Category Archives: Sustainable Development Goals

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.

EPSR_Cameroun

UN Thomas & friends partner for the SDGs

United Nations, Thomas & Friends in a collaboration has launched at the UN Headquarters the Sustainable Development Goals to preschool children through animated children’s series Thomas & Friends. The short-form content and parent-targeted materials with childhood educational videos, are intended to help preschoolers around the world learn more about sustainability and start meaningful conversations between parents and children at the household level.
It is to popularize the Sustainable Development Goals and raise awareness about them and more importantly to teach children the importance of taking part in the global efforts to end poverty, providing girls and boys with the same opportunities, and protecting our planet.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit held at the United Nations in September 2015. Encompassing everything from health to gender equality and education, the Goals will mobilize efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. AllAboardForGlobalGoals.com

2018 International Youth Day celebrations in Cameroon

The 2018 International Youth Day celebrated the contribution of #SafeSpaces4Youth to youth engagement and empowerment at the National Museum, with emphasis on citizen commitment of youths for peace and development. Ceremony brought together youth organizations, government, international partners.

Mrs Yvonne Matuturu, representing UNESCO called on civil society stakeholders, policymakers and entrepreneurs to imagine new forms of collaboration that are able to harness the vast potential of youth. she further stated that youths need a quality and conducive environment to  be able to express their citizenship

UN Resident Coordinator; Allegra Baiocchi emphasised the commitment of UN agencies to accompany the government in placing youths at the heart of development in Cameroon.

Minister Mounouna Foutsou of Youth Affairs and Civic Education called on youths to register with the national youth observatory to obtain the youth biometric card which will give them access to services for socioeconomic insertion. Suffice to add that youths represent more than 30% of the Cameroonian population.

UN calls for human rights abuses investigation in Cameroon conflict – Mission Network News

Cameroon (MNN) — Regional violence in Cameroon has stretched on for 18 months, and the United Nations is saying ‘enough’. UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recently demanded the Cameroonian government launch an independent investigation on human rights abuses by State forces.

English-speakers in western Cameroon are vying for autonomy, since they feel underrepresented by the government. But when separatists started protesting, French-speaking State forces lashed out with brutal force.

(Photo courtesy of Efi Tembon via Facebook)

Since then, people in Anglophone regions have suffered attacks, random shootings, and rape. Soldiers have burned down entire villages — sometimes with family members still inside their homes.

Efi Tembon, the Executive Director of the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy (CABTAL), a partner of Wycliffe Associates, shares, “More than 2,000 people have been killed so far since this started, and more than 170 villages have been burned, and more than 200,000 people are displaced, and more than 100,000 people are refugees in Nigeria.”

Along with condemnation from the UN, Tembon is hoping for United States involvement and enforced accountability for the Cameroonian government.

“We started a campaign here with the US Congress. The US government has been supporting the Cameroon military, providing training, providing material support. This provision was for the fight against Boko Haram. It was well-intentioned, but you know with good intentions, sometimes they have unintended consequences. These are being used now to fight against the…people,” says Tembon.

(Photo courtesy of Efi Tembon via Facebook)

“We think the US has leverage, has some influence to be able to help…. We are calling on others to write to their senators, to write to their representatives to be aware of this situation so something can be done [and] mediation can take place so peace can return.”

We previously shared how violence in western Cameroon is also causing problems for CABTAL’s Bible translators. The impact on their ministry is still growing.

“In the area where these atrocities are going on, we have 38 language projects where we are doing translation or helping communities in the area of Scripture impact. All of them have been affected right now and more than 400 translation personnel in these communities are affected — many of them [are] displaced, many [are] hiding in the bushes, and in some communities, translation has stopped.”

Tembon says churches have also been caught in the crosshairs. “Some pastors have been killed and churches have been taken over by the military, [who is] using some churches as a military base.”

In some villages, CABTAL lost touch with Bible translators who fled. They are still trying to make contact and help, especially because every day in the bush presents new risks.

