Category Archives: Latest News

2018 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalism Fellowship (7 May, 2018)

DPI is accepting applications for the 2018 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalism Fellowship, which will be held at UN Headquarters in New York from 16 September to 6 October 2018.

The Fellowship will bring a select group of young journalists from around the world to United Nations Headquarters to cover the General Assembly, interview senior officials, and attend special briefings and workshops.

The Fellowship is open to full-time journalists between the ages of 22 and 35 from countries with developing and transitioning economies.

A full list of eligible countries is available at the following URL https://outreach.un.org/raf/eligibility.

The Fellowship covers the cost of roundtrip air travel to New York and provides a daily subsistence allowance.

Applications must be submitted online at https://outreach.un.org/raf/content/reham-al-farra-memorial-journalism-fellowship-2018-application.

 

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur le meurtre d’un Casque bleu de la MINUSCA en République centrafricaine (Scroll down for English)

New York, 10 Avril 2018

Le Secrétaire général condamne le meurtre d’un Casque bleu rwandais ainsi que les blessures infligées à huit autres membres de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) le 10 avril à Bangui lors d’un échange de tirs avec des éléments armés.

Cet incident fait suite à une opération conjointe lancée le 8 avril par la MINUSCA ainsi que les forces armées et la police centrafricaines pour désarmer et arrêter des groupes criminels lourdement armés dans le troisième arrondissement de Bangui.

Le Secrétaire général présente ses plus sincères condoléances à la famille de la victime ainsi qu’au Gouvernement rwandais et souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés.
Le Secrétaire général rappelle que les attaques contre les forces de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre et appelle les autorités centrafricaines à enquêter sur ces cas et à traduire rapidement les responsables en justice.

Le Secrétaire général réitère la détermination de la MINUSCA à protéger les civils et à contribuer à la stabilisation de la République centrafricaine.

 Stéphane Dujarric , Porte-Parole du Secrétaire général de l’ONU

 

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the killing of a MINUSCA peacekeeper in the Central African Republic

New York, 10 April 2018

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing of a Rwandan peacekeeper and the wounding of eight others of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 10 April, in Bangui during an exchange of fire with armed elements.

The incident follows a joint operation launched on 8 April by MINUSCA and the Central African forces and police to disarm and arrest heavily armed criminal groups.

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the family of the bereaved, as well as to the Government of Rwanda, and wishes a swift recovery to the injured.

The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate them and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General reiterates the determination of MINUSCA to protect civilians and contribute to the stabilization of the Central African Republic.

Stéphane Dujarric , Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General 

 

Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attack against a MINUSCA base and the killing of civilians in the Central African Republic [scroll down for French version]

New York, 3 April 2018 

The Secretary-General condemns the attack against a base of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 3 April, in Ouaka, a prefecture of the Central African Republic. The attack led to the death of one Mauritanian peacekeeper, while 11 others were injured and are receiving medical care.  

The Secretary-General offers his deepest condolences to the families of those killed, as well as to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.  He wishes a swift recovery to the injured. 

The Secretary-General is also outraged by the killing of 21 civilians, including four children and four women as well as the injuring of 14 civilians, which occurred the same day in the same prefecture.

The Secretary-General calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate these attacks and quickly bring those responsible to justice.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

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Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire général sur l’attaque contre une base de la MINUSCA et le meurtre de civils en République centrafricaine

New York, 3 avril 2018 

Le Secrétaire général condamne l’attaque perpétrée contre une base de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) le 3 avril, dans la préfecture de Ouaka, en République centrafricaine. L’attaque a causé la mort d’un casque bleu mauritanien, tandis qu’onze autres ont été blessés et évacués pour traitement médical. 

Le Secrétaire général présente ses plus sincères condoléances aux familles endeuillées, ainsi qu’au Gouvernement de la République islamique de Mauritanie. Il souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés. 

Le Secrétaire général est également consterné par le meurtre de 21 civils, dont quatre enfants et quatre femmes, ainsi que par les blessures infligées à 14 personnes, le même jour, dans la même préfecture.

Le Secrétaire général appelle les autorités de la République centrafricaine à enquêter sur ces attaques et à traduire en justice rapidement leurs auteurs.

