Gender Equality, Quality Education and Peace
As UN Week celebrations in Addis Ababa came to an end, UNOAU joined sister UN agencies at Addis Ababa University for a panel discussion that explored SDG 4, 5 and 16. Corresponding to education, gender equality and peace and security, the goals were discussed in an effort to engage youth in dialogue around the work of the UN as well as associated impacts on communities. UNAOU's Chief of Staff, Ms. Nathalie Ndongo-Seh spoke on the need for building a