Author Archives: Jean Njita

Applications invited for Journalism Fellowship at UN Headquarters

New York – The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists for its 2019 fellowship program.

The fellowships are available to radio, television, print and web journalists, age 25 to 35, who are interested in reporting from New York during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Visit http://unjournalismfellowship.org/ for details. The deadline for application is March 1, 2019.

UN YEAR IN REVIEW 2018

As year 2018 is coming to an end, we are pleased to share with you the “Year in Review” prepared by the United Nations in New York.

The “Year in Review” consists of UN News 2018 recap: In Case You Missed It; top 10 YouTube videos; UN Web TV most watched events; and 2018 in photos. Please find below the links of these items for ease of access:

UN.org

Please see http://www.un.org/en/year-in-review/ with Year in Review highlights from: the UN’s YouTube channel
WebTV
UN Photo
UN News and
www.un.org

UN Photo“2018 in Photos” album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/albums/72157704727799115
“2018 in Photos” gallery on UN Photo website: https://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/gallery.jsp?query=subject%3A%222018%20in%20Photos%22&startat=0&sf=date

UN Video

The Secretary-General’s New Year’s video message can be downloaded using the following URL:

Int’l version

English

French


Human Rights Day celebrated in Cameroon

The official ceremony to commemorate the 2018 Human Rights Day was held at the Yaounde National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) on Monday 10 December 2018, closing a weeklong campaign on the theme “All United for Human Rights”.

The indispensable role of human rights and freedoms in development was re-echoed through various interventions. Mr. Abdoulaye Traore; representing the UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa recalled that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defends human dignity, protects children, women, the most vulnerable and minorities; avoids human suffering and lays the foundation for a more just world. He further called on participants to work for a great protection of human rights in Cameroon in particular, Central Africa and in the world.

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) animated a UN stand with documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Chronicles specials on “Human Rights”, Africa Renewal, UN Secretary General’s message, and a photo exhibition on “children and their future jobs/professions”.

In attendance were UN staff, government officials, National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms (CNDHL), European Union in Cameroon, the Bar Association, Civil society, media, lawyers and magistrates.

SDG Open Day at International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC)

Students of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC), specialising in International Communication and Public Action celebrated 20 years of their existence from 28 to 29 November 2018 within the IRIC premises. Activities were organised for this anniversary, amongst which conference debates, open day expositions.

UNIC Yaounde, on behalf of the UN System in Cameroon was invited to animate an SDG stand at the IRIC Campus. On display at the UNIC stand were publications such as; Africa Renewal, documents on the 17 goals, SDG boxes, SDG Rings and the SDG mystery wheel game, which drew lots of attractions, as participants were eager to play, test their knowledge and learn about respective goals. UNIC staff was on hand for in-depth explanations on the goals and their relevance to our world today.

Cameroun : des experts onusiens appellent à protéger la liberté d’expression

HCR /Elizabeth Mpimbaza
Des familles camerounaises ont trouvé refuge à Utanga, Obanliku, au Nigéria, après avoir fui l’insécurité dans les régions anglophones du Cameroun. Photo HCR/Elizabeth Mpimbaza
11 décembre 2018

Des experts de l’ONU ont exprimé leur préoccupation mardi concernant la répression de manifestants au Cameroun, à la suite de la récente réélection du Président Paul Biya.

« Les restrictions imposées récemment par le gouvernement camerounais aux droits d’assemblée pacifique et d’expression, semblent ignorer ce critère établi par les instruments internationaux auxquels est parti le Cameroun », ont affirmé les experts dans une déclaration.

Ils ont appelé à la protection de la liberté d’expression, la liberté d’assemblée pacifique et la liberté d’association, rappelant que les standards de droits de l’homme internationaux établissent le droit de chacun à participer à des manifestations pacifiques, ont-ils ajouté. « Toute restriction aux libertés d’assemblée pacifique et d’expression doit provenir de la loi et doit être nécessaire et proportionnelle ».

Les inquiétudes concernant la loi anti-terroriste n’ont toujours pas été résolues

Les experts ont notamment souligné que « la loi nationale anti-terroriste de 2014 ne devrait pas être utilisée pour entraver les assemblées pacifiques, les marches et les manifestations organisées par des partis politiques pendant un processus électoral ».

Selon cette loi, la garde à vue peut être étendue de 48 heures à 15 jours, et la juridiction transférée aux tribunaux militaires.

Les experts indépendants, nommés par le Conseil des droits de l’homme, avaient déjà exprimé des préoccupations aux autorités camerounaises, indiquant qu’une définition aussi large du terrorisme, qui inclue « la perturbation du fonctionnement normal des institutions publiques », pourrait être mal utilisée et entrainer l’interdiction d’assemblées pacifiques.

Ces inquiétudes n’ont toujours pas été résolues, selon les experts. « Les autorités devraient respecter le cadre légal national concernant les manifestations, qui requiert de la part des organisateurs de notifier les autorités sept jours avant la manifestation », ont-ils dit.

Les experts ont reconnu le pas positif que constitue l’abandon des charges judiciaires à l’encontre des 52 militants du Mouvement de la Renaissance du Cameroun, le 4 décembre dernier, à la demande du Procureur général de la cour d’appel du littoral, sur instruction du Ministère de la justice.

« Les allégations reçues le mois dernier semblent indiquer la mise en place d’un climat répressif envers la société civile, les partis politiques, et les personnes critiques vis à vis des résultats des élections, qu’il s’agisse de leurs droits d’exprimer leurs points de vue ou de manifester librement », ont ajouté les experts.

Ils ont renouvelé leurs appels pour une révision de la loi anti-terroriste de 2014, afin d’assurer qu’elle ne sera pas utilisée pour restreindre les libertés fondamentales telles que les droits à la liberté d’expression, d’assemblée pacifique et d’association.