Stéphane Dujarric, Porte-parole du Secrétaire général

2018 Remember Slavery Commemorated in Yaounde

The 2018 International Day in Memory of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was commemorated in Cameroon on 26 March through an event organized by UNIC Yaounde, UNESCO and the UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on“Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality”, at the National Museum in Yaounde. Key highlights of the event included;

  1. Panel Discussion

This talk harped on the genesis, context, struggles for freedom/equality and human right violations during slavery era. The main objective was to exchange information on Slavery and UN’s actions and conventions to completely eradicate discrimination, prejudice and racism today with mostly History students from Secondary schools and Universities in Yaounde, the NGO; ‘Pan-African Youth network for a Culture of Peace’ working on Bimbia Slavery cultural heritage site and Human Rights.

Mr. Christian NDOMBI; Cultural Affairs Officer at UNESCO pointed that the history of slavery and Transatlantic slave trade is that of silence, by the perpetrators of the act and the victims, due to shame. He added that UNESCO launched the “slave route” Project in 1980 to break the silence, with in-depth studies undertaken on the practice of slavery, to let the world know the ills of the transatlantic slave trade in a bid to wipe out modern forms of slavery. Mr Ndombi further emphasized that youths are targeted to let them know and remember what transpired during the slave trade not for revenge but for quality education so as to prevent a recurrence of such heinous and inhumane acts.

UNICs Jean NJITA said the United Nations is committed to help young people learn from the history of slavery and transatlantic slave trade in order to help fight racism and prejudice, for countless stories of enslaved children, women and men (such as the recent story of black migrants sold as slaves in Libya) still remains untold. “On this Day, the United Nations urges us to reflect on the inhumane and humane capacity that lies within us” he added, further calling on all to take the commitments spelt out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations as a guide for the present and the future so that a more just and equitable world can be bequeathed to future generations.

Mrs. Dorothée Onguene; National Programme Officer at the UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy presented a synopsis of the different UN Conventions such as the one on slavery adopted in 1926, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that no one is to be enslaved or held in servitude. She reiterated that slavery has not completely disappeared, as it is still being practiced through force child labour; forced use of arms by children; sexual exploitation of girls and pornography; with girls being forced to work to settle parents’ debt, domestic slavery. Mrs Onguene stressed that the UN has appointed a special rapporteur on slavery, to report regularly on issues related to slavery and bring help to victims.

Professor Raymond Asombang; Director of the National Museum lauded UN’s continued strives to completely eradicate Slavery. As a way to support this UN initiative, the national museum has also setup an exhibition stand on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade to showcase what really happened during the transatlantic slave trade, with light thrown on the phenomenon in Cameroon such as Bimbia, Bangou and Bapa slave markets.

During the question and answer session, questions asked with satisfactory answers from panelists included:

  • What is the real contribution of the UN towards eradicating aspects of slavery that still exist in Cameroon?
  • What were the sanctions taken by the UN in relation to what happened in Libya?
  • What has African states or Individuals done to eradicate this practice?
  • Does the commemoration of slavery and transatlantic slave trade not instead open up old wounds?

UNIC Yaounde provided information kits to the over 105 participants at the event containing: the UNSG’s message, brief presentation of slavery and slave trade, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notebooks, storyline of the movie, etc… UNIC equally mobilized journalist to cover the event such as Ariane TV, Cameron Radio and Television, The Post Newspaper, Cameroon Tribune, Canal2 Television, Camer.be.

2. Poster Exhibition on the «A Legacy of Black Achievers»

Participants were led on a guided tour of the 25 posters exhibited at the entrance of the National museum in both English and French on the theme “A Legacy of Black Achievers”. UNIC’s Jean Njita presented a summary of the exhibition before delving into a poster by poster presentation, highlighting the achievements of each of the 23 notable personalities, and called on participants to emulate these models by working hard and excelling in their education, for they could achieve these things, then they also can.

One UN stand to celebrate Cameroonian Youths on 06 February 2018 at the National Museum

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education organized a “Youth village” as part of commemorative activities for the 52nd National Youth Day on “Youth, Multiculturalism, Peace and National Unity” at the national museum. The UN System mounted a stand with documents on the role of youths in achieving the SDGs, from UNIC, UNESCO, WHO, UNV, UNDP, UNICEF with UNFPA as lead.

UNFPA Representative Barbara Sow welcomed Minister Mounouna Foutsou to the UN Stand, stressing UN’s support to government’s determination in building a responsible youth.

 

UNIC’s Jean Njita and WHO’s Barbara Etoa presented UN‘s activities for youths, using key documents displayed on the stands, with some handed to the minister and his entourage.

