Category Archives: Breaking news

Sports for Achieving the SDGs in Cameroon

Saturday the 27th October was set aside to highlight Sports for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Cameroon, as part of the 73rd United Nations day in Cameroon.

sportswalk comprising of men, women and children in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator, Minister Abena Ondoua of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Mr. Achille Basiliken; Secretary General- MINREX among other dignitaries, saw participants walk through the streets of Obili, Melen and Ngoa-ekelle to the military stadium for the development goals. This parade was guided by the security forces and the Cameroon Red Cross. caught the attention of many curious onlookers whereby some immediately joined the crew.

A semi-tournament pitting teams from the United Nations, MINREX, Diplomatic Corps and Civil Society was also on schedule. UN Resident Coordinator gave the kickoff of the opening match between the ladies of MINREX and the UN system.

The matches were hotly contested, in a spirit of fair play and for the good of the game and SDGs. 

Official Ceremony for UN Day 2018

The 24 October UN Day celebration in Cameroon took place at Ministry of External Relations (MINREX) on the theme: “Energy, key driver to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Cameroon”.

Ms. Allegra Baiocchi; UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon stressed on mutual empowerment and support towards achieving the SDGs, appealed that“we must fight poverty, inequality” and thanked the people and government of Cameroon for their faithful cooperation with the United Nations.

She further read the UNSG message on the occasion, in which Mr. Antonio Guterres urged all of us not to give up, despite the challenges;hardship, inequality, increasing rates of conflicts, extreme poverty in the World.

H.E Adoum Gargoum; Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations in charge of cooperation with the Islamic World also stressed the importance of working in synergy to build a better world. Participants also watched a video projection on the UN – Cameroon cooperation in achieving the SDGs.    

Cameroun : le chef de l’ONU demande la libération immédiate des collégiens enlevés à Bamenda

6 novembre 2018

Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, António Guterres, a condamné mardi l’enlèvement présumé d’élèves et de membres du personnel d’une école secondaire de Bamenda, la capitale de la région du Nord-Ouest du Cameroun.

Selon les informations rapportées par la presse, des hommes armés non identifiés ont pris d’assaut dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi l’école secondaire presbytérienne située dans le quartier de Bamenda III, sur les hauteurs de la ville. 79 collégiens, leur principal, un chauffeur et un enseignant auraient été enlevés dans cette attaque.

M. Guterres a appelé à leur libération immédiate et à leur retour dans leurs foyers et leurs familles. « Rien ne peut justifier ces crimes contre des civils, en particulier des mineurs », a déclaré son porte-parole dans une déclaration de presse.

Cet enlèvement s’est produit dans un contexte particulièrement tendu dans la partie anglophone du Cameroun ou une crise oppose les séparatistes aux forces de l’ordre.

Le chef de l’ONU a réitéré la nécessité d’une solution aux crises qui touchent les régions du Nord-Ouest et du Sud-Ouest du Cameroun par le biais d’un processus de dialogue inclusif. « Les Nations Unies sont prêtes à apporter leur aide à cet égard », a souligné son porte-parole.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on abductions in Cameroon
 
The Secretary-General condemns the reported kidnapping on 5 November of students and staff from a secondary school in Bamenda, North-West region of Cameroon. He calls for their immediate release and return to their homes and families. There can be no justification for these crimes against civilians, particularly minors.

The Secretary-General reiterates the need for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon through an inclusive dialogue process. The United Nations stands ready to assist in this regard.
 
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 6 November 2018

Cameroun : SG de l’ONU appelle les électeurs à se rendre aux urnes pour le scrutin présidentiel

Cameroun : le chef de l’ONU appelle les électeurs à se rendre aux urnes pour le scrutin présidentiel

Photo ONU/Mark Garten
Le Secrétaire général de l’ONU António Guterres.
4 octobre 2018

Alors que le Cameroun se prépare à tenir des élections présidentielles le 7 octobre, le Secrétaire général de l’ONU, António Guterres, a encouragé jeudi tous les Camerounais à exercer leur droit démocratique et a appelé à un processus pacifique, crédible et inclusif.

« Le Secrétaire général appelle toutes les parties prenantes à faire preuve de retenue avant, pendant et après les élections », a dit son porte-parole adjoint, Farhan Haq, dans une déclaration à la presse.

« Il appelle également tous les candidats à résoudre tout grief lié au processus électoral par les voies légales et constitutionnelles établies », a-t-il ajouté.

« Le Secrétaire général condamne toute menace de violence ou tout acte d’intimidation par quelque groupe que ce soit et réitère que tous les griefs doivent être résolus dans le cadre d’un dialogue inclusif. Les Nations Unies sont prêtes à apporter un soutien à cet égard », a encore dit le porte-parole adjoint

S.E Lejeune Mbella Mbella devant l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU

Photo ONU/Cia Pak
Le Ministre des affaires étrangères du Cameroun Lejeune Mbella Mbella devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. 28 septembre 2018

Le Ministre des relations extérieures du Cameroun, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, a assuré jeudi que « la consolidation de la culture démocratique au Cameroun est un processus inéluctable, malgré les défis sécuritaires » auxquels le pays fait face.

