Category Archives: UN Observance

Nelson Mandela’s Legacy Celebrated at the AGAPE Children’s Home in Yaounde

The United Nations Information Centre partnered with the South African High Commission in Cameroon and the Mobile Telephone Network Company (MTN Foundation) Cameroon to celebrate the 2019 Mandela Day on 18 July 2019 at the Agape Children’s Home, Yaounde.

Bishop Dr. Adjei John Jonas; Promoter of the AGAPE Children’s Home, expressed gratitude to visitors and donors for coming to support the orphans with various gifts, as the world celebrates Mandela Day,

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presented the life, cardinal principles of the man called Nelson Mandela. He further stated why the UN proclaimed 18 July as Mandela day, quoting UN General Assembly Resolution 64/13 adopted on 10 November 2009.

Her Excellency KGOMOTSO Ruth; South African High Commissioner to Cameroon, appreciated effort of promoter of the AGAPE Children’s Home for setting up an impressive orphanage, to cater for the less privileged children. She reminded participants that the humanitarian actions to donate some basic necessities to the kids was in line with UN and the South African directives whereby everyone is called upon to carry out a free and voluntary action to commemorate the hero MADIBA, former President of the free and democratic South Africa. She intimated that “these children, even after 20 years, will remember that we celebrated Mandela Day with them and offered them useful material”. She tuned the song; ASIMBONANGA by Johnny Clegg, to end her speech.

Her Excellency KGOMOTSO Ruth presented the gifts to the children, which included bags of rice, mattresses, sugar, soap, birthday cake…

Event was graced by songs, poems, dances and the presentation of the South African Map, drawn by children of the orphanage.

The message of the UN Secretary General; Antonio Guterres was distributed to all participants, in a kit comprised also of the UNGA  64/13. Mr. Guterres invited everybody to work collectively for peace, stability, sustainable development and human rights.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers commemorated in Cameroon

The United Nations Information Centre, (UNIC) Yaounde, commemorated the 71st edition of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on the theme “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” on 29 May 2019 with students of the Protestant University of Central Africa (PUCA – UPAC) and the media. Guest speaker was Mr. Fotsing Barnabas Aimé; Former UN peacekeeper with the UN Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), with Mr. Ngoumbe Zacharie; Secretary General of the Economic and Social Council of Cameroon was the main guest.

Participants observed a minute of silence in honor of UN peacekeepers, most especially the 3 Cameroonians who had lost their lives in the service of peace. This was followed by a projection of the UN Secretary General’s video message. In his message, Mr. Guterres expressed “gratitude to the civilians, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world ….” And emphasized that “UN peacekeeping is a vital investment in global peace and security and we should therefore work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace.”

 Panel talk on the 2019 theme: “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace”

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presented the 2019 theme, highlighting protection of civilians in armed conflict as contained in UN Security Council Resolution adopted Resolution 1270 on 22 October 1999. Mr. Fotsing Barnabas Aimé; Prisons Administrator and former Cameroonian UN peacekeeper shared his experience in the domain of the “rule of law” and transitional justice within the prisons, while serving under UNOCI (Ivory Coast). His job consisted of monitoring and advising prison’s authorities on staff assignment, treatment of detainees, improved conditions of detention, trained and advised prison staff on prison security: https://youtu.be/JxcHXbHRNNs

A documentary on Ms. Gladys Nkeh; a Cameroonian UN Police officer serving as gender Officer with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). The documentary showcased how Gladys partners with local communities in Bangui to ensure security and empower women and girls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BwjOhwr5hw&t=1s

Photo Exhibition on UN peacekeeping operations

UNIC printed over 10 photos of UN peacekeepers at work in peacekeeping missions all over the world such as UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Haiti (MINUSTAH), Somalia (AMISOM), Burundi (OMUB), Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID), DRC (MONUSCO), Central African Republic (MINUSCA), amongst others.

UN Cameroon commemorates the 2019 Holocaust Remembrance Day

“Who will write our history?” is the title of the movie screened during the Educational Outreach Event organised by UNIC Yaounde to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

This  event which brought together students  from La Gaieté School Complex and Lycée de Tsinga, took place at the Muna Foundation on 28 January 2019 and also had the various articulations;

Exhibition on the “Butterfly project: Children of the holocaust,

Educative talks on “demand and protect your human rights”,

Drama/Sketch on the dangers if hate speech, racism and xenophobia.

The message of Mrs Audray Azoulay; Director General of UNESCO on the occasion was read by Mrs Yvonne Matuturu. The UNSG video message was projected. Mr. Guterres echoed that ” now more than ever, let us unite in the fight for universal values and build a world of equality for all.”

UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita presented a brief history of the Holocaust,  how it was carried out by the Nazi regime in Germany and the reason why the UN targets students and youths for the commemoration.

Mr. Simon Seroussi; deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Cameroon harped on the effects of Holocaust on the Jewish people today, and called on the world to shun discrimination and hatred.