Ils exhortent le gouvernement à assurer qu’un espace démocratique plus grand sera garanti avant, pendant et après les élections législatives et municipales prévues en 2019

SDG Open Day / Conference – Debates

UNIC, UNCG and RCO organized a series of conference – debates on the sideline of the «SDG village», with panelists sharing knowledge, experience and lessons on the 5Ps, with the following themes:

People and Prosperity: “Youth Empowerment within the SDGs context in Cameroon”, Planet: “Youths, commit for Environment and the SDGs”, Partnership: “Financing the 2030 agenda”, and Peace: “Imagine Peace”.

This also witnessed the official launching of the « Youth kamer volunteers for SDGs » platform; under the auspices of the UN Resident Coordinator, to better amplify advocacy of the SDGs in Cameroon. These conference-debates were centred on the indispensable implication of everybody, especially youths in achieving the SDGs.

Ms. Allegra Biocchi ; UN Resident Coordinator; reminded particpants that the 17 goals do not belong to the UN, but were rather signed by member countries, with Cameroon as a signatory. She further encouraged youths to commit to these goals and also say NO to all acts of corruption, and also take part in elections as voters.

Respective panelists underscored the fact that the United Nations accompanies the Cameroonian government and people in achieving a sustainable development which leaves no one behind for peace, stability, governance and democracy. Highly emphasised was the fact that a minimum sum of 10 billion FCFA were needed annually for the implementation of these goals in Cameroon. 

The three days SDG open door campaign buikt momentum and public understanding around the 17 goals for Sustainable Development and the 2030 development agenda.

SDG Open Day / Exposition at the SDG Village

UNIC, UNCG and RCO organized a three-days awareness and advocacy campaign; «SDG village», which brought together UN Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, to share information and knowledge on the SDGs with the public.

Information in respective stands comprised SDG branded gadget such as; roll-ups (kakemonos), posters, brochures, mystery wheel, ring, reports, newsletter, flyers, pins, mugs, t-shirts, pens, cubes, etc. The village was officially opened by Mr. Jacques Boyer UNICEF/UNCG Chair, and Ms Siti Batoul Oussein (UNFPA).

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Secretary-General’s remarks on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

[Watch the video on webtv.un.org]

I am very pleased to be with you to discuss this essential topic.
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls and to us all, a mark of shame on all our societies, and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
At its core, violence against women and girls in all its forms is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women.
It is an issue of fundamental human rights. The violence can take many forms – from domestic violence to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide. It is an issue that harms the individual but also has far-reaching consequences for families and for society.
Violence experienced as a child is linked to vulnerability and violence later in life. Other consequences include long-term physical and mental health impacts and costs to individuals and society in services and lost employment days.
This is also a deeply political issue. Violence against women is tied to broader issues of power and control in our societies. We live in a male-dominated world. Women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we keep them unequal.
When family laws which govern inheritance, custody and divorce discriminate against women, or when societies narrow women’s access to financial resources and credit, they impede a woman’s ability to leave abusive situations.
When institutions fail to believe victims, allow impunity, or neglect to put in place policies of protection, they send a strong signal that condones and enables violence. In the past year we have seen growing attention to one manifestation of this violence.
Sexual harassment is experienced by almost all women at some point in their lives.
No space is immune.
It is rampant across institutions, private and public, including our very own. This is by no means a new issue, but the increasing public disclosure by women from all regions and all walks of life is bringing the magnitude of the problem to light. This effort to uncover society’s shame is also showing the galvanizing power of women’s movements to drive the action and awareness needed to eliminate harassment and violence everywhere.
This year, the global United Nations UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls is highlighting our support for survivors and advocates under the theme ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo’.
With orange as the unifying colour of solidarity, the #HearMeToo hashtag is designed to send a clear message: violence against women and girls must end now, and we all have a role to play. We need to do more to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
But, beyond that, it is imperative that we – as societies — undertake the challenging work of transforming the structures and cultures that allow sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence to happen in the first place.
These include addressing the gender imbalances within our own institutions. This is why we have adopted a UN system-wide gender parity strategy. We have achieved parity in the senior management group and we are well on track to reach gender parity in senior leadership by 2021, and across the board by 2028.
The UN has also reaffirmed its zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault committed by staff and UN partners. We have recruited specialized investigators on sexual harassment, instituted fast-track procedures for addressing complaints and initiated a 24/7 helpline for victims.
I also remain committed to ending all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and UN staff in the field – one of the first initiatives I took when I assumed office.
Nearly 100 Member States that support UN operations on the ground have now signed voluntary compacts with us to tackle the issue, and I call on others to join them, fully assuming their responsibilities, in training, but also in ending impunity.
Further afield, we are continuing to invest in life-changing initiatives for millions of women and girls worldwide through the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. This Fund focuses on preventing violence, implementing laws and policies and improving access to vital services for survivors.
With more than 460 programmes in 139 countries and territories over the past two decades, the UN Trust Fund is making a difference. In particular, it is investing in women’s civil society organizations, one of the most important and effective investments we can make.
The UN is also working to deliver on a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder, innovative initiative to end all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 500-million-euro EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is an important step forward in this direction. As the largest-ever single investment in eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide, this initial contribution will address the rights and needs of women and girls across 25 countries and five regions.

It will empower survivors and advocates to share their stories and become agents of change in their homes, communities and countries. A significant portion of the Spotlight’s initial investment will also go to civil society actors, including those that are reaching people often neglected by traditional aid efforts.
But even though this initial investment is significant, it is small given the scale of the need.
It should be seen as seed funding for a global movement in which we must play a role.
It is that global movement that we celebrate today, as we look forward to the coming 16 days devoted to ending gender-based violence. Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free of fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world.

Thank you very much.