“There are more people dying in the bushes than [who] are even being killed by bullets because they have no access to medical care. They are sick with malaria,…children are dying of malnutrition, [and] they don’t have any food.”

What’s worse “Some of them have nothing to go back to,” Tembon says. “Their homes have been burned, family members killed, they are living in bushes without food, no clothing, no basic needs, [and] exposed to all kinds of danger.”

Cameroon violence, village burned

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

Currently, Wycliffe Associates is raising funds to provide emergency protection for displaced Bible translators from western Cameroon and replace translation equipment. Even though the raging violence is a severe challenge, Wycliffe Associates, CABTAL, and their local volunteers are determined to get God’s Word to those who need Christ’s truth and hope — especially now.

If you would like to support this effort with Wycliffe Associates, click here!

Tembon says Cameroonians and our Christian brothers and sisters urgently need your prayer support as well.

“Some have turned to God, praying to God; others have turned to African Traditional Religion and [are] looking…to find a solution, to find help. [Pray] that this will cause people to turn to the Lord and cry out to Him.

“Pray for the Church in Cameroon. God knows what is going on. All of this doesn’t take Him by surprise. [Pray] that we would be able to come back to the Lord and repent as a Church in that country.”

“Also, pray that the root causes of this problem will be solved. These people need freedom…. They have been like second-class citizens for 57 years and it reached a breaking point where it just boiled out of control. [Pray] that that root problem will be solved so that we will not see a recurrence of violence

Capacity Building Workshop on media coverage of elections and the promotion of peaceful elections in Cameroon in Bafoussam

Over 30 journalists from Northwest, Southwest and West regions participated in a three-day capacity building workshop on media coverage of elections and the promotion of peaceful elections in Cameroon, from 10 to 12 July in Bafoussam, Capital of the West Region.

Discussions and presentations focused, among other things, on issues related to ethics and deontology of journalism; regulation and self-regulation; balanced treatment of information during electoral period; the principles of nonsexist / gender sensitive communication in the electoral process; social media practices. Sessions were also enriched by practical exercises which allowed participants to gain knowledge and share best practices and experiences with regards to elections coverage, most especially, through an approach based on the respect for human rights and the promotion of peace.

The workshop was a UN’s response to the many calls expressed by journalists themselves, showing their determination to not only acquire new knowledge and experience in their field, but also their determination to contribute to the success of the upcoming elections.

Mr. Jean Jacques Massina-Landji, co-Chair of the UNCG, representing the UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon, in his opening note stated that “for three days, these journalists will be tutored on the role of the media in the prevention, crisis management and violence during electoral periods, human rights issues related to elections as well as gender, democracy, peace and security,…elections are indeed crucial moments in the democratic life of a nation. Their transparency is fundamental in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which one of the Goals, Goal 16 is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.”.

Mrs. Wandji Elsa, Regional Chief of Legal Affairs at the Delegation of Communication, representing the regional delegate and thus, Representative of the Minister of Communication, noted that workshops of this magnitude are rare and called on all present to take the opportunity given them to build their capacities on electoral reporting. According to her, information that will be disseminated by the journalists would push citizens to make informed choices instead of manipulations that would incite disorder.  

At the end of the workshop, the Journalists unanimously agreed to promote peace before, during and after elections in Cameroon. They adopted two key documents: “The Code of good conduct for journalists and media during electoral period” and “The Bafoussam Declaration”. In these documents, participants acknowledged the risks and threats to social peace that can be provoked by news articles and programs which do not obey the principles and tenets of balanced and impartial treatment of information. They therefore engaged “to promote peace journalism and to work with complete independence and responsibility, in favour of sustainable development”.

The workshop was jointly organized by the United Nations Regional Office For Central Africa (UNOCA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of the Women (UN-WOMEN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Central Africa, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and United Nations Residence Coordinator’s Office in Cameroon.