Category Archives: 2015: Time for Global Action

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.

Commemorating SDG@3 in Yaounde, Cameroon

 The third anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals was commemorated in Cameroon through a series of activities (Caravan, Open Day and official ceremony) from 21 to 25 September by the United Nations System in collaboration with the Yaoundé 6 Subdivision and youth volunteers of the Civil Society.

These events were aimed at

1. engaging the local population by increasing their knowledge on the SDGs,

2. inform youths of the Yaoundé 6th subdivision and promote their voluntary participation and commitment to the SDGs,

3. create new partnerships with civil society actors working to achieve the SDGs and mobilize these actors within the “Youth Kamer Volunteers 4 SDG” platform.

Commemorative events kicked off with a caravan on Friday 21 September, with the participation of more than 150 youths,

Open Doors Day on the SDGs – Saturday 22 September 2018

The stands were arranged according to themes such as;

Stand 1: Exhibition of communication tools on the SDGs

Stand 2: video projections (Success stories, videos about the SDGs)

Stand 3: Games competitions

Stand 4: MY World 2030

Mounted within the premises of the Yaoundé 6 Subdivision at Etoug-Ebé and animated by UN staff and volunteers from Civil Society Organizations, these stands exhibited SDG items such as posters, photos, video projection, roll-up, banner books, brochures, flyers. Continue reading

Commemorating the International Day of Peace in Cameroon

The 2018 International day of peace was commemorated in Cameroon on 21 September, through an educational outreach event organized by UNIC Yaoundé, on the theme; “The Right to peace- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”with students of the Protestant University of Central Africa (PUCA) on SDG 16: promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

 Reverend Professor Mbima Bouba, Rector of the Protestant University of Central Africa welcome the UN Resident Coordinator and participants to the commemoration.

Prof. Celestin Tagou; Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and International Relations briefly presented his faculty and the work being done to make peace studies deeply rooted in the Cameroonian curricula.

Mrs. Allegra Baiocchi; UN Resident Coordinator harped on the role of youths to engage in peace and be promoters of peace everywhere they find themselves. Quoting UNSG Antonio Guterres, she stated that “there is no peace without security, and no development without peace”.

She further drew the attention of participants to these questions;

Ø  What will you do next time you receive a message of war on your phone, Facebook or WhatsApp?

Ø  What will you do if you find yourself in a debate or a peaceful discussion about who is right or wrong?

“You can speak out, you can use an opportunity to bring peace. We should be peace seekers and peace makers, never to abandon this journey” Mrs. Baiocchi added.

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presented the 2018 theme of the International day of peace, enlightening participants on the relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today as it was when it was adopted in 1948. UNSG video message was also projected.

Workshop with students on SDG 16: Promote Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies

The official ceremony was immediately followed by presentations on the components of SDG16: Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions;

Ø  Dr. William Arrey; Peace and Development (PUCA) on Peaceful Resolution of Crisis

Ø  Mrs. Dorothée Onguene; (UNCHRD) on “Right to Peace and Access to Justice for All

Ø  Mr. Zephirin Emini; (UNDP) on Building Effective Institutions

Respective presenters harped on the fact that a new paradigm to peace is needed, as it cannot always stand for the absence of war. If structural and cultural factors that cause violence are not controlled, then peace remains threatened. They advised that in seeking for peaceful resolutions, be in the families, communities or societies, dialogue and peaceful reconciliation remain the best options.

Mrs. Aya Bach facilitated the brainstorming session whereby students were divided into three working groups. After the deep reflections and exchanges in the sessions, students exposed their peace plans and took commitments for the peaceful resolution of Crisis and conflicts in their community.

Dr. William Arrey insisted that violence can never settle any dispute, thus the necessity to speak out and work for peace.

UNIC Yaoundé provided information kits comprised of; UNSG’s message on International Peace Day, UNGA resolutions 36/67 and 55/282 on International Year of Peace and International Day of Peace and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the over 115 persons in attendance.

Deputy Secretary-General Remarks at High-level event on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa

New York, 26 September 2018

Amina New DSG Portrait

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to join you today as we focus attention on Africa’s industrial and socio-economic development.

I am encouraged by the presence of so many high-level representatives from both the public and private sectors. This year’s event comes when Africa’s economic growth is beginning to recover after the decline witnessed in 2016. Real output growth is estimated to have increased by 3.6 percent in 2017, up from 2.2 percent in 2016, and is poised to accelerate to 4.1 percent in 2018 and 2019.

This is indeed welcome news and a reflection of the continent’s strong potential. However, despite this positive economic growth, challenges remain for the achievement of meaningful inclusive and sustainable industrial development for Africa.

The diversification of African economies through value addition is essential for sustainable growth, market resilience and withstanding economic shocks. To that end, we welcome the launch this year of the African Continental Free Trade Area. This will constitute the world’s largest free trade area in terms of membership and will also create a single market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of over 2.5 trillion dollars, which is expected to double by 2050.

Sustainable industrialization is key to the success of the Free Trade Area, with an emphasis on inclusive development that harnesses the energy, drive, creativity and skills of women and youth. Within the framework of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, commendable efforts are being undertaken by different stakeholders, including within the United Nations.

We have a roadmap for its implementation that will form the basis for joint programmes between UN agencies and key stakeholders.  This and other achievements are captured in the progress report on the Decade that will be presented to the General Assembly.

