UN adjudicators,Helene Hoedl (Director, UNIC Pretoria) and Opia Kumah (Resident Representative a.i., UNDP South Africa) in discussion as they assess the debates, Cape Town, 17 October 2014. Credit/Photo: Leslie
Cape Town, 10 November 2014 – UN staff in Pretoria joined the South African Model UN (SAMUN) 2014 in Cape Town where 36 “born frees” from all nine provinces of the country as well as a team from Namibia came together to take on the roles of UN Member States in three debates over two days.
The generation of South Africans born after the country’s first democratic elections of 1994 are often referred to as the “born frees” as they did not live under apartheid. These students had been selected by UN adjudicators at debates around the country in August.
During the competitions, students engaged in dynamic debates on the controversial issues of “Fracking for natural gas”, “State-sanctioned homophobia” and the “Ebola crisis”, which is currently plaguing several West African countries. Teams of four students (two from a resourced school are matched with two from an under-resourced school) argued their respective UN Member States policies on these issues. Continue reading
Pretoria, 25 October 2014 – UNIC, along with the rest of the UN team in South Africa, joined 70 other diplomatic missions by participating in the annual Diplomatic Fair on the grounds of the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday, 25 October 2014. With the dissemination of information materials, interactive quiz sessions, face-painting for children and a lively display of the work of the UN agencies in South Africa, the UN information tent was very popular with the estimated 8,0000 people who attended the Diplomatic Fair. Organized by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the annual event is an opportunity to showcase the culture and work of the different countries and international organizations accredited to South Africa. Continue reading
Pretoria, 24 October 2014 – The UNIC Library was the venue for a UN staff commemoration of United Nations Day 2014 on 24 October 2014.
The Message of the UN Secretary-General for UN Day was screened, followed by a message from the UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Opia Kumah, on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. UN staff were entertained by the sounds of the Mosaic Choir who also sang ‘Happy Birthday UN’ while a cake was cut. The voice of the youth was represented in an eloquent address by the winners of the South African Model UN 2014 debate from Voortrekkerhoogte High School and Crawford College, Khetoe Tshipala and Manna Storom. Continue reading
Pretoria, 22 October 2014 – Careers Evening
Over 150 university and high school students attended an information session on “Careers in the United Nations”, hosted by the UN Association of South Africa and the United Nations Communications Group at the University of Pretoria on 22 October 2014.
Four UN staff members shared their experiences on how they began their careers in the UN while providing advice to students who will soon enter the job market. Continue reading
UN Information Centre Pretoria National Information Officer Sudeshan Reddy is interviewed by a journalist at the International Day of Peace Concert in Johannesburg, 21 September 2014
Johannesburg, 21 September 2014 – The tranquil grounds of the Heia Safari Lodge on the outskirts of Johannesburg provided the setting for a moving International Day of Peace commemoration on 21 September 2014.
Over 1800 people, including many children, attended a free open-air concert, featuring some of the top South African musicians and bands. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria was once again part of the commemoration, which was organized by the NGO, Peace Starts.
UNIC National Information Officer Sudeshan Reddy delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General for the International Day of Peace. In his remarks prior to delivering the message, Mr. Reddy highlighted the need for ordinary people to mobilise around the cause of peace, to challenge those that perpetuate violence and to support organisations and individuals who are actively promoting peace in their communities. Continue reading
Johannesburg, 20 August 2014 – “How do I get to work for the United Nations” is a common question when the United Nations Information Centre engages with students.
It was thus no surprise that the UNIC Information Stand was popular at a Careers Fair hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 20 August 2014.
For the past nine years, UNIC has been invited by SAIIA to participate as an exhibitor and as an information source at their annual Career Fair which attracts between 200 and 300 students from throughout Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The UNIC interns sourced a wide range of UN information materials which were displayed on an exhibition table in the venue. Most of the materials were disseminated among the interested students – posters, publications, brochures and bookmarks among others. Continue reading
UNIC National Information Officer, Sudeshan Reddy addresses learners on the United Nations while
flanked by UNIC interns at Roedean High School for
Girls, Johannesburg, 7 August 2014
On 7 August 2014, UN Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria National Information Officer Sudeshan Reddy introduced 100 eager grade nine learners at Roedean High School for Girls in Johannesburg to the work of the United Nations.
During a lively question-and-answer session, the learners posed a variety of informed questions ranging from the current role of the United Nations in Gaza, to the reform of the UN Security Council. Three UNIC interns, Alyaa Siddig, Doa Nofal and Leone Opfou, also spoke of their internship responsibilities as they encouraged the learners to take up UNIC internships once they get to university. Continue reading
The handover of the book donation by the UN staff members to the school representatives of Bachana Mokwena Primary School in Garankuwa
“We are very happy to have the United Nations here with us, it makes us feel appreciated and we grateful for your interest and support,” exclaims the Mr. Harry Rapoo, the Principal of Bachana Mokwena Primary School as he receives a consignment of books from the United Nations in South Africa to mark Nelson Mandela International Day. Continue reading
Damian Oakes, South African winner of UN essay competition at UN Headquarters, New York
Pretoria, 30 July – UNIC is proud to announce that Pretoria-resident Damian Oakes was selected as one of the 60 winners of the “Many Languages, One World” (MLOW) essay competition, co-organized by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and ELS Educational Services, Inc.
The winners, who presented their essays at a Global Youth Forum in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York City in June 2014, were chosen from among more than 4,000 students who entered the contest from around the world. The Forum is one of many planned events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN next year. Continue reading
The UNIC Library branded with a large, bright Mandela Day banner
Pretoria, 18 July 2014 – As has been the case since Nelson Mandela International Day was first declared in 2009, the United Nations in South Africa actively participated in commemorating the day in the country that has a unique connection with Nelson Mandela. In the week prior to 18 July 2014, UNIC Pretoria arranged for the United Nations building, located at a busy intersection in central Pretoria, to be branded with a large, bright Mandela Day banner. Continue reading