This official launch of the youth village which brought over 1000 pupils, students, youth activist and promoters from different parts of the Centre region, grouped over 200 local and international institutions. Dance groups were also present to add pump, colour and fun to the event.

Objectif 7 : Garantir l’accès de tous à des services énergétiques fiables, durables et modernes, à un coût abordable

L’énergie est au centre de presque tous les défis majeurs, mais aussi des perspectives prometteuses, qui se présentent au monde aujourd’hui. Qu’il s’agisse d’emplois, de sécurité, de changement climatique, de production de nourriture ou d’accroissement des revenus, l’accès de tous à l’énergie est essentiel.

L’énergie durable est une opportunité pour transformer les vies, les économies et la planète.

Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Ban Ki-moon, conduit l’initiative Energie durable pour tous, qui vise à assurer un accès universel aux services énergétiques modernes, améliorer les rendements énergétiques et accroître l’utilisation des sources d’énergie renouvelables.

Faits et Chiffres

  • Une personne sur cinq n’a pas accès à l’électricité moderne.
  • 3 milliards de personnes dépendent du bois, du charbon ou des déchets animaux pour la cuisson et le chauffage.
  • L’énergie est le principal facteur contribuant au changement climatique, ce qui représente environ 60 pour cent des émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre
  • Réduire l’intensité du carbone dans la production de l’énergie est une cible-clef des objectifs climatiques à long terme.

Targets

7.1 D’ici à 2030, garantir l’accès de tous à des services énergétiques fiables et modernes, à un coût abordable,

7.2 D’ici à 2030, accroître nettement la part de l’énergie renouvelable dans le bouquet énergétique mondial,

7.3 D’ici à 2030, multiplier par deux le taux mondial d’amélioration de l’efficacité énergétique,

7.a D’ici à 2030, renforcer la coopération internationale en vue de faciliter l’accès à la recherche et aux technologies relatives à l’énergie propre, notamment l’énergie renouvelable, l’efficacité énergétique et les nouvelles technologies relatives aux combustibles fossiles propres, et promouvoir l’investissement dans l’infrastructure énergétique et les technologies relatives à l’énergie propre,

7.b D’ici à 2030, développer l’infrastructure et améliorer la technologie afin d’approvisionner en services énergétiques modernes et durables tous les habitants des pays en développement, en particulier des pays les moins avancés, des petits États insulaires en développement et des pays en développement sans littoral, dans le respect des programmes d’aide qui les concernent.

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Energy

Message du Secrétaire général de l’ONU à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la tolérance zéro à l’égard des mutilations génitales féminines

Les mutilations génitales féminines sont une violation grave des droits fondamentaux des femmes et des filles.
Plus de 200 millions de femmes et de filles sont victimes de mutilations génitales féminines dans 30 pays répartis sur trois continents.

En l’absence d’une action concertée et rapide, ce chiffre pourrait augmenter de 68 millions d’ici à 2030.

La volonté politique a permis de remporter des succès dans plusieurs pays, mais ces progrès ne suffisent pas devant le rythme de la croissance démographique. Nous devons agir maintenant, de crainte que le nombre de cas ne continue d’augmenter.

Le développement durable ne pourra pas être atteint sans le plein respect des droits fondamentaux des femmes et des filles. L’objectif de développement durable no 5, axé sur l’égalité des sexes, appelle à l’élimination des mutilations génitales féminines d’ici à 2030.

En collaboration avec l’Union européenne, l’ONU a lancé l’initiative Spotlight, un projet pluriannuel mondial, dont le but est d’établir des partenariats solides et de coordonner l’élimination de toutes les formes de violence à l’égard des femmes et des filles, notamment des mutilations génitales féminines.

La dignité, la santé et le bien-être de millions de filles sont en jeu ; il n’y a pas de temps à perdre. Ensemble, nous pouvons et devons mettre fin à cette pratique néfaste.

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Message for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

6 February 2018

Female genital mutilation is a gross violation of the human rights of women and girls.

Over 200 million women and girls alive today have experienced female genital mutilation in 30 countries across three continents.

Without concerted, accelerated action, a further 68 million girls could be subjected to this harmful practice by 2030.

With strong political engagement, we are seeing success in several countries. But this progress is not enough to keep up with population growth. Unless we act now, the number of cases will continue to rise.

Sustainable development cannot be achieved without full respect for the human rights of women and girls. Sustainable Development Goal 5, with a focus on gender equality, calls for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030.

