Pretoria, 9 March – “Why was there so much hatred towards the Jews?” was one of the questions asked by students during an educational programme on the Holocaust, held in Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm, a poor township south of Johannesburg in South Africa. UNIC Pretoria, together with the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre and the NGO, Education Africa, brought together 250 high school students from various schools around Orange Farm on 29 January 2015 to mark UN Holocaust Remembrance Day and to demonstrate the relevance of the lessons from the Holocaust to their lives. Continue reading
The United Nations Communications Group-South Africa (UNCG) is the common communications platform of the UN system. UN communications specialists and focal points from 12 UN agencies represented in South African met from 3 to 4 March 2015 in Pretoria to plan for the year and also to map out the Group’s shared communications objectives in order to formulate a joint work plan for 2015. The UN Resident Coordinator for South Africa, Gana Fofang, as well as representatives of the Department of Communication and media also participated.The retreat was organized by the UN Information Centre Pretoria in collaboration with other UNCG members.
‘During her recent visit to South Africa, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, took the opportunity to meet with the UN Country Team which comprises heads of UN agencies in South Africa. Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka is based at UN Women Headquarters in New York, but as she hails from South Africa, she takes a personal interest in the work the UN undertakes here. Continue reading
Johannesburg, 27 January – UN Women held a breakfast discussion on Women in Technology on 27 January 2015 in Johannesburg, with the support of UNIC Pretoria. UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, was joined by Honourable Susan Shabangu, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, other government officials and women leaders in science and technology.
The topic of discussion centred around women in technology and the various ways of supporting the next generation in South Africa and globally in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Panelists highlighted the importance of technology for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Continue reading
Johannesburg, 20 November 2014 – The United Nations Information Centre, together with the High Commission of Canada and Constitution Hill opened a photo exhibit on children and armed conflict, titled “Children of War: Broken Childhood” on 20 November 2014.
The launch featured a number of speakers, including a child soldier who shared his story, and the Deputy Regional Representative of the Regional Office for Southern Africa of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Continue reading
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
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
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
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