Okello Olyem Barks at UN @76, “You have denied us a Seat at The Security Council”

Updated at 0840 EAT on Saturday 06th Nov 2021 By E K Benj @kivumbi, Faith Barbra Namagembe & Joshua Mulindwa

KAMPALA – Uganda on Friday marked United Nations at 76, the celebrations were marked at Sheraton Hotel Kampala with Top officials from UN Agencies, Uganda Government representatives, Diplomats, Civil Societies, Media and other guests.

The official celebrations globally we’re on October 24. United Nations Day is an annual commemorative day, reflecting the official creation of the United Nations on 24 October 1945. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, to “be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for” its work.

In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a further resolution (United Nations Resolution 2782) declaring that United Nations Day shall be an international observance or international holiday and recommended that it should be observed as a public holiday by United Nations member states.

Rt Hon Rukia Nakadama Isanga Speech on behalf of Uganda Prime Minister – Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja

United Nations Resident Coordinator to Uganda, H.E Susan Ngongi Namondo (from Cameroon took up her assignment in June 2021) applauded Uganda for hosting more than 1.5 million refugees ranking it the second world refugee-hosting community.

Uganda’s State Foreign Minister, Hon Okello Olyem was invited to make his keynote address. Okello Olyem began his speech by asking if the head of the UN base in Entebbe is around.

He welcomed the new UN resident coordinator to Uganda who succeeded H.E Rosa Malango, currently in New York at the Headquarters.

He noted that Uganda is among the first countries that embraced and promotes the Sustainable Development Goals however going through tougher times in implementing due to COVID 19.

“If I could respond to some of the issues that are raised here…

And I would like to add my voice on the new success that United Nations has had for years. I have been in this job since 2004 and I must be in a very strong position to charge United Nations on many things which it has done or not done. It has done a lot, but there are some things which we are concerned about. Which is Uganda Africa. And one of them is injustice. The injustice that is within the UN Security Council. Africa has no seat and it is denied opportunities yet almost over several understanding issues discussed at the United Nations…is all Africa.

But the major powers there continue to deny us in all ways possible for us to have our rightful seat at the United Nations where we can articulate as Africans.

“Were requesting for two permanent seats, two rotating seats and vital rights but still, they denied us.

And every time we request and make effort for the opportunity, we are denied. This is our concern to the United Nations. I think any foreign minister in Africa can tell you that we were denied our rightful place in the United Nations.”

Olyem echoed “Its a human rights abuse for UN to deny us a seat at the Security Council”

UN in Congo

“There’s a group called United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in Eastern DRC, they have been there for a long time, for us from Uganda we were there to pacify peace. Recently, some diplomat was killed there, this group is meant to provide intelligence. The diplomat died with two young daughters there, facilities and equipment supposed to be used for protection!”

Olyem noted that MONUSCO takes a lot of budget for peace and security; “It’s useless and it should be removed.”

Guns at young activist

Okello Olyem also “turned guns” on one Kigongo Robert, 34 who held a microphone from the audience and poured views that seemed radical.

Kigongo started calmly saying “76 years ago UN started due to unresolved conflicts, “The League of Nations failed to intervene in Germany aggression in Europe which escalated into World War 2. Uganda is currently souring into effects of conflicts with other parts of Africa but such can be averted if UN intervenes and doesn’t wait for escalation” Kigongo asked; “why do we wait for the situation to worsen, countries to burn to ashes? Here in Uganda young people are demanding change, and it’s inevitable, where are you? Can’t you intervene, Can’t you copy South Africa?”

Kigongo faced South African Envoy to Uganda and asked “How can the UN learn from South Africa?” Since the days of Nelson Mandela, the country has had a peaceful transfer of power. Here in Uganda, there’s demand for change, we don’t need handouts, we don’t need to be bought but a smooth transfer of power.” Kigongo agitated.

To counter Kigongo’s attacks, Okello Oryem stressed he was a son of the president (Born in Chwa County in Kitgum District on 21 January 1960. His late father was General Tito Lutwa Okello (1914–1996), who served as President of Uganda between July 1985 and January 1986) but had to go to a refugee camp in Tabora Tanzania.

“I wore one shirt for 5 years in Tanzania, How many of you spent 3 days without food?”

Olyem expressed disappointment in Kigongo and warned “We shall crush you”

He added, “It’s health to be in opposition but let’s read your minds that you’re planning anything like a coup, we shall crush you totally .”

