The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Amb. Smail Chergui and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, H.E.Yun Byung-se signed today, on the margins of the Korea-Africa Forum, a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of Korea’s Pledge of Level II Hospital to the African Union Commission. Korea’s pledge was made during the 2015 UN Peacekeeping Summit.
The two sides agreed to deploy the Level II Hospital in the city of Gao, in Northern Mali. The Hospital will provide service to the Malian Defense Forces and to the civilian populations in the region.
Following the signing ceremony, Commissioner Chergui expressed the AUC deep appreciation to the Government of Korea for this important donation, which will significantly contribute towards strengthening the AU capabilities in deploying Peace Support Operations. He further indicated that the deployment of the Hospital in North Mali will contribute to the efforts of the Government of Mali and the international community in implementing the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement reached in 2015 through Algiers process.
On his part, Korea’s Foreign Minister expressed his country’s commitment to contribute to support the efforts to bring about peace and security in the continent.
The two counterparts also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest and agreed to scale up cooperation and coordination in the areas of peace and security.
Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.
Plans are in high gear for the inaugural United Nations World Data Forum, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, on 15-18 January 2017.
Over 1,000 data experts from more than 100 countries have pre-registered for the Forum, including from national statistical offices, data scientists from the private sector and academia, international organizations, and civil society groups, as well as political leaders and sustainable development advocates. Speakers will be posted online at UNdataforum.org as they are confirmed.
The Forum, which will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Center, will be a unique opportunity for major producers and users of data and statistics to collaborate, launch new initiatives, and innovative solutions to deliver better data on health, education, income, environmental indicators and other aspects of sustainable development. In more than 100 sessions and parallel events, ranging from data labs and interactive knowledge-sharing spaces, to more traditional keynote speeches and panel discussions, all participants will have a platform to contribute their ideas.
“I am confident that the first UN World Data Forum will generate fruitful collaboration across the statistics and data communities, and cutting edge practical solutions to current challenges,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who heads the Secretariat for the Forum. “I also hope it will boost political and financial support and partnerships for improving statistics and data capacity in many countries, to harness the power of data for the public good and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.”
Among many points of discussion, the Forum will feature presentations and data labs focusing on a number of innovative solutions, including:
Other plenary sessions and panels will focus on core issues agreed by the organizing committee, including:
The Forum was agreed by the UN Statistical Commission based on a recommendation by the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert and Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. Improved use of data and statistics will be crucial to achieving the transformational vision of a better future for people and the planet, set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by world leaders at the UN in September 2015. Better data is needed to track progress and inform policy decisions from the local to the global levels. Rapid expansion in new sources of data is creating large-scale opportunities for innovative solutions, which need to be integrated with strengthened official data mechanisms and structures.
The first UN World Data Forum will be hosted by the Government of South Africa and Statistics South Africa, with support from the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A number of partners – including governments, the World Bank, UNICEF, and several civil society organizations and research institutes — are collaborating to organize the Forum.
For Media: Media wishing to cover the Forum should register online as participants in the Media category; there is no deadline for media to register. More information can be found at UNDataForum.org, or follow on Twitter @UNDataForum. Plenary sessions will be livestreamed for broader access. Press briefings are being planned for Johannesburg-based media the week of 9 January, and for media in Cape Town just prior to the Forum. Details will be posted on the Forum website media page.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).
The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation funded UNICEF with a total contribution of €500,000 to strengthen the civil registration system for children’s rights to identify in two regions of Ethiopia: Oromia and SNNPR, in collaboration with the respective regional Vital Events Registration Agencies (VERAs).
The support is crucial as it represents the preliminary condition towards the creation of a fully functional civil and vital registration system of birth, death, marriage and divorce. The funding aims to improve and standardize the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system and contribute to children’s right to identity to protect them from abuse and exploitation, as well as ensure their access to basic services.
The support comes at a critical time in light of Ethiopia’s creation of a fully functional nationwide civil and vital registration system of birth, death, marriage and divorce in August.
The funding aims to improve and standardize the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system and help protect children from abuse and exploitation, as well as ensure their access to basic services.
In addition, vital events registration is an important pre-requisite for measuring equity, monitoring trends, and evaluating the impact and outcomes of broader development programmes, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the signing ceremony, the Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia, H.E. Giuseppe Mistretta stated that “the registration of birth represents the first step towards the recognition of an individual within a society, allowing him or her to access to basic services and protect him or her from abuses and violence. Avoiding anonymity and invisibility, birth registration sets the basis for an efficient planning of the governmental policies and strategies of good governance”.
“All our current and upcoming projects of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Ethiopia are aligned with the priorities and strategies set by the Government of Ethiopia. This initiative’s objectives are also expressed by the Proclamation on Vital Events Registration and National ID (Proclamation No. 760/2012), adopted in August 2012. Coherently with the government strategy, the initiative we are signing today aims at improving the institutional and technical capacity of Regional Vital Events Registration Agency (RVERA) in Oromia and SNNPR to effectively lead and coordinate the registration of vital events” said Ms. Ginevra Letizia, Head of the Addis Ababa Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
Ethiopia has one of lowest levels of birth registration in the world at just 7 per cent. With the new system, however, registration of vital events in Ethiopia has been modernized. From regional up to federal and city level administration, UNICEF is supporting standardisation of registration and certification services, which has been officially launched nationwide.