Together with the European Union, the United Nations has launched the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year undertaking that aims to create strong partnerships and align efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation.

With the dignity, health and well-being of millions of girls at stake, there is no time to waste. Together, we can and must end this harmful practice.

Joint Statement : A race against trends

Statement by UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta H. Fore on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

NEW YORK, 6 February 2018 – “Female genital mutilation is many things: A violent act that causes infection, disease, childbirth complications, and even death. A cruel practice that inflicts lasting emotional harm and preys on the most vulnerable, least powerful members of society – girls between infancy and age 15. A violation of human rights that both reflects and perpetuates the low status of girls and women in too many places. A drag on the well-being of communities and economies.

“Yet it is also something that can be stopped.

“Around the world, momentum to eliminate female genital mutilation is building. Political will, community engagement, and targeted investment are changing practices and changing lives.

“In countries where UNFPA and UNICEF work jointly to end female genital mutilation, girls are one third less likely to undergo this harmful practice today than they were in 1997. More than 25 million people in some 18,000 communities across 15 countries have publicly disavowed the practice since 2008. Globally, its prevalence has declined by nearly a quarter since around 2000.

“This is good for girls and young women themselves; it is also good for their families and communities. Girls who are not subjected to the practice tend to grow up to be healthier and have healthier children. They are often better educated, earn higher incomes and are more empowered to make decisions about their own lives. Communities and countries that confront the harmful practice and commit to changing it reap commensurate benefits.

“This is the good news. Yet population trends in some of the world’s poorest countries where female genital mutilation persists threaten to roll back our progress.

“By 2030, more than a third of all births worldwide will be in the 30 countries where female genital mutilation is practiced. Without accelerated progress to protect the growing number of girls at risk of this harmful practice in these countries, millions of girls could be cut by 2030.

“It is unconscionable that these girls should be added to the 200 million women and girls in the world today who have already endured female genital mutilation. Who already bear the scars, or suffer related complications, or relive harsh memories of pain and betrayal. Nobody – not the girls, their families or communities – benefits economically or socially in unequal societies where such violence against girls is accepted.

“We know how to change this. We have seen that rates of female genital mutilation can drop rapidly in places where the issue is taken on wholeheartedly – by governments, by communities, by families. Where social norms are confronted, village by village. Where medical professionals come together to oppose the practice and refuse to perform it. Where laws are enacted to make it a crime – and where those laws are enforced. Where wider access to health, education, and legal services ensure sustainable change. Where girls and women are protected and empowered to make their voices heard.

“The Sustainable Development Goals recognize that female genital mutilation undermines progress towards a more equal, just, and prosperous world. They set an ambitious target of eliminating all such harmful practices against girls and women by 2030.

“Given the rising number of girls at risk, this is a race against trends. But with increased investment and redoubled political commitment, with greater community engagement and more empowered women and girls, it is a race that can be won. And because it can, it must.

“It is high time to eliminate female genital mutilation from the face of the earth forever. It is a task for all of us, and for our common future.”

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Objectif 5 : Parvenir à l’égalité des sexes et autonomiser toutes les femmes et les filles

Des progrès ont été accomplis dans le monde entier en matière d’égalité des sexes dans le cadre de la réalisation des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (notamment l’égalité d’accès à l’enseignement primaire pour les filles et les garçons), mais les femmes et les filles continuent de pâtir de discrimination et de violences dans toutes les régions du monde.

L’égalité des sexes n’est pas seulement un droit fondamental de la personne, mais aussi un fondement nécessaire pour l’instauration d’un monde pacifique, prospère et durable.

Garantir l’égalité d’accès des femmes et des filles à l’éducation, aux soins de santé, à un travail décent et à la représentation dans les processus de prise de décisions politiques et économiques nourrira l’instauration d’économies durables et sera bénéfique aux sociétés et à l’ensemble de l’humanité.

Faits et Chiffres

  • Environ les deux tiers des pays des régions en développement ont atteint l’égalité des sexes dans l’enseignement primaire.
  • En Asie du Sud, en 1990, seulement 74 filles ont été inscrites à l’école primaire pour 100 garçons qui l’ont été. En 2012, les taux de scolarisation étaient identiques pour les filles et les garçons.
  • En Afrique subsaharienne, en Océanie et en Asie occidentale, les filles rencontrent encore des obstacles pour entrer à l’école primaire et secondaire.
  • En Afrique du Nord, les femmes représentent moins de 20% de l’emploi salarié dans le secteur non agricole. Dans le reste du monde, la proportion de femmes dans l’emploi salarié hors secteur agricole a augmenté de 35% en 1990 à 41% en 2015.
  • Dans 46 pays, les femmes occupent aujourd’hui plus de 30 % des sièges dans au moins une chambre du Parlement national.