Speaking to HICGI News Agency exclusively, Kigongo said doesn’t regret his remarks during the UN Day celebration. “I have pain that crucial issues are not discussed during high-level platforms like these.”

Kigongo disclosed that at one time President Museveni kicked him out of a meeting in Lwakitula for radical remarks.

Close associates to Kigongo speaking to HICGI News Agency said Kigongo’s bitterness on the very government he served as a political aide to Former Vice President H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi started when he lost 2 family members by stray bullets in the 2021 election deadly violence in Kampala that claimed close to 100 people when security forces shot to contain riots. Sources indicate, Kigongo’s cousins were innocent and were doing their work at Nasser road when bullets shot them. Since then Kigongo became critical of NRM on social media and isn’t a surprise to take on NRM big wigs as he did.

Focal minister for Sustainable Development Goals and National Resistance Movement- NRM Secretary General Hon Kasule Justine Lumumba said Hon Okello Olyem is lucky because he was a son of a president (Gen Tito Okello Lutwa) in State House enjoying everything yet she Lumumba was in the village and nobody.

Lumumba hailed Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta T Museveni for appointing women in vital posts like hers.

Other speeches at UN Day 2021

Statement by Edwin Muhumuza the President, Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs

Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta T Museveni meets President Youth Coalition for SDGs Edwin Muhumuza. Photo /PPU

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, The Rt. Hon. Minister for General Duties and Focal Point Minister for SDGs, Hon. Ministers and Members of Parliament, Your Excellencies, the Ambassadors, Your Excellency the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Heads of Agencies, Representatives of Government of Uganda Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Representatives, Private Sector Representative, Distinguished Guests, Staff of the United Nations, Members of the Youth Coalition for SDGs, Ladies and Gentlemen.

My name is Edwin Muhumuza. I am the President of the Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs and the Founder & CEO – Youth Go Green Uganda.

Greetings from the Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs! We congratulate the UN Family upon your 76thAnniversary!

3 years ago, the Youth Coalition for SDGs was established under the auspices of the National SDG Secretariat within the Office of the Prime Minister, as a special purpose vehicle of hope for galvanizing youth-led organizations from all regions of Uganda to scale up Sustainable Development Goals with an overarching theme including;1. Stronger partnerships, coordination and collaboration by young people.2. Deeper localization and popularization of the SDGsAgenda by Young people.3. Promoting SDG-focused innovations by all youngpeople.4. Building a leadership culture for all SDGs by young people.

Africa’s population is predominantly made up of young people. Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the World, with 77% of its population under the age of 25years.

Young people are the most precious resource of the region. Africa can only thrive if – the young people – thrive.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including taking into consideration youth inclusion and active participation toward the achievement of the SDGs. These goals present a blueprint for the ways we can collectively take action to improve the lives of millions of people all around the world. To achieve these goals, a fundamental shift is needed.

On 15th September 2021, the Government of Uganda launched a New National SDGs Roadmap, which is expected to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Although this is primarily the responsibility of the Government, there are shared roles for various non-state actors including the youth. To this end, the SDG Secretariat works with the Youth Coalition for SDGs to accelerate the achievement of the goals.

Dear friends and all people of substance listening, the youth Coalition has been able to establish the “ONE MILLION SDGs SOLUTIONS INITIATIVE” where young people share their SDGs led innovations.

The Coalition has attracted over 30 Youth-led organizations operating in different thematic areas such as; Human Capital Development, Gender, Climate Change, Entrepreneurship and innovation, Health, law and Justice, Sports among others.

The coalition is at the forefront of running a massive entrenchment campaign about the SDG targets at grass root levels (local communities) and observing the United Nations Calendar, this is the very reason why I and other young people are present today in this hall.

I would like to encourage all young people of Uganda especially young innovators and entrepreneurs to join this massive Coalition that focuses on providing solutions to the current challenges like unemployment, climate crisis, covid-19 pandemic among others.

Youth-led organizations need to be encouraged and empowered to participate in translating the 2030 Agenda into local actions. Youth play a significant role in the implementation, monitoring and review of the Agenda as well as in holding governments accountable and creating awareness about the SDGs. 

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It is our hope to build partnerships with all stakeholders and development partners here today to work towards leaving no one behind, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, girls and women, children and fellow young people.

The Youth Coalition by conviction shares the same values and commitment with the UN Charter for the last 76 years- on PEACE, DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RIGHTS, JUSTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL which have No Expiry Dates.

Dear young people as we mark UN Day today, despite the COVID-19 pandemic let’s unite behind these ideals including cooperation, self-help, diligence also endeavour to live to the full promise and hope invested in us for a better and enlightened Future.

