Category Archives: UN 70th Anniversary

UN commends Nigeria’s efforts on insurgency as FG, UN mark UN@70

Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough addresses the audience

Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough addresses the audience

The year-long activities marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Nigeria reached a climax on Monday 30 November 2015 when the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations system in the country organised an anniversary lecture and an exhibition to underscore the strategic importance of the country as a member state of the UN. Continue reading

Students exhibit 78 works of arts to mark UN@70

A student of Covenant University Secondary School curating his school's works.

A student of Covenant University Secondary School curating his school’s works.

School Arts Exhibition has taken the centre stage in Lagos as seven schools, public and private, converged at the Library Auditorium of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos to express what the United Nations (UN) meant to them in different artistic forms.

From oil paints on canvass to pencil drawing, tie-dye, modelling, textile design and waste-to-wealth cultural Industry exhibits, the students put on display a total of seventy-seven (78)

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addresses the audience

creative works of arts which reflected their rich knowledge of the works of the UN and what the organisation stands for.

Curating their works, the students explained the UN as a Peace-keeper, the human rights protector, a gender equality advocate, an umbrella organisation of all nations and the hope of the people. They also exhibited works that show what the UN does in the area of environment, housing, culture, education and health.
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National Theatre Lagos turns blue to join 299 others in 75 countries as UN marks 70th

National Theatre Lagos - side viewLagos, 24 October 2015: The iconic National Arts Theatre, Lagos Nigeria came alive yesterday night as it glowed in the distinct UN-blue lights as part of a global campaign to ‘Turn the world UN-blue’ in commemoration of the 2015 UN Day and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

The lighting of the National Theatre Lagos, organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Phillips Nigeria, was greeted with excitement by a few fun-seekers at the premises as they took photograps of the lit-up structure. Over 300 iconic structures and monuments in over 75 countries were lit blue – the official colour of the United Nations. The structures included the world famous landmarks from Australia’s Sydney Opera House to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, from the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro to the Empire State Building in New York.National Theatre Lagos - front view 2 National Theatre Lagos - front view National Theatre Lagos - front- side view

Expressing his delight as the National Arts Theatre Lagos turned blue, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, representing the Resident Coordinator a.i. of the UN System in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough, said he was so glad that Nigeria, an important member State of the United Nations
joined this global celebration of UN@70. ”The choice of the National Theatre, he noted, was apt and strategic as it remained the biggest cultural iconic structure in the country.

“I am grateful our Member States are showing such enthusiasm in marking 70 years of UN support for peace, development and human rights,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “By turning the world UN Blue for a day, we can light the way to a better tomorrow.”

The global celebration kicked off in New Zealand and Australia with the lighting of the Sydney Opera House at dusk, and from there a wave of UN Blue move across countries and continents as monuments around the world take part in the international event. The UN Headquarters in New York would light up for two nights, beginning 23 October when the annual UN Day concert held, and concluding on today, 24 October, the UN Day.

Quoting the Under-Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja said, ‘This is an initiative led by the UN Department of Public Information and has had tremendous support from governments, cities, mayors, and locally in any countries to ensure this collaborative public awareness of the UN Day.’

“I call upon the civil society, media, private sector and Government agencies to continue their support to the values and goals of the United Nations aimed at building a strong Nigeria,” he added.

National Theatre Lagos Turns Blue to mark 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

Lagos, 22 October 2015: On 23 October the National Theatre in Lagos will join more than 200 iconic structures around the world in nearly 60 countries that will be lit up blue – the official colour of the United Nations – as part of a global campaign to commemorate UN Day and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

World famous landmarks from Australia’s Sydney Opera House to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, from the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro to the Empire State Building in New York, will be lit blue.

“I am grateful our Member States are showing such enthusiasm in marking 70 years of UN support for peace, development and human rights,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “By turning the world UN Blue for a day, we can light the way to a better tomorrow.”

The global celebration will kick off in New Zealand and Australia with the lighting of the Sydney Opera House at dusk, and from there a wave of UN Blue will move across countries and continents as monuments around the world take part in the international event. The UN Headquarters in New York will light up for two nights, beginning 23 October when the annual UN Day concert will be held, and concluding on 24 October.

Quoting the Under-Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja said, ‘This is an initiative led by the UN Department of Public Information and has had tremendous support from governments, cities, mayors, and locally in any countries to ensure this collaborative public awareness of the UN Day.’

