families and how the Nigerian Law supports this tool but this must not be regarded as a government function but as a function of all citizens concerned.
Dr. Nliam went further to stress that education as a tool for empowerment should aim to impact positive change morally, socially and intellectually on the child. It should also aim to stimulate critical attitudes in young children, inculcate the habit of social solidarity, tolerance and integration for a better and peaceful society. He concluded with a quote from ‘Hosea Ballon’ that says: “Education commences at mothers knee, and every word spoken within the hearsay of little children should tend towards the formation of character”. This should be the aim of any responsible parent.
The discussions, remarks and questions after the speeches gave credence and support to the speeches of the Speakers.
Refreshment was provided and prepared by Wavecrest College of Hospitality Management, Lagos, a Project of Women’s Board.

World Press Freedom Day 2013

United Nations Information Centre Lagos Nigeria, in collaboration with an NGO – Media Rights Agenda organized a Seminar on Friday 3 May 2013 to mark World Press Freedom Day.

The event was held in the context of the global celebrations with the theme: “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”. The global event put the spotlight in particular on the issues of safety of journalists, combating impunity for crimes against freedom of expression, and securing a free and open Internet as the precondition for safety online.

The seminar, in line with the global theme, highlighted the issue of the safety of journalists, its implications for the right to freedom of expression, not only for the journalists, but also for their audiences; it created awareness about the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity; and formulated a Strategy for Ensuring the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action in the Nigerian context.
L-R. Mr. Tive Denedo of MRA; Mr. Gbenga Sesan of PIN, Mr. Femi Adesina President Nigerian Guild of Editors, UNIC Officer-in-Charge - Ms. Olajumoke Araba, CSP Frank Mba Force Public Relations Officer.
About 50 participants from the print, broadcast and online media; human rights and civil society organisations, the Nigeria Police, and members of the public attended the seminar, which was held at the UNIC Lagos.

Guest speakers were CSP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police who spoke on “The Role of the Nigeria Police in Ensuring the Safety of Journalists”; Mr. Femi Adesina, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), who spoke on “Building Partnerships between the Media and Law Enforcement Agencies to Ensure the Safety of Journalists”; and Mr. Gbenga Sesan, the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), who spoke on “Strategies for Securing the Safety of Journalists Online”.

Prior to their presentations, Mrs. Olajumoke Araba, the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos read the Secretary General’s, message as well as the joint messages of the Secretary-General and UNESCO’s Director-General – Irina Bokova on the occasion.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Tive Denedo, Campaigns Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) said: “There is nothing in the history of journalism that can be more in demand of our collective efforts than providing a safe and secured environment for the practice of journalism.” He noted that deaths, threats, beatings etc. have become recurring decimals in journalism while fear is not too far away anymore from the news room. He warned that: “When men and women who are not party to conflicts are gruesomely murdered for reporting the events and affairs of people, it only stand to reason that truth is equally endangered.”

Participants agreed that the safety of journalists has become an issue of concern with the rise on attacks on journalists, media houses, and freedom of expression. Guest speakers and participants proffered various solutions to remedy the situation in Nigeria.

Observations

The seminar observed as follows:

• Journalists perform important roles in any society and indeed have roles assigned to them in the Nigerian Constitution. They should therefore be allowed to perform their roles without any form of harassment or intimidation.
• While performing their roles and duties, journalists also have rights which must be protected
• Journalists all over the world, including in Nigeria, are increasingly being targeted; threatened, assaulted, and even killed for performing their professional duties.
• Journalists and security agencies perform complementary roles and should not see each other as adversaries
• The jobs of media practitioners and security agencies are complementary. They should therefore not see each other as adversaries while both sectors could benefit from more systematic cooperation with each other. .
• There are challenges associated with journalism profession including online media; practitioners should therefore be safety and security conscious at all times

Recommendations

The Seminar recommended the following measures and strategies for ensuring the safety of journalists and online media:

• Security officials and agencies should make concerted efforts to rid themselves of their negative mindset about journalists and online media operators and endeavour to appreciate the critically important roles that the media sector place in a democratic society of engendering transparency and accountability while also providing a platform for public debates about a variety of issues of national or public interest.
• Nigerian security agencies and the media community should strive to operate under an atmosphere of mutual trust and appreciation.
• The security agencies should deploy competent, professional and humane officials to interact with the media as a way of defusing the mutual distrust that exists between the two sectors.
• The media community and the security sector need to relate with each other in a professional and ethical manner as that will build mutual respect.
• The Nigeria Police and indeed all security agencies have a duty to protect the rights of journalists, including by ensuring their safety and security, while journalists also have roles to play in enhancing policing functions. Each sector should perform its role conscientiously.
• There should be more constructive and qualitative engagement between the media and the Police, and indeed all security agencies to create better understanding of the roles, functions and challenges across both sectors.
• There should be increased collaboration and partnership between media practitioners and security agencies
• Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure the seamless flow of information between security agencies and the media.
• Media practitioners should familiarize themselves with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity so as to be able to create awareness about it within the larger society and pursue its effective implementation in the Nigerian context.

