Call for Application: 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme

Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon meeting with the 2015 Reham Al-Farra Fellows. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon meeting with the 2015 Reham Al-Farra Fellows. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations Department of Public Information is currently seeking applications from South African young journalists and broadcasters for the 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme.

The Programme provides journalists with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the work of the United Nations. It is also an opportunity to meet journalists from other countries and exchange ideas with UN communication professionals. Continue reading

Mid-Term Review (MTR)Terms of Reference for the partnership on health and mobility in East and Southern Africa II (PHAMESA II)

Background information:

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. IOM has current membership of 162 states and is active in 480 field locations across the globe. Together with its partners in the international community, IOM acts to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration governance and to advance understanding of migration issues. IOM aims at encouraging migration inclusive social and economic development, and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants at every phase of the migration cycle. 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

Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change – 195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius

Cop21

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (forth from the right) with delegates at the Climate Change COP-21 Conference. Photo: UN

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

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