In Nigeria, according to Mr Kayanja, UNIC Lagos is collaborating with the management of the National Arts Theatre and Phillips Nigeria to key into the global campaign to mark 70 years of saving lives, 70 years of promoting global peace and development; 70 years of promoting human rights and 70 years of preventing spread of diseases and

“Nigeria is an important Member State of the United Nations, and I am so glad that the country is joining this global celebration of UN@70,” the Director continued, “I call upon the civil society, media, private sector and Government agencies to continue their support to the values and goals of the United Nations aimed at building a strong Nigeria.”

In Nigeria, the UN Information Centre will hold an event in the evening of Friday 23 October at the National Theater in Lagos to celebrate the UN @70 and light the Theater UN Blue.

On Saturday 24 October, the UN Day, there will be a cultural presentation of UN@70 at the University of Lagos water front organised in collaboration with the West African Women Association (WAWA) and St Martin de Porres Old Girls Association, Nigeria.

More information on UN@70 is available on www.un.org/un70 ; on twitter @uniclagos. Also, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uniclagos)

For further information on all UN@70 activities in Nigeria, please contact: Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun, National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos: soremekun@un.org; Tel: 0803 402 2085.

Students’ Association marks UN@70, stages children fashion parade, cultural dances

UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the audience.

UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the audience.

It was all fun and fanfare at the weekend as the All Nigeria United Nations Students’ Association (ANUNSA) and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos marked the United Nations 70th anniversary with a variety of activities which included a symposium, children fashion parade and cultural dances.

ANUNSA - Girl catwalkingThe programme which was a continuation of a series of activities marking UN@70 in Nigeria, was held at the Library Auditorium of the UNIC Lagos and attended by over 175 people including students from universities, high schools, and NGO representatives. Breaking the monotony of speeches were children fashion parade and cultural dances by students of Santa Isabel Montessori schools, Ejigbo Lagos; and a choreographic display by the students of Soleil High School Aguda Lagos.

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun speaks

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun speaks

Inspired by the UN@70 message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja noted that the United Nations could look back on a proud record of working with many partners to dismantle colonialism, defeat deadly diseases, triumph over apartheid, advance international law, keep the peace in troubled areas and articulate a body of treaties to safeguard every person’s birth-right to freedom, equality and dignity.ANUNSA - Cultural dancers

‘Every day, the United Nations makes a positive difference for millions of people: vaccinating children; distributing food aid; sheltering refugees; deploying peacekeepers; protecting the environment; seeking the peaceful resolution of disputes and supporting democratic elections, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law,’ Mr Kayanja added.

ANUNSA - cross-sectionSpeaking on ’70 ways the UN is making a difference in Nigeria’, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun stressed the support of the United Nations system to the government of Nigeria in maintaining peace and security as well as making and consolidating peace in the country.ANUNSA - Children presentation - boy

He cited the contributions of the UN to the peaceful 2015 general elections; the support in drafting a peace architecture for the country as well as several projects of the UN Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) which included de-radicalisation of youth; countering the appeal of violence amongst youth as well as promoting peace and intercultural dialogue through education.

ANUNSA - children fashon girl and boyIn her remarks, the President of ANUNSA, Ms Ukoha Nnenna Kalu disclosed that chapters of ANUNSA in Universities and Polytechnics across the country would still organise events on UN”70 before the end of the year.

UNIC, CAP organise beach marathon to mark UN@70

Athletes at the starting pointLagos, 01 October 2015. As Nigeria marks its 55th Independence anniversary today, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos also flags off its October activities marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations with a 10-kilometre Lagos Beach half marathon organised in collaboration with Community Agenda For Peace (CAP) a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

Director presents medal

UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja presents a medal to Miss Olamide Oluwaseun, the winner of the female category

A total of 58 youths comprising of 42 boys and 16 girls participated in the race which covers the Elegushi, Alfa and Eleko Beach corridor and was meant to promote peace, youth engagement and social inclusion.

Addressing the athletes, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja informed the youths of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and enjoined them to eschew violent conduct and place a greater emphasis on prevention and peaceful resolution of disputes and grievances. He disclosed that the United Nations anniversary will climax around 24 October, the actual date the UN was founded.

Group foto with top winners

UNIC Director, Ronald Kayanja, with top winners of the race

In his address, the Executive Director of Community Agenda For Peace, Barrister Phillips Obuesi expressed his appreciation to the athletes who had come from different parts of Lagos and from other states including Plateau in North Central Nigeria. He urged them to be good ambassadors of this event.

Earlier, the immediate past Chairman of Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Prince Lanre Elegushi, welcomed the athletes, the UNIC Director and other partners to the event, adding that he would continue to support creative initiatives especially those that promote peace and youth engagement.

