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
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
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
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
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
DURBAN/GENEVA, 1 December 2015—On World AIDS Day 2015, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, has said that countries are on a countdown to ending their AIDS epidemics and that if swift and effective action is taken over the next five years, one by one they will break their epidemics so that they cannot rebound.
Mr Sidibé made the remarks as he joined the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, at South Africa’s national World AIDS Day event, which was held in the Ugu District of KwaZulu-Natal Province on 1 December.
Introduced by Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health of South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa reflected on what World AIDS Day means to him: celebrating the courage of people living with HIV, evaluating the progress―or lack thereof―of the national AIDS response, recognizing partners and recommitting to the goal an HIV-free generation. Continue reading
On 26th November 2015 hundreds of South Africans and Palestinians came together to commemorate International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at Brooklyn Ster-Kinekor Cinema in Pretoria.
The occasion was marked by the screening of the film “Roadmap to Apartheid”, a historical documentation of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa, as draws parallels with the situation in the State of Palestine.
The event was a joint collaboration between the UN information Centre in Pretoria, the Departments of Arts and Culture, and International Relations Cooperation (DIRCO) and the Embassy of Palestine. Continue reading
From the economic capital of Johannesburg, to Cape Town, South Africa’s most beautiful city, UN Women SAMCO painted South Africa orange in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism.
In Johannesburg, activities started in the morning, as UN Women SAMCO joined forces with Edcon – South Africa’s largest non-food retailer, and the group of which clothing retailer Edgars is a part – to launch the UNiTE Campaign to End Violence Against Women, and Edgars’ own campaign, EDgars UNiTE, turning everything orange in their wake. Continue reading
Residents of the remote township of Dzanani in Makhado in South Africa’s Limpopo Province recently got a boost, with the establishment of a new Resource Centre in their area. UNIC Pretoria visited the township to launch a new UN information corner.
Mutshedzi Foundation walk-in service resource centre hosted the event which was attended by various members of the community including school children and the media. Guests toured the Centre and viewed the display of 800 information products donated by the United Nations including publications, posters, text books, novels, audio and video material. Continue reading
November 29th is observed as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and to mark this day, on the 26 November 2015 United Nations in South Africa has partnered with the Embassy if Palestine, The Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to screen the film – Roadmap to Apartheid . The award-winning documentary about Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be screened at the Brooklyn Nouveau Ster Kinekor Cinema in Pretoria. Roadmap to Apartheid is as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa, as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today. It compares similar laws and tools used by both Israel and apartheid-era South Africa. Continue reading