Category Archives: Breaking news

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.

Capacity-building workshop on media coverage of elections and the promotion of peaceful elections in Cameroon in Douala

A 3-day capacity-building workshop on media coverage of elections and the promotion of peaceful elections in Cameroon was organized in Douala from 3-5 July 2018, and brought together thirty media professionals from the Centre, South and Littoral regions.

During the opening ceremony, Mr. Kisito Ngankak, Director of the Development of Private Media and Advertising at the Ministry of Communication, described the workshop as “timely and critical”. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Communication, he also reminded journalists not to be partisan during elections.

 

“You must shun corruption which sometimes push you to the fringes of impartiality and bias reporting”, cautioned Mr. Jean Njita, UNIC’s NIO, representing the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cameroon.

Participants unanimously welcomed the training and agreed to make good use of experiences and lessons learned in order to promote peace before, during and after elections in Cameroon. In this regard, they adopted two key documents: “The Code of good conduct for journalists and media during electoral period” and “The Douala Declaration”. In these documents, they acknowledged the risks and threats to social peace that can be provoked by news articles and programs which do not obey the principles and tannates 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 Douala workshop came on the heels of the first, organized in Ngaoundere, with participants drawn from the East and three Northern regions of Cameroon (Adamaoua, Far North and North). similar workshop will be organized in Bafoussam journalists from the West, North West and South West Regions and Mbalmayo (26 -28 July) for facilitators and officials of community radio stations.

The workshops are jointly organized by the United Regional Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) based in Libreville (Gabon), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (UNCDH-CA), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the United Nations Residence Coordinator’s Office in Cameroon. Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), the National Communication Council (NCC), Ministry of External Relations, Ministry of Communication, and Ministry of  Women’s empowerment and the Family provide an important support for the success of this important capacity-building activity.

L’ONU encourage le Cameroun à réduire les tensions dans les régions anglophones [Scroll down for English Version]

New York, 8 août 2017 – La Vice-Secrétaire générale des Nations Unies, Amina J. Mohammed, a rencontré mardi 8 août au siège de l’ONU à New York une délégation du Cameroun avec qui elle a discuté de la situation dans les régions anglophones du pays, a indiqué le porte-parole du Secrétaire général de l’ONU dans un compte rendu de cette rencontre.

Lors de cette rencontre avec la délégation menée par le Professeur Paul Ghogomu, Ministre et Directeur de cabinet du Premier ministre du Cameroun, Mme Mohammed s’est félicitée « des efforts entrepris par le gouvernement pour réduire les tensions et a souligné l’importance de renforcer les mesures de renforcement de la confiance, notamment en veillant à ce que la justice soit accordée à tous et que les droits de l’homme soient respectés », a précisé le porte-parole.

La Vice-Secrétaire générale a réitéré la volonté des Nations Unies, grâce aux bons offices du Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour l’Afrique centrale et Chef du Bureau régional des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale (UNOCA), François Louncény Fall, et à l’équipe-pays des Nations Unies, de soutenir les efforts de dialogue inclusif pour répondre aux causes profondes des tensions dans les régions touchées.

Selon la presse, le gouvernement avait ordonné fin avril le rétablissement de l’Internet dans les deux régions anglophones du pays après une interruption de plus de trois mois suite à des revendications sur le bilinguisme.

Par ailleurs, Mme Mohammed a félicité le Cameroun pour sa générosité envers les réfugiés de la République centrafricaine et du Nigéria. Elle a indiqué que les Nations Unies souhaitaient travailler avec le Cameroun, le Nigéria et le Tchad pour réintégrer les personnes concernées, en particulier les femmes, les jeunes et les enfants.

Le Vice-Secrétaire générale et le chef de la délégation camerounaise ont également discuté du Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 et de la réforme du système de développement des Nations Unies, ainsi que de la situation dans la péninsule de Bakassi et de la lutte contre Boko Haram.

Readout of the Deputy Secretary-General’s meeting with a delegation led by Prof. Paul Ghogomu, Director of Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Cameroon

New York, On 8 August, the Deputy Secretary-General met with a delegation led by Prof. Paul Ghogomu, Minister and Director of Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon. They discussed the internal situation in the Republic of Cameroon, particularly in the Anglophone regions. The Deputy Secretary-General welcomed the efforts being undertaken by the Government to de-escalate tensions and highlighted the importance of further confidence building measures, including ensuring that justice is given to all and that human rights are upheld and respected, and noting that those responsible for rule of law are to be held to a higher standard.