L-R: Executive Director, Community Agenda For Peace, Barr. Phillips Obuesi; UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun and UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja

L-R: Executive Director, Community Agenda For Peace, Barr. Phillips Obuesi; UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun and UNIC Lagos Director, Ronald Kayanja

The overall winner of the race was Saka Sanusi (18 years) while the winner among the girls was Olamide Oluwaseun (18 years). All 58 athletes got Certificates of participation. Other prizes for the top performers included medals and tokens.

UNIC engages 210 girls at summer camp, discusses UN@70

A soft-furnishing trainee (Left) briefs UNIC Director, Ronald Kayanja

A soft-furnishing trainee (Left) briefs UNIC Director, Ronald Kayanja

It is summer time, widely known as ‘long vacation period’ within the education circle in Nigeria, during which students and their parents get engaged in some predetermined activities both locally and abroad. While many pupils have gone on vacation with their parents after a tedious academic year, some are in camps developing their skills and nourishing their interests without hurting their academic studies. The latter, of course is in line with the United Nations strategic framework for the Post-2015 Agenda, especially the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 5 which dwells on achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.

UNIC Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the participants

UNIC Director, Ronald Kayanja addresses the participants

It is in the light of the above that ‘Yes I believe Academy’, a strategic partner of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, organized a Summer Camp for 210 girls aged between 10 and 18 years. Titled, Summer Skills Acquisition Workshop’, the one week programme featured different training sessions including those on Beadworks, Shoe making, Make-up, soft furnishing, among others.

Addressing the participants who were students of Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School, Bariga Lagos, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja spoke about the works and history of the United Nations especially the 70th anniversary. He noted that skill acquisition was a lifetime gift which should be embraced by everyone who had the opportunity to get one.

Summer camp - Director and a trainee shoemakerHe commended the parents of the participants for sending their children to the summer camp and to the students he congratulated for being a part of the programme which he assured, would have a positive impact on their future.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of ‘Yes I Believe Academy’, Mr Niyi Adekunle, disclosed that within four days of training, the children demonstrated high level of seriousness and commitment to learning specific skills. He later, in company of the facilitators, conducted the UNIC team lead by the Director round the exhibition of some of the products produced by the participants. ‘I am highly impressed,’ Mr Kayanja concluded.

Keep abreast of your child, be social media smart – Parents told

Director, UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja addresses the audiencre

Director, UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja addresses the audiencre

As the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos in collaboration with Tehila Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (TWYEF) joined the rest of the world recently to mark the Global Day of Parents, one issue that has remained on the front burner of public discuss is the challenges of parenting digital savvy children. At the Panel Discussion programme organised to mark the day in Lagos, Nigerian parents have been urged to keep abreast of their children and be social media smart.

Speaking on ‘Contemporary Parenting and the Social Media’, Dr Ifeoma Amobi of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, warned that interaction of young people on social media platforms should no longer be dismissed as a ‘waste of time’, but must be acknowledged by parents as a part of contemporary communication.

‘The new way of life, brought on by the spread and development of communication technology, demands different ways of parenting due to the altered fabrics of parent-child relationships,’ Dr. Amobi contended, ‘Parents should be their children’s best friends and should do so by becoming “social media smart”. She added that in order to fulfil parents’ duty of protecting their children, online activity should be treated with the same diligence as offline activity.

L-R: Dr Ifeoma Amobi (University of Lagos), Mr Ronald Kayanja (UNIC Lagos), HRH Abiola Dosunmu (Erelu of Lagos), Mrs Stephany Nwanma (TWYEF), Oluseyi Soremekun (UNIC Lagos) and Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru

L-R: Dr Ifeoma Amobi (University of Lagos), Mr Ronald Kayanja (UNIC Lagos), HRH Abiola Dosunmu (Erelu of Lagos), Mrs Stephany Nwanma (TWYEF), Oluseyi Soremekun (UNIC Lagos) and Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru

Established by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012, the Global Day of Parents is observed on the 1st of June every year to honour parents around the world. It acknowledges that parents of every race, religion, culture and nationality in all parts of the world are the primary caregivers and teachers of their children, preparing them for a happy, fulfilling and productive life.

The Panel Discussion programme chaired by the Erelu of Lagos, Her Royal Highness, Abiola Dosunmu, attracted men and women, literate and non-literate, from all walks of life they gathered just to commemorate the Day3 in Nigeria.

Welcoming the participants, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, highlighted the importance of parents to the development of the child, the community and the nation. He observed that the success of the United Nations’ mission to promote international peace and security, ensuring a world free from war and conflict, was dependent on the direction parents provided for their children and the society.