In attendance were some  traditional Rulers from the North West region of Cameroon, members of NGO’s, students and journalists etc. Participants were urged to confront and denounce hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity!

Secretary-General’s remarks on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

[Watch the video on webtv.un.org]

I am very pleased to be with you to discuss this essential topic.
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls and to us all, a mark of shame on all our societies, and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
At its core, violence against women and girls in all its forms is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women.
It is an issue of fundamental human rights. The violence can take many forms – from domestic violence to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide. It is an issue that harms the individual but also has far-reaching consequences for families and for society.
Violence experienced as a child is linked to vulnerability and violence later in life. Other consequences include long-term physical and mental health impacts and costs to individuals and society in services and lost employment days.
This is also a deeply political issue. Violence against women is tied to broader issues of power and control in our societies. We live in a male-dominated world. Women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we keep them unequal.
When family laws which govern inheritance, custody and divorce discriminate against women, or when societies narrow women’s access to financial resources and credit, they impede a woman’s ability to leave abusive situations.
When institutions fail to believe victims, allow impunity, or neglect to put in place policies of protection, they send a strong signal that condones and enables violence. In the past year we have seen growing attention to one manifestation of this violence.
Sexual harassment is experienced by almost all women at some point in their lives.
No space is immune.
It is rampant across institutions, private and public, including our very own. This is by no means a new issue, but the increasing public disclosure by women from all regions and all walks of life is bringing the magnitude of the problem to light. This effort to uncover society’s shame is also showing the galvanizing power of women’s movements to drive the action and awareness needed to eliminate harassment and violence everywhere.
This year, the global United Nations UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls is highlighting our support for survivors and advocates under the theme ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo’.
With orange as the unifying colour of solidarity, the #HearMeToo hashtag is designed to send a clear message: violence against women and girls must end now, and we all have a role to play. We need to do more to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
But, beyond that, it is imperative that we – as societies — undertake the challenging work of transforming the structures and cultures that allow sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence to happen in the first place.
These include addressing the gender imbalances within our own institutions. This is why we have adopted a UN system-wide gender parity strategy. We have achieved parity in the senior management group and we are well on track to reach gender parity in senior leadership by 2021, and across the board by 2028.
The UN has also reaffirmed its zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault committed by staff and UN partners. We have recruited specialized investigators on sexual harassment, instituted fast-track procedures for addressing complaints and initiated a 24/7 helpline for victims.
I also remain committed to ending all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and UN staff in the field – one of the first initiatives I took when I assumed office.
Nearly 100 Member States that support UN operations on the ground have now signed voluntary compacts with us to tackle the issue, and I call on others to join them, fully assuming their responsibilities, in training, but also in ending impunity.
Further afield, we are continuing to invest in life-changing initiatives for millions of women and girls worldwide through the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. This Fund focuses on preventing violence, implementing laws and policies and improving access to vital services for survivors.
With more than 460 programmes in 139 countries and territories over the past two decades, the UN Trust Fund is making a difference. In particular, it is investing in women’s civil society organizations, one of the most important and effective investments we can make.
The UN is also working to deliver on a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder, innovative initiative to end all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 500-million-euro EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is an important step forward in this direction. As the largest-ever single investment in eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide, this initial contribution will address the rights and needs of women and girls across 25 countries and five regions.

It will empower survivors and advocates to share their stories and become agents of change in their homes, communities and countries. A significant portion of the Spotlight’s initial investment will also go to civil society actors, including those that are reaching people often neglected by traditional aid efforts.
But even though this initial investment is significant, it is small given the scale of the need.
It should be seen as seed funding for a global movement in which we must play a role.
It is that global movement that we celebrate today, as we look forward to the coming 16 days devoted to ending gender-based violence. Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free of fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world.

Thank you very much.

16 days of activism 2018

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

Orange the World: #HearMeToo, end violence against women and girls

For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions—one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence.

The time for change is here and now.

In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.

This is why the UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo

Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.

Join us! Share your photos, messages and videos showing how you are participating in the campaign at facebook.com/SayNO.UNiTE and twitter.com/SayNO_UNiTE using #orangetheworld and #HearMeToo. For more information about Orange the World: #HearMeToo, see this year’s Concept Note.

Save the date for the UN official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Campagne : Mobilisez-vous #EnBleuPourChaqueEnfant

A l’occasion de la Journée Internationale de l’Enfant le 20 novembre l’UNICEF a lancé une campagne sur les réseaux sociaux. L’UNICEF Cameroun  nous invite à signer la pétition en ligne en faveur des droits de l’enfant.

On the occasion of the World Children Day on November 20th, UNICEF launched a campaign on social networks. UNICEF Cameroon invites us to sign the online petition in favor of Child Rights .

Ci-dessous le lien / Please use the link below:

https://www.unicef.org/fr/journee-mondiale-enfance

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.

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.

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