Happy New Year, Kenya.
Several milestones in my personal and professional life have made Kenya a cherished place for me. I started my UNICEF career in Rumbek, South Sudan in June 2000, and my rest and recuperation breaks were in Nairobi. In fact Kenya was the first African country I had ever visited and, frankly, it was love at first sight.
On 10 December every year, we celebrate Human Rights Day, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration guarantees a spectrum of human rights that belong to each of us equally, and unite us as a global community and upholds our humanity.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed recently commended “Kenya’s exemplary role in its response to COVID-19 and in advancing Agenda 2030
Amid various global conflicts in the 1980s and 1990s, the International Day of Peace (IDOP) was established to commemorate the strengthening of the ideals of peace globally. Today, peace is not just the absence of conflict, but a key prerequisite for development. It is in recognition of the crucial linkages between peace, respect for human rights and sustainable development that more than 36 indicators for peace were included across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Africa’s demographic boom has been hailed as its biggest promise for transforming the continent’s economic and social outcomes, but only if the right investments are made to prepare its youthful population for tomorrow’s world.
“The vision and promise of the United Nations is that food, healthcare, water and sanitation, education, decent work and social security are not commodities for sale to those who can afford them, but basic human rights to which we are all entitled.” Those were the poignant words of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in a hard hitting speech on 18 July 2020 to mark Mandela Day
Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror
We live in a different world to the one we inhabited six short months ago.
With more than 4 million people infected and over 280,000 dead globally by mid May 2020, Covid-19 has ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of a globalised world to pandemic disease. People are slowly coming to terms with the frightening and heartbreaking death toll, and we are still not out of the danger.
The world commemorated the 75th Anniversary to mark the end of the 2nd World War also called VE Day on 08 May 2020.
With her nation, and much of the world still in lockdown due to COVID 19, England’s Queen marked 75 years since the allied victory in Europe with a poignant televised address. From Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth said, “the wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn’t happen again”.
Sexual and reproductive health and pandemics might seem to be unrelated topics, but large and dense populations are drivers of the high velocity transmission of COVID-19, and there are lessons to be learned for the future.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that now is “a defining moment for modern society. History will judge the efficacy of the response not by the actions of any single set of government actors taken in isolation, but by the degree to which the response is coordinated globally across all sectors for the benefit of our human family.”
Covid-19 infections continue to rise, bringing normal life to a virtualstandstill and causing countries to shut themselves off from the rest of the world.
Many soldiers have seen first-hand the horrors of war and, terrifying though it often was, they knew who they were fighting, and could recognise their enemy.
The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya has jumped to three after the government confirmed two more cases. President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a raft of proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus
Development efforts over the past two decades have seen millions of people freed from poverty and hunger, and inequalities reduced worldwide. This is an undoubted achievement, but is no reason for complacency. The fact is that inequality between men and women, between boys and girls, remains not only a social justice concern, but one of the impediments on development in countries across Africa and beyond. Addressing such inequalities is a duty for all of us, and one which is at the heart of the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on 8th March: Each for Equal
Every year Valentines Day is celebrated with great relish & celebration. People show their affection for another person or people by sending cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love.
A recent opinion piece in the New York Times titled, “Kenya’s New Digital IDs May Exclude Millions of Minorities
” raises an issue that the UN is passionate about: that the pursuit of sustainable development should leave no one behind.
Happy New Year, Kenya. 2020 marks a decade of action towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Peace and development are inextricably linked, with each making the achievement of the other far more likely. This puts the conflict-prevention and development work of the UN at the heart of the agenda in East Africa, but in a multi-agency and programme environment, making meaningful progress is challenging.
As we count down the remaining days to the opening of the Nairobi Summit
or the International Conference for Population and Development(ICPD), I am confounded by how much humanity has managed to simultaneously empower more women than at any other time in history, while at the same time failing to see that ‘women’s issues’ are actually ‘everyone’s issues’.
From the ashes of a tragedy that wiped out almost 90% of the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, an institute called the Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center
(HPC) rose like a phoenix of hope that is pioneering the creation of a global pool of peacebuilders. It is driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development declaration that "there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.”
August 12, marks International Youth Day, and the theme for this year is ‘making education more relevant, equitable and inclusive’, is particularly apt for Africa. Consider this. Every 24 hours around 35,000 African youth are looking for work.