High TableQuoting from the preamble of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Kayanja observed that “Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed”.  He added that parents played an integral role in peace building through teaching values of tolerance, respect for one another, hard work and integrity among others.

In her remarks, the Executive Director of TWYEF, Mrs Stephany Nwanma, re-emphasised the importance of education and restoration of values through parenting and urged parents to rise up to the challenges of contemporary parenting.

Speaking on “Critical Issues and Challenges with Parenting in Nigeria”, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Chief Medical Director and Director of Total Health Trust, observed that peer pressure from an early age, the excessive use of technology and gadgets, being subjected to bullying, a sense of entitlement, drugs and substance abuse, sexual experimentation as well as sibling rivalry were the challenges children and parents face at this time in the global development. ‘The parenting skills needed to tackle these challenges are not taught in schools or homes rather parents need to devise a more practical approach to navigate the challenges,’ he added.Cross-section

Her Royal Highness addressed the issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment stating that fathers and mothers should be equally responsible for parenting, as “women have always been working side by side to create a happy home for children”.

In her ‘Testimony of a Parent’, Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru, the former Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos state on women ethnic groups, recounted how her parents upheld integrity and values in the face of  hardship and poverty to raise her. She added that the values handed down to her by her parents had brought her to where she was at the moment.

Participants called on UNIC Lagos and TWYEF to organise a similar programme but for a larger audience. They also requested that the presentations be published for wider circulation of the issues and for references purposes.

UN@70, Post-2015 Development Agenda Echo at Women empowerment workshop

 

A participant, Ms Kofoworola Olaitan Anidugbe is excited to learn head-gear (Gele) tying.

A participant, Ms Kofoworola Olaitan Anidugbe is excited to learn head-gear (Gele) tying.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Library auditorium of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, where over 152 women gathered yesterday to aspire to be ‘A Better Me’, the theme of the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Brightlight Studios as part of activities marking the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) as well as the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Defying the biting fuel scarcity in Nigeria and the status of Sunday as a rest day, the women clad in beautiful dresses turned up in their numbers to be a part of the programme which also contributes to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3: Promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addressing the participants

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addressing the participants

In his welcome address the Director of UNIC Lagos, Ronald Kayanja, represented by the Centre’s National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, reiterated that women remained a priority group for the United Nations and reassured that the organisation would continue to make a positive difference to the lives of millions of people especially in terms of vaccinating children; distributing food aid; sheltering refugees; deploying peacekeepers; protecting the environment; seeking peaceful resolution of disputes and supporting democratic elections, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law.

Quoting the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, Kayanja noted that “The theme of this anniversary year, ‘Strong UN. Better World’ captures the importance of multilateralism. This is a time of test but far more one of tremendous opportunity.”

Executive Director, Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode addressing the participants

Executive Director, Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode addressing the participants

He added that the empowerment workshop aligned with the message of the UN Secretary General on UN@70 that the United Nations looks forward to working with people everywhere to build lives of safety, prosperity and dignity for all.

The Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop featured the business side of beauty which included Make-up skills and head-gear (Gele) tying lessons; Marriage/Relationship Counselling; Building a Successful Fashion Designing Business; and the Art and Science of making Desserts, Cocktails and Mocktails. The programme also featured exhibition of women’s products from the cultural industry; beauty products; Cakes and Pastries and women wellness products among others.

Cultural Industry Exhibition

Cultural Industry Exhibition

Having been asked to bring along their ‘Gele’ for the lesson on Head-gear tying which is gradually developing to be a thriving business in the country, the women brought out their different and colourful head-tie to go through the process of tying elegant, head-turning ‘Gele’. The ‘Gele’ tying session appeared to be the climax of the workshop as all the women looked upbeat and determined to learn the art of tying the head-gear.

A participant, Ms Olaitan Ajilogba, who conspicuously battled to get the tying right for a long period during the session expressed her delight that she eventually mastered the process and ‘tied a beautiful and glamorous head-gear.’

'Gele' tying lesson in session

‘Gele’ tying lesson in session

Commenting, another participant, Ms Aisha Joy Omosun, noted that the Make-up session was very instructive and educating and would add both social and economic values to the women.

The Executive Director of Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode, had earlier explained the rationale behind the programme saying it was meant to grow the number of women who are economically independent and sufficiently empowered to support their husbands in raising educated and morally upright children.

Brightlight Studios, she added, would continue to collaborate with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos to empower and improve the wellbeing of women in Nigeria. UNIC Lagos and Brightlight Studios plan to make the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop an annual event in Nigeria.