Cibles

5.1 Mettre fin, dans le monde entier, à toutes les formes de discrimination à l’égard des femmes et des filles

5.2 Éliminer de la vie publique et de la vie privée toutes les formes de violence faite aux femmes et aux filles, y compris la traite et l’exploitation sexuelle et d’autres types d’exploitation

5.3 Éliminer toutes les pratiques préjudiciables, telles que le mariage des enfants, le mariage précoce ou forcé et la mutilation génitale féminine.

5.4 Faire une place aux soins et travaux domestiques non rémunérés et les valoriser, par l’apport de services publics, d’infrastructures et de politiques de protection sociale et la promotion du partage des responsabilités dans le ménage et la famille, en fonction du contexte national.

5.5 Garantir la participation entière et effective des femmes et leur accès en toute égalité aux fonctions de direction à tous les niveaux de décision, dans la vie politique, économique et publique.

5.6 Assurer l’accès de tous aux soins de santé sexuelle et procréative et faire en sorte que chacun puisse exercer ses droits en matière de procréation, ainsi qu’il a été décidé dans le Programme d’action de la Conférence internationale sur la population et le développement et le Programme d’action de Beijing et les documents finals des conférences d’examen qui ont suivi.

5.a Entreprendre des réformes visant à donner aux femmes les mêmes droits aux ressources économiques, ainsi qu’à l’accès à la propriété et au contrôle des terres et d’autres formes de propriété, aux services financiers, à l’héritage et aux ressources naturelles, dans le respect du droit interne.

5.b Renforcer l’utilisation des technologies clefs, en particulier l’informatique et les communications, pour promouvoir l’autonomisation des femmes.

5.c Adopter des politiques bien conçues et des dispositions législatives applicables en faveur de la promotion de l’égalité des sexes et de l’autonomisation de toutes les femmes et de toutes les filles à tous les niveaux et renforcer celles qui existent.

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Gender equality and women’s empowerment

Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemorated in Yaounde, Cameroon

“I lived to see my father wake up sometimes screaming in the night out of trauma from atrocities and torture of the holocaust”.   H.E Ran Gidor; Ambassador of Israel to Cameroon and the Central African Republic,                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JmXuhFzZII&feature=youtu.be

The 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Day was commemorated in Cameroon on 26 January through an educational outreach event organized by UNIC Yaounde, on the theme: “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility”, with students of Lycee Bilingue de Nkol-Eton and English High School, Yaounde.

  1. Panel discussion on the theme

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita emphasized that youths are a privileged segment ,because they are the most exposed to discriminatory ideas on the internet and the social media. “Increasing students’ awareness of the power of technology and the use that can be made of it is another way of addressing contemporary problems of human rights violations… given the profound changes in technology in recent years…

His Excellency Ran Gidor; Ambassador of Israel to Cameroon and the Central African Republic, reiterated everyone’s commitment in advocating for peace, as he narrated the story of his father who experienced the war at the age of 10 and who till date still have scars of the Holocaust. He pointed out that genocide generally stems from hate, differentiation and racism either against religion, race, culture, looks, social status, and further encouraged youths to denounce such vices and called for tolerance.  He emphasized “I lived to see my father wake up sometimes screaming in the night out of trauma from atrocities and torture of the holocaust

2. Film screening the « Children of the Holocaust »,

Participants watched the UNSG’s video message for the 2018 observance, followed by the screening of the movie titled: “Children of the Holocaust”, a 51-minute British film which combines animation and interviews with the elderly survivors who recount their childhood experiences of Nazi atrocities, their escape from occupied mainland Europe to Britain and the impact that this had on their lives.

3. Poster Exhibition on the «Butterfly project: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust»

There was also the exhibition of set of 14 posters (in English and French) on the “Butterfly project: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust”. The exhibition outlines the impact of the Holocaust on children, and showcases an educational initiative called The Butterfly Project, to teach this history to young people, encourage them to remember the 1.5 million children who perished and to stand up against hatred and prejudice.