Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. IOM has current membership of 162 states and is active in 480 field locations across the globe. Together with its partners in the international community, IOM acts to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration governance and to advance understanding of migration issues. IOM aims at encouraging migration inclusive social and economic development, and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants at every phase of the migration cycle. Continue reading
As in previous years, the United Nations Information Service at Geneva will organize a two-week Graduate Study Programme at the Palais des Nations for a group qualified post graduate students from all over the world. The 54th Geneva Graduate Study Programme will take place from 4 to 15 July 2016. Continue reading
Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi. Photo: UN
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi of South Africa as Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
He succeeds Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz of Brazil, who completed his assignment on 2 December 2015. The Secretary-General is grateful to General Cruz for his significant contribution to MONUSCO over the past two and a half years.
Lieutenant General Mgwebi has more than 35 years of national and international military experience. In 1991, he was appointed Director of Special Forces of the South African National Defence Forces and in 1993 Director of Training and Operations. He held the post of Military Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (1995-1997) and he served at Mpumalanga Command (1997-2002), after which he was appointed Director of the South African Army Infantry Formation. Continue reading
A film introducing the Sustainable Development Goals is projected on the UN’s New York Headquarters buildings ahead of a General Assembly summit in September. UN Photo/Cia Pak
Looking back at the year 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon summed it up in two words: “breakthrough and horror.”
On the positive side, as the UN turned 70 it took landmark steps toward charting a better future for people and the planet – adopting, in September, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its 17 goals to end poverty and build peaceful societies.
Then, in December, countries adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change, which after years of negotiations, surpassed expectations, according to the UN chief. “World leaders recognized that we could and must do better than settling for the lowest common denominator. So they reached higher,” he said. Continue reading
Ms. Jane J Mufamadi, CEO of Freedom Park delivering a welcome statement. Photo: IOM
South Africans and the migrant community came together on the evening of December 17 at Freedom Park in Pretoria, to commemorate International Migrants Day which is observed annually on 18th December.
The occasion was marked by a screening of a documentary produced by Aljazeera Television, entitled “African Migrants –what’s driving them to the European Union”. The documentary explores, through first-hand accounts, why thousands of Africans put their lives at risk as they go on a boat journey in search of what they think would be a better and easier living. It is a journey that begins with hope, but often ends in despair. Continue reading
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (forth from the right) with delegates at the Climate Change COP-21 Conference. Photo: UN
Paris, 12 December 2015 – A historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris today. The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives. Continue reading
Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, United Nations Special Rapporteur during the press conference. Photo: UNIC Pretoria
The UN Special Rapporteur on the causes of violence against Women in South Africa, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović today released her preliminary findings at a Press Conference in Pretoria. Ms Šimonović’s report commends the South Africa constitution which guarantees human rights through laws such as the domestic violence and sexual offenses act, but said that the scars from the violence of Apartheid still resonate in the country’s social fabric dominated by deeply entrenched patriarchal attitudes towards the role of women, which makes violence against women and children an almost accepted phenomenon.
Ms Šimonović said her visit to shelters and a detention centre for migrants, where she met with individual victims of gender-based violence revealed stories which made her believe that the women were actually victors not survivors of violence because of their focus on empowerment and the way forward. Continue reading
South Africa’s Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mr Gugile Nkwitini, (fifth from left in front row) and Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu (in blue dress) with senior UN Staff and South Africa/Chinese Government Officials. Photo: UNIC Pretoria
United Nations Diplomats and experts joined senior South African and Chinese Government officials at the start the forum on Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference. The two-day event from December 8 to 9, at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand is a follow up to the recently held Forum for China Africa Cooperation which brought together 49 Africa heads of state and the Chinese Government. Continue reading
Khumbalani Fredrik Ngubane who is stateless in South Africa delivers the key note address at the launch of a photo exhibit at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg as part of the 1st anniversary of the Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024. Photo: UNHCR/G. Bruininkx
24 November 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa – With tears streaming down his face Khumbulani Frederik Ngubane bravely shared the harrowing details of being stateless in South Africa with an audience moved by his story, on the occasion to mark the first anniversary of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024.
Born in South Africa to South African parents – a Zulu father and Xhosa mother – Ngubane has never been recognised as South African citizen having spent most of his childhood abroad. After his father died, Ngubane’s mother took him to Kenya when he was three years old. When he was ten, his mother passed away. He was then taken to Uganda by a family friend. When she died, Ngubane decided it was time to trace his South African roots. Continue reading
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka cutting the ribbon. Photo: UN Women
Johannesburg, South Africa — On December 1st, 2015, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, visited her home country of South Africa, of which she is also former Deputy President.
Coinciding with World Aids Day and 16 Days of Activism, the UN Women Executive Director’s visit was a brightly coloured one, with orange, red and white (the South African Department in Women’s colour for ending violence against women), the palette for the morning’s activities. Continue reading