“UNICEF appreciates the timely contribution from the Italian Government to count every child, and in the process, to make every child count. With proof of age and identity, we can protect every child from diverse child protection concerns including abuse, neglect and exploitation, early marriage, child labour and trafficking, and help them to access basic social services, including education and health,” said Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia.
About Italian Agency for Development Cooperation: the Agency promotes the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequality, the affirmation of human rights and dignity of individuals – including gender equality and equal opportunities. It works also in the field of conflict prevention and support for peace processes. The Italian Development Cooperation has been working in Ethiopia since 1984 in the traditional sectors as health, agriculture and rural development, education, WASH, Private Sector Development and Emergency to which gender and migration were recently added. Visit us at www.itacaddis.it or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @AICSAddisAbeba
About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
A Port Elizabeth-based company, AM Group flew the Eastern Cape flag high at the prestigious South African Premier Business Awards that took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last night where it was announced joint winner of the national Small, Micro and Medium Enterprise (SMME) Award. The awards were hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with Brand South Africa and Proudly South African.
The Managing Director and founder of AM Group, Mr Anda Maqanda (32), could not contain his excitement after being announced the winner of the category with a Cape Town-based enterprise, Computers 4 Kids.
“We are more than excited because the award does not only bring joy to me as the owner of the company, but it’s a source of pride and inspiration to everyone who is part of this business. To be recognised in national awards really means that there is something good that we as a company are doing. This will give us more motivation to continue working harder and growing the business,” said an elated Maqanda.
AM Group, an engineering business specialising in overhead power lines, solar systems, and high voltage substations was also a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category of the awards.
“We knew we were facing a tough competition from other companies that entered the awards from various parts of the country, but to us being finalists in the two categories was an achievement we were content with. To win one of the two was the cherry on top,” quipped Maqanda.
He started the AM Group in 2008 at the age of 24 after quitting his job at Eskom where he worked as a project engineer. His vision to grow the business was never distracted and today the company employs 156 people.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies said the SMME Award acknowledged small, medium and micro business enterprises as a key enabler of economic growth and employment in South Africa.
“The company that wins this award should have illustrated its sustainability as well as future potential to grow and create more local jobs. In all economies of the world, the small business sector is the engine of job creation and South Africa is no exception,” said Minister Davies.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
A review workshop for Civil Service Support Officers (CSSOs) currently deployed across South Sudan to help support public administration, is taking place on Thursday, December 8 at Dembesh Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This workshop will bring together the highly qualified and experienced CSSOs for an annual meeting to share experiences, successes, and challenges of the programme. The CSSOs, as well as representatives from Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development and UNDP, will be on hand to speak to media about the initiative.
The CSSOs come from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda and pair with national local civil servants (or “twins”) to provide mentorship and capacity building, as part of this Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Initiative Project. The ultimate aim is to help build a professional, accountable and impartial public service in South Sudan, which is critical for stability, nation-building and state-building as part of the peace agreement. The project is funded solely by the Government of Norway.
What: Annual Review Workshop for CSSOs of the IGAD Initiative Project
When: Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Dembesh Hotel
For further information, please contact: Kymberly Bays, UNDP, email@example.com and +211 954 396 893.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The United Nations and non-governmental partner organizations launched today in Dakar a US$ 2.66 billion appeal for aid to provide lifesaving assistance to 15 million people across eight countries in the Sahel region.
“The Sahel faces considerable challenges and will remain the site of one of the world’s major humanitarian operations in 2017,” said UN Assistant-Secretary General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, M. Toby Lanzer. “Millions of people still live in conditions of deplorable human suffering. Their lives and livelihoods will be at stake unless the humanitarian community, governments and donors renew their engagement to assist and protect those in urgent need and help these communities become less vulnerable to shocks.”
One in five families in the Sahel continues to be extremely vulnerable and 4.5 million people have fled from their homes. In 2017, more than 30 million people will face food insecurity, of which 12 million will urgently need aid. Malnutrition continues to reach critical levels in the region, particularly in Chad and Nigeria’s northeast, where the prevalence of global acute malnutrition is as high as 30%, which is double the emergency threshold.
“In the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin, where the crisis is most acute, 11 million people require emergency assistance and financial needs have almost tripled since last year. Half a million severely malnourished children need our immediate help to survive. In Mali, the humanitarian situation is stable but remains extremely worrying due to insecurity, “said Mr. Toby Lanzer.
“In Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal, the absence of violence coincided with two relatively good rainy seasons. This has allowed communities, with the help of humanitarian actors, to recover from previous shocks and become more resilient, “said the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator.
“And we must, more than ever, shift ‘from providing aid to ending needs’ because extreme vulnerability in the Sahel is the most visible symptom of the triple crisis of governance, insecurity and climate change that affects this region. The demographic explosion, which will see the region’s population double in the next twenty years, exacerbates the situation still further, “said Toby Lanzer. “UN agencies and their partners are committed to doing everything they can to respond quickly and effectively to the urgent needs of affected individuals, families and communities. And we continue to strengthen our collaboration with governments, development and stabilization actors, without whom humanitarian assistance will continue to be needed indefinitely and at an ever greater cost.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).