Dans son discours devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies à New York, M. Mbella a affirmé que son pays avait procédé au perfectionnement de son système électoral, d’une part par le renforcement des mécanismes d’organisation des élections, d’autre part par des mesures visant à assurer une participation élevée aux prochains scrutins, dont le plus proche est l’élection présidentielle prévue pour le 7 octobre de cette année.

Le ministre a également affirmé que grâce à des efforts coordonnés avec les pays voisins du Bassin du lac Tchad, « la capacité de nuisance de la secte terroriste Boko Haram a été considérablement réduite, même s’il faut rester mobilisé jusqu’à son éradication totale ».

Le ministre a par ailleurs assuré que le gouvernement camerounais restait déterminé à « stabiliser la situation socio-politique dans les régions du nord-ouest et du sud-ouest du pays. Il a caractérisé les troubles récemment observés dans ces régions comme provenant de revendications corporatistes de syndicats d’enseignants et d’avocats.

« Malheureusement, a-t-il ajouté, des individus sans foi ni loi ont cru devoir transformer ces préoccupations socioprofessionnelles en revendications sécessionnistes, visant la désintégration de l’Etat ». Il a assuré que le gouvernement s’employait à restaurer paix et sécurité dans ces régions « dans le respect des droits de l’homme et des lois » et était déterminé à « garantir aussi bien la sécurité des personnes et des biens que l’unité et l’intégrité du territoire national ».

M. Mbella a par ailleurs exalté le multilatéralisme comme étant « la voie la plus appropriée pour répondre aux défis auxquels l’humanité fait face aujourd’hui ». Il a estimé que le rôle et l’avenir de l’ONU restaient « tributaires de la volonté des Etats membres de raffermir sa légitimité, sa démocratisation et sa représentativité ».

Cela passe par les réformes de ses organes, au rang desquels le Conseil de sécurité, a-t-il dit, ajoutant que l’on ne pouvait envisager « la pérennisation de la marginalisation de l’Afrique, qui demeure le seul continent à ne pas disposer d’un siège permanent au sein du principal organe chargé de la paix et de la sécurité internationales ».

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

Death of former UNSG Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General passed away on Saturday, 18 August. A truly global leader. Mr Annan served two terms as United Nations Secretary General from 1997- 2006 and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for humanitarian work.

In his tribute, UN Secretary-General António Guterres describe Mr Annan as “a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations”…He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.”

Mr. Annan led the UN into a new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

Full statement here: https://bit.ly/2L8R86Y

United Nations hails Nelson Mandela in Cameroon

“Human dignity is an important aspect to focus on in our society today, irrespective of our status, race, class, religion …it is indeed the bases for Human Rights as Mandela teaches us”, was echoed by Professor Fru Forbuzshi Angwafo III; Director General of the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital (HGOY) as he paid tribute to President Mandela. He made this statement as he welcomed participants at the UNIC Yaounde organized event to commemorate the 2018 Nelson Mandela International Day in Cameroon on the theme: “Take action and Inspire change” on Wednesday 18 July 2018.

The event kickstarted with a guided compassionate visit to some 67 patients of the hospital, to express Mandela’s love, compassion to human plight and worries. Participants shared words of encouragement, love with hugs and message of hope with patients.

Next was a conference talk on “Take action and Inspire change”, to exchange of information on Mandela’s legacy in reconciliation, unity, human rights, education, health and charity with the over 100 participants drawn from all works of life.

UNIC’s Jean Njita highlighted that Mandela day is a global call to action for citizens of the world to take up the challenge and follow in the footsteps of Mandela; a man who transformed his life, served his country and freed his people. “The question we should ask ourselves is what we are doing to make everyday a Mandela Day” he asked. He further urged participants to make each day a Mandela day, become Mandela day change makers by doing things that affect positive change everyday.

Mrs. Suzanne Awenti, Pedagogic Inspector for History and Citizenship at the Ministry of Secondary Education, thrusted that Mandela’s greatest driving force was his inspiration to take action and inspire change. To her, a great source of Madiba’s inspiration for change could be spelt out into four commandments drawn from biblical gospel of Mathew 22:37-40; Love God with all your heart and mind, love your neighbor as yourself, know thyself, know thy origination. She pined that to effect change as Nelson Mandela did, we must identify our area of strength, leadership action preferences, dream a new future, drive change, develop capacity, design strategy, desire for change.

Participants expressed their love and respect for Nelson Mandela through a series of passionate contributions. The video message of Nelson Mandela was projected, in which he called on the world to devote 67 minutes of time to helping other every Mandela Day.

UNSG Message: This was followed by the screening of the Video Message UN Secretary General on the 2018 Mandela day commemoration. Mr. Guterres urged the world to emulate the great servant leader Mandela

Invictus: Participants watched Nelson Mandala’s biopic “Invictus”; “INVICTUS“, a movie which portrays how Mandela used Sports (Rugby) to show strong leadership, and to reconcile South Africans around an ideal of success and Unite his people.

Guided visit to patients at the HGOPY:  https://youtu.be/4EuSc-39zWY

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presents the Mandela International Day: https://youtu.be/VSMw1chHo_M

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.