The Deputy Secretary-General also reiterated the willingness of the United Nations, through the good offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Mr. François Louncény Fall, and the United Nations country team, to support inclusive dialogue efforts to address the outstanding root causes of the tensions in the affected regions.

The Deputy Secretary-General commended Cameroon for its generosity towards refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria and conveyed that the United Nations looks forward to working with Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad to reintegrate those affected, especially women, youth and children.

The Deputy Secretary-General and Prof. Ghogomu also discussed the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations development system reform, as well as the situation in the Bakassi Peninsula and the fight against Boko Haram.

 

UN Electoral Assistance Mission Meets Journalists in Yaounde, on 13 July 2017

UNIC Yaounde organized a rencontre between the visiting delegation from the UN Division of Electoral Assistance of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in New York and Cameroonian Journalists on the country’s electoral system at the UNDP conference room on 13 July 2017.

The main objective of this rencontre was to reflect with these media practitioners on Cameroon’s electoral system, and on possible ways forward.

In attendance were the following:

UN:

  1. Mr Akinyemi Adegbola; Head of Mission, and Chief Political and Electoral Adviser, DEA/DPA
  2. Mrs Pascale Roussy; Officer-in-Charge; DEA/DPA in New York
  3. Nadjita Francis; Special Assistant to SRSG for Central Africa (UNOCA) in Libreville, Gabon

Media

We had Journalists representing the following media organ; The Post, Mutations, la Nouvelle Expression, Canal 2 International, Cameroon Tribune, Signatures, amongst others.

This Need Assessment Mission of the Elections Assistance Division from United Nations Headquarters in New York is in Cameroon from 10 – 20 July 2017, upon the invitation of the national electoral body; Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), to explore ways of supporting the country in her electoral process, as she prepares for the 2018 general elections. During their stay, members of the delegation will meet with national and religious authorities, Political parties, Civil society Organizations, amongst others dignitaries. They will equally pay field trips to some regions of the country.

UN agency saves 600 stranded migrants in Sahara Desert, but 52 dead in Niger

Walking through desert. Photo: World Bank

27 June 2017 – The United Nations migration agency in Niger has saved more than 600 lives since April 2017 through a new search and rescue operation that targets migrants stranded in Sahara Desert, but 52 did not survive.

“We are enhancing our capacity to assist vulnerable migrants stranded in Northern Agadez, towards the Niger-Libya border,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Niger Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in press release issued today.

“Saving lives in the desert is becoming more urgent than ever. Since the beginning of the year we have been receiving frequent calls to rescue victims who embark on this route‎,” Loprete added.

A 22-year-old woman was the only female among the survivors of a rescue mission on 28 May. She left Nigeria in early April hoping for a better future in Europe. There were 50 migrants on the pick-up truck when it left Agadez for Libya, but only six are still alive today.

“We were in the desert for ten days. After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours, but he never did,” she recalled.

During the next two days, 44 of the migrants died which persuaded the six left to start walking to look for help. “We had to drink our own pee to survive,” she said.

On 9 June, another 92 migrants were also rescued through an IOM search and rescue operation; among them were 30 women and children.

More recently, 24 migrants were taken to Seguedine, where one died on arrival. Among the 23 survivors are migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. It was not clear for how long they had been walking in the deserts of central Niger. They had been in a group of 75 migrants in three different cars, eventually abandoned by smugglers during the journey north.

IOM has recorded 52 deaths since it launched a new project “Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region” (MIRAA) in April. The project will last for 12 months, and aims to ensure the protection of migrants in hard-to-reach areas while also strengthening the management of migration by the Government of Niger.

MIRAA is complementary to the larger initiative “Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism” (MRRM), which aims to bring together in one mechanism a wide range of services and assistance for migrants, including assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin and reintegration once they return.

Sécurité : les Etats membres de l’UNSAC se retrouvent à Yaoundé du 29 mai au 02 juin pour leur 44e réunion ministérielle // Security: UNSAC Member States in Yaoundé from 29 May to 02 June for their 44th Ministerial Meeting

Yaoundé (Cameroun), 27 mai 2017– La  44e réunion ministérielle du Comité consultatif permanent des Nations Unies chargé des questions de sécurité en Afrique centrale (UNSAC) aura lieu du 29 mai au 02 juin 2017 à Yaoundé, la capitale du Cameroun. Les travaux commencent avec la rencontre des experts qui, pendant trois jours, feront un état des lieux prospectif de la situation sécuritaire et géopolitique dans les onze Etats membres du Comité (Angola, Burundi, Cameroun, République centrafricaine, Congo, République démocratique du Congo, Gabon, Guinée équatoriale, Rwanda, Sao Tomé et Principe, Tchad).