Going forward, I would like to highlight five areas for special attention.

First, congruency between alignment and cohesive regional and industrial policies. Trade and industry policies that talk to each other are much more likely to yield positive results than those implemented in isolation.

Second, enhanced focus to investments on infrastructure development. This includes special economic zones and industrial parks; roads; ports; harbours; energy infrastructure; information and communication technologies and digital infrastructure.

Third, enhanced value addition local contacts, with a focus on agriculture and other natural resources. As the mainstay of most African countries, these hold the key for accelerated sustainable growth, diversification and job creation.

Fourth, is trade capacity building to facilitate fuller participation in regional and global value chains. Being at the table needs muscle capacity to engage and negotiate the best deals for your country.

And fifth is human capital development and technology with a focus on women and youth to ensure inclusive development.

It is also clear that the agendas set out in the Industrial Development Decade and the African Continental Free Trade Area cannot be achieved by any single entity or country.  There is need to build and strengthen partnerships among all relevant stakeholders.

Finally creating a space for these partnerships to focus on five areas mentioned and addition, encouraging technology transfer, building productive capacity, creating jobs, promoting international trade, supporting economic diversification, and building green industries.

Creative and innovative approaches must continue to be deployed to mobilize both financial and non-financial resources. Maximizing financing for development means a number of things. We must mobilize domestic resources alongside international financial resources.

We need to harness the role of the private sector in financing development. And we must maximize the use of innovative financing sources and mechanisms including pension funds, insurance and other large pools of private capital.

To do this, it is vital that we share experiences and lessons among countries. We also need to leverage and deepen strategic North-South; South-South and Triangular cooperation.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations, I reaffirm our continued strong commitment and action to sustainabledevelopment on the continent and ensuring an inclusive, resilient, and secure future, for all Africans.

I wish you a productive meeting.

73rd Sessions of UN General Assembly

100+ world leaders will attend high-level #UNGA events all week starting on Monday.

The theme for the general debate this year is “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”; it is also the theme of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.

Now there are more ways than ever to follow the action ➡️ https://bit.ly/2QNjasK

When is your Head of State speaking?

UN Secretary-General’s High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda

No single actor can fund a sustainable future. We need everyone.

On 24 September, global leaders will convene at #UNGA for the Secretary-General’s High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda to discuss financial policies that put sustainable development at the centre of a strong global economy.

Learn more 👉 http://bit.ly/financing2030 #Fin4Dev #GlobalGoals

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe hands-over the Road Safety performance review report for Cameroon to Government

Yaounde, 22 August 2018

Cameroon records an average of 16,583 road accidents each year, killing more than 1,000 people, according to official figures, and over 6000 according to World Health Organization estimates. This human cost is dramatic. It is therefore urgent for Cameroon to redouble its efforts to improve the road safety situation. These are the main findings of Cameroon’s Road Safety Performance Review (RSPR), presented at a national workshop on road safety held in Yaoundé on 23 and 24 August 2018, in the context of follow up for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The Review, conducted by the Ministry of Transport under the supervision of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), presents a holistic analysis of the country’s road safety progress and challenges.

The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr Jean Todtpresented in Yaoundé today the Road Safety Performance Review of Cameroon, which provides an analysis of progress and challenges in the country’s road safety. Cameroon is the second African country to benefit from this expertise, following Uganda. He urged stakeholders in the country to strengthen their efforts in these terms: “This Review shows real political will of Cameroon’s authorities to improve the situation, but it also identifies key challenges that must be overcome. By analysing all factors in order to propose priority actions, these Reviews, which we are undertaking at the request of governments, can provide vital support for improving road safety at national level.”

Cameroon’s Minister of Transport H.E Jean Ernest Masséna Ngalle Bibehe, reaffirmed the country’s political will in the fight against road accidents: “…we commit to the progressive implementation of these recommendations, with, in priority, reinforcing coordination through the establishment of an independent operational organism as well as consultative and expert bodies; strengthening enforcement and improving legislation, including the integration of the United Nations legal instruments, which already inspire all national and regional texts in force in Cameroon; improving the safety of the vehicle fleet through its renewal; pursing the reform of the procedure to obtain and be awarded a driving licence, and intensifying awareness-raising.” 

Minister Nganou Djoumessi of Public Works declared that 41,5% of Cameroon’s road network is in a good state, adding that the government’s objective is to reduce the number of road accidents to 50% by 2020.

UN Resident Coordinator; Allegra Baiocchi said that a reduction in the number of the wounded and deaths on the highway will accelerate sustainable growth and prevent families from going through the many physical and psychological sufferings.

The country’s road network, which accounts for 85 per cent of transport in the country, suffers, among other problems, from a lack of signalling and markings, cracks, potholes, poor rainwater drainage, lack of sidewalks and cycle paths, and disorderly parking.

Significant resources have been mobilized for the development of safety measures through the country’s Road Fund, which has contributed nearly 2.5 billion CFA francs per year since 2013. However, these resources have not been used effectively and efficiently, sometimes because of the rigid eligibility conditions of the measures to be financed. Consequently, the RSPR recommends a more appropriate use of Road Fund resources, which would be enriched by increased mobilisation of the private sector to finance road safety initiatives.

To be effective on the ground, efforts to improve safety on the roads must involve diverse actors in Cameroon. The RSPR therefore highlights the need to develop and put in place partnership frameworks to enable the private sector and civil society to become more actively involved.

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