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 ».
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 Todt, presented 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.
“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
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.
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.