Les discussions porteront sur les questions en rapport avec, entre autres, la gouvernance politique et les multiples facteurs qui menacent la paix et la stabilité de la sous-région. Les participants échangeront notamment des vues sur la dimension régionale de certaines crises, dont celle de la République centrafricaine. Ils mettront également un accent sur les voies et moyens de renforcer la lutte contre les phénomènes comme la violence armée et le terrorisme, l’insécurité maritime dans le Golfe de Guinée, le braconnage et le trafic illicite des espèces sauvages, les tensions électorales, le trafic des drogues, la criminalité transnationale organisée, la prolifération des armes légères et de petit calibre, etc.

Sur ce dernier point, il convient de souligner que la 44e réunion du Comité s’ouvrira près de trois mois après l’entrée en vigueur, le 8 mars 2017, de la Convention de l’Afrique centrale pour le contrôle des armes légères et de petit calibre, de leurs munitions et de toutes pièces et composantes pouvant servir à leur fabrication, réparation et assemblage, dite “Convention de Kinshasa” – adoptée le 30 avril 2010 lors de la 30e réunion du Comité à Kinshasa (République démocratique du Congo). Cette entrée en vigueur a été facilitée par le dépôt, le 6 février 2017, du sixième instrument de ratification par l’Angola (précédé quelques années plus tôt par le Cameroun, la République centrafricaine, le Congo, le Gabon et le Tchad).

UNOCA avait exprimé sa satisfaction par rapport à cette évolution positive à laquelle il a contribué à travers diverses actions de plaidoyer auprès des Etats membres du Comité. « Nous continuerons à soutenir les efforts de la sous-région dans sa détermination à prévenir, à combattre et à mettre fin à la circulation incontrôlée des armes en Afrique centrale », souligne M. François Louncény Fall, Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale et Chef de l’UNOCA, encourageant les pays qui ne l’ont pas encore fait à ratifier la Convention de Kinshasa. « Cela permettrait de renforcer davantage la confiance entre les Etats et de rassurer les populations, principales victimes de ce phénomène qui constitue par ailleurs une entrave au développement durable de l’Afrique centrale », explique-t-il.

Le Représentant spécial aura l’occasion d’évoquer cette question et bien d’autres dossiers cruciaux avec les chefs de délégation. Du 1er au 2 juin, M. François Louncény Fall prendra part à la session ministérielle dont l’un des temps forts sera la lecture, lors de la cérémonie officielle d’ouverture, du message du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, M. António Guterres. Cette phase protocolaire sera également marquée par la mise en place d’un nouveau bureau du Comité. Le Ministre camerounais des Relations extérieures en assurera la présidence pour une durée de six mois. Il succèdera à son homologue santoméen, qui occupe ce poste depuis la 43e réunion de l’UNSAC – qui a eu lieu du 28 novembre au 02 décembre 2016 à Sao Tomé.

Mis en place le 28 mai 1992 par l’ONU (à la demande des Etats membres de la CEEAC), le Comité, dont le fonctionnement vient de faire l’objet d’une évaluation, est un précieux outil de diplomatie préventive. Conformément à l’esprit d’un des séminaires fondateurs de cette institution organisé à Yaoundé du 17 au 21 juin 1991, le Comité a en effet pour mission principale de promouvoir les mesures de confiance aux niveaux régional et sous-régional afin d’atténuer les tensions et de faire progresser le désarmement et la non-prolifération des armes légères et de petit calibre en Afrique centrale. Depuis sa création, la capitale camerounaise a déjà abrité plusieurs de ses sessions. La dernière remonte à la 26e rencontre tenue du 3 au 7 septembre 2007.

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE N° 125 — Sécurité — les Etats membres de l’UNSAC se retrouvent à Yaoundé du 29 mai au 2 juin pour leur 44e réunion ministérielle

PRESS RELEASE N° 125 – Security — UNSAC Member states in Yaoundé from 29 May to 02 June for their 44th Ministerial Meeting

TEXTE ET PHOTOhttps://unoca.unmissions.org/unsac-44eme-reunion-les-etats-membres-se-retrouvent-%C3%A0-yaound%C3%A9-du-29-mai-au-2-juin