Category Archives: News

UNHCR begins relocation of Mozambicans asylum-seekers from congested Kapise village in Malawi

A Mozambican family prepares to be board the trucks for the move to Luwani . UNHCR/K.Shimoh

A Mozambican family prepares to be board the trucks for the move to Luwani . UNHCR/K.Shimoh

Kapise, Malawi 21 April 2016 – This morning, UNHCR started the transfer of nearly 10,000 Mozambicans asylum-seekers from Kapise village located in the south eastern Mwanza district of Malawi. The first convoy transporting 103 people departed Kapise on the 72 km journey to Luwani refugee camp located in Neno district where they will join the group of refugees who have been there since last week.

Heavy rains in recent weeks had previously made the roads impassable, however, with dryer weather, UNHCR, together with other partners, was able to finally begin the transfer today. Because of the road conditions, three heavy duty 4  x4 trucks were retrofitted with benches to carry the passengers. Another two trucks are being used to transport belongings.

On arrival in Luwani the refugees will stay at a transit centre until they are provided with a plot of land and shelter materials to build their own houses.

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UN Country Team on delivering better Results in South Africa

Heads of UN Agencies and Programme Mangers

Heads of UN Agencies and Programme Managers

The United Nations Country Team recently held a three day retreat in the south of Johannesburg at which they focused on two key objectives: to assess the UN’s “fitness for purpose” in the South African context and in view of current work structures, as well as to build on existing cooperation and better engage with the Government on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

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UN Human Development Reports points to gender imbalance in paid and unpaid work in South Africa

The WESP 2016 and the HDR 2015 booklets. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

The WESP 2016 and the HDR 2015 booklets. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

Johannesburg, February, 2016 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa has launched the global 2015 Human Development Report in Johannesburg. Titled ‘Work for Human Development’ the report examines links between work and human development and explores changes between job security, flexibility and demand for skills as well as issues of paid and unpaid work, including care, voluntary, creative and sustainable work.

UNDP Senior Economist Osten Chulu unpacked the key messages of the report including latest data from the 2014 development index in which South Africa is ranked 116th out or 118 countries. Mr. Chulu shared the report’s findings over the years and the dimensions in which the it aims to achieve its goals. Continue reading

Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awareness Event

Ms. Caroline Nyamayemombe of UN Women addresses the crowd. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

Ms. Caroline Nyamayemombe of UN Women addresses the crowd. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

More than 40 women met at the Sandton Holiday Inn Hotel in Johannesburg on January 28 to discuss issues surrounding women’s empowerment. UN Women Multi Country Office in partnership with   private sector groups among them Business Engage and Business Women Association of South Africa hosted a Women Empowerment Principles awareness event for companies and women business association’s members.

Caroline Nyamayemombe of UN Women welcomed guests from different business sectors. She led a conversation on how women have to be versatile and deal with unusual situations in the work place. “Our venue is unusual but as women in business we have to constantly deal with unusual situations,” she said. She reiterated that in order to realize a prosperous Africa the workplace has to show inclusive growth of both men and women. “Our lessons we have learnt and the experiences we have as women are the solutions in growing an inclusive environment,” said Ms. Nyamayemombe Continue reading

Secretary-General appoints Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi of South Africa Force Commander for UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi. Photo: UN

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

2015 in Pictures: A review of some of the year’s major developments

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

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

Marking International Migrants Day in South Africa

Ms. Jane J Mufamadi, CEO of Freedom Park delivering a welcome statement. Photo: IOM

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

UN reveals findings on reasons for violence against women in South Africa

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, United Nations Special Rapporteur during the press conference. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

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

Africa China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference

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

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