He said Nigeria, over time, has been rated as partly free in terms of freedom of expression and online freedom. He noted that the situation may not always remain the same and that government was no longer ignoring online elite.

He therefore called for safety and precaution against hackers, state oppression, online security compromise etc.

Report on the event to mark 2013 International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Lagos – UNIC Lagos marked the International Day on Tuesday 29 January 2013 at the hall of a private secondary school – Fountain Heights Secondary School. The event which attracted a total of 172 participants included five senior secondary school students, the media and two NGOs.

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The Officer-in-charge Ms. Olajumoke Araba reading the SG’s message. Seated from left is Mrs. Aliku an Education Consultant, next is the Principal of the host School Mrs. A. Delano and extreme right is the Moderator –Prince Goodluck Obi – CEO GADLYP.

The event started with a short address by the Officer-in-charge of the Centre – Ms. Olajumoke Araba declaring the Exhibition of the “Diplomats” being honoured in this years’ commemoration open to the public. The display of the “Rescuers” had been put up in the school lobby since Friday 25 January and will be on till Friday 01February.This was followed by a welcome address by the Principal of the host school – Mrs. Adebimpe Delano. The Officer-in-charge then read the message of the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

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Observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – 25 Nov. 2012.

Lagos – United Nations Information Centre Lagos Nigeria, in collaboration with an NGO – Women Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) organized an interactive forum on Tuesday 27 November 2012 to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

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From Right -Left is the Divisional Police Officer for Bariga, UNIC Lagos Officer-In-Charge Ms. Olajumoke Araba, National Coordinator of WODEF – Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede, Proprietress Southfield Children Academy – Mrs. Chioma Dawodu, Principal Southfield Children Academy Mrs. Clementina Egwuglo and Principal Consultant to the School, Mr.Joel Alabi.

The event which was held at the hall of Southfield Children Academy was attended by over sixty-seven participants including students and their teachers from seven secondary schools in the Bariga area of Lagos, representatives from State Police Command, the media and Non Governmental Organizations.

The National Coordinator of WODEF, Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede gave the welcome remarks while the Secretary-General’s message was read by the Officer in Charge of the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Ms. Olajumoke Araba.

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REPORT ON UN DAY 2012 ACTIVITIES

Lagos – UNIC Lagos Library Assistant was in two schools in the week of 22nd October to mark UN Day. She was at Ebenezery Heights International School, Lekki, Lagos on Monday 22 October for the UN4U outreach programme and Tade School in Apapa, Lagos to mark UN Day and also the UN4U outreach programme on Wednesday 24 October.

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UNIC Library Assistant reading the Secretary-General’s message at Ebenezery Heights International School

At Ebenezery Heights International School, she spoke to an audience consisting of Junior Secondary School (JSS) pupils and Primary 5 and 6 pupils and some of their Teachers numbering 88. First of all, she read the Secretary-General’s message for UN Day.  She then gave the UN4U presentation. Two of the three videos were screened to the audience. They were “Out of Many, One” and “My World. My UN”.  ”I Was Here” by Beyonce could not be screened, in its place, “United Nations It’s your world” was screened. Overall, the pupils were quite excited and they got the message.

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REPORT ON THE EVENT TO MARK THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 2012

Lagos – UNIC Lagos Library Assistant (who is acting as the Officer-in-Charge) was at the event organised by an NGO – African Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives to mark the International Day of Peace.

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Audience at the event observing a minute silence

The NGO organised a series of competitive debates among Junior Secondary school pupils in public schools in Lagos State.

The Grand finale of the debates was held on Friday 17 October at TV Continental in Lagos. The event could have been done earlier but for the pupils who were still on holidays on the designated day (21 September) for the International Day of Peace.

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Celebration of the United Nation Day

Lagos – United Nations marks 66th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter since 1945.
24 October has been celebrated as the United Nations Day since 1948.

In commemoration of the United Nations Day 24 October 2011, The United Nations Information Centre paid an educational visit to Sea Gate College, Apapa Lagos.

No fewer than thirty- eight Students, 10 Teachers and the Principal were in attendance.

Activities for the day comprised Film Screening, Question and Answer Session.

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UNIC Lagos commemorates Nelson Mandela International Day

Lagos – UNIC Lagos staff and interns (nine in all) serving at both UNIC Lagos and with an orphanage, spent 67 minutes of their time at a facility for persons with Down syndrome disability to honour Nelson Mandela on his Day.

The team was led by the Library Assistant to the facility whose Chief Executive Officer is Mrs. Rose Mordi. The facility comprised of a school and a hostel for the Down syndrome pupils.

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