Lastly, we encourage fellow young people to get connected like never before and contribute to the resilience of our communities while proposing innovative solutions to attain sustainable development.

NB: The Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs will be officially launched at the end of November, 2021during our 1st National Youth SDGs Conference.

Thank you!

Speech by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Timor – Leste

Your Excellency Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Honourable Ministers, State Secretaries and other National and Municipality-level government officials, Members of the National Parliament, Excellencies Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, National and International Partners, Members of the Media, Members of the UN Family, All Protocols Observed,

Good afternoon! Dear Friends,

Last year, in the midst of the global pandemic, we marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. “We the Peoples” of the United Nations renewed our joint commitment to strive together to deliver the promise of the UN Charter: to secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet. The continued relevance of multilateralism was also reaffirmed, while there was a shared recognition that the United Nations as a unique multilateral system needs to consistently strive to more inclusive, better networked and more effective.

One year on, we celebrate the 76th anniversary of the United Nations. The global pandemic is still with us, lives are continuing to be lost, and the health and wellbeing of people – particularly the vulnerable – continue to be affected. The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 is acutely felt everywhere, and inequalities between nations and within countries are growing. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all those who have made great efforts throughout the past year to address the impacts of COVID-19 and to pay my respects to those who have lost family members, friends and colleagues this year. 

We all know that we must quickly come to terms with climate change as the new normal. The impacts of climate change are felt everywhere, including in Timor-Leste, where in April this year, we experienced the worse flooding in recent history. These disasters will continue to occur, and we are acutely aware of the vulnerability of Timor-Leste to such disasters as a small island developing state. 

But I don’t want to infer that all is doom and gloom. Far from it. Throughout both the COVID-19 pandemic and the April floods response, we have witnessed a remarkable level of solidarity and compassion – starting at the community level, all the way up to the Government and the friends of Timor-Leste, many of you are here today. Amidst global vaccine inequality, Timor-Leste received – and continue to receive – COVID-19 vaccines. Under the strong leadership of the Government, with support from the partners including the UN, vaccine coverage in Timor-Leste is increasing daily. As of 19th October, nearly 70% of the eligible population received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, providing them with a degree of protection from the virus. This is something that Timor-Leste and its friends can – and should – be proud of.

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Similarly, during the floods response, the first respondents were the neighbours and local communities helping each other. The Government, all sectors of society, national and international partners came together to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance. 

As I look to the coming year, the word that comes into my mind in action. First, of course, is climate action, and this involves a set of actions (and changes in our lifestyles) that all of us will need to take, urgently and consistently – every single day. As the Timor-Leste delegation sets out to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the United Nations stands firm to continue to support the Government and people of Timor-Leste to take concrete actions on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

Second are a set of actions related to countering the increase in inequalities and ensuring that the COVID-19 recovery is inclusive, with the active participation of women, youth, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, to harness the full potential of every person everywhere. 

Third, are a set of actions related to ending violence against women and girls. Globally, including in Timor-Leste, violence against women and girls was a pandemic even before COVID-19. Emerging global data and global reports have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified during COVID-19. In a month’s time, we will be marking the annual 16 days of activism. But I’d like to say today: it’s not just 16 days. We need to act to end violence against women and girls every single day, for 365 days, until no woman, no girl feels threatened or unsafe.

These are only three areas of action that we need to focus on. We need to change gear, to accelerate our collective efforts in all these areas. It is not easy. But the solidarity and the sense of shared responsibility we have witnessed this year gives me some reasons to be optimistic for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all. 

The 2030 Agenda’s promise of ‘Leaving No One Behind, For People and For Planet’ must guide us in making difficult policy choices and taking bold decisions and actions based on the spirit of global solidarity and shared responsibility. We must work to advance public goods and take decisive climate actions. We must also focus on greener/bluer economic recovery, resilience, social services, and social protection systems.

I have always said that challenges can make or break nations. Timor-Leste is a challenge-hardened nation. In the era of COVID-19 and emerging climate emergencies, this is an opportune time for us to renew our collective commitment to the vision of tolerance, universal human rights, peaceful co-existence, and promotion of inclusive socio-economic growth, as set out in the UN Charter. 

I firmly believe this is what the United Nations is all about. Today, on the occasion of the 76th anniversary, I ask everyone to join hands and to reassure the people and Government of Timor-Leste, that the United Nations not only stands with you but also that the United Nations belongs to you. 

Obrigado barak and thank you all!Primary country

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