Category Archives: News

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

“I see potential in myself, but to unlock this potential, I need citizenship.” UNHCR marks first anniversary of #I Belong Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024

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

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 South Africa and Coca-Cola celebrate the accomplishments of Micro-entrepreneurs – iBusiness Journey Yami

Women entrepreneurs celebrating in song and dance at the iBusiness Journey Yami event, Incubation Hub. Photo: UN Women

Women entrepreneurs celebrating in song and dance at the iBusiness Journey Yami event, Incubation Hub. Photo: UN Women

UN Women and Coca-Cola South Africa hosted the iBusiness Journey Yami at Riversands Incubation Hub on 1 October 2015. This event celebrated the accomplishments of female micro-entrepreneurs from South Africa. The event was represented by 150 with more than 17 000 women reached since 2013.

With the support of local implementing partner, Hand in Hand Southern Africa the project seeks to train a total of 25,000 entrepreneurs many of whom are running small retail businesses. They will equip them with business skills, leadership training and mentoring. The programme is part of the Coca-Cola Company 5by20 global project which aims to empower 5 million female entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. Continue reading

“Turn the World UN Blue” Marking the United Nations at 70

What is Turn the World UN Blue initiative about?

To help mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, iconic monuments, buildings, landscapes, museums, bridges, and other landmarks across the globe will be lit up blue – the official colour of the United Nations – on UN Day, 24 October 2015. Join us in the global celebration and choose blue on 24 October by lighting up a landmark in your country. Continue reading

UNHCR branded material engages South Africa and its youth on xenophobia

UNHCR’s efforts to counter xenophobia includes outreach activities in schools. Students from George Khoza High School in Dobsonville, Soweto were recently engaged on the issue through the UNHCR branded comic, Reach Out! Speak Out! Photo: UNHCR/ P. Rulashe

UNHCR’s efforts to counter xenophobia includes outreach activities in schools. Students from George Khoza High School in Dobsonville, Soweto were recently engaged on the issue through the UNHCR branded comic, Reach Out! Speak Out! Photo: UNHCR/ P. Rulashe

As South Africa commemorated Book Week, 07-13 September, a national campaign aimed at promoting a culture of reading amongst the country’s youth, UNHCR engaged some of its teenagers on the issue, xenophobia through a locally produced comic book, Reach Out! Speak Out!

The comic book is one of several educational tools developed and produced for a South African youth audience, usually at the forefront of the xenophobic violence in townships and disadvantaged communities. It is in these communities that refugees and other foreign nationals have established small scale businesses as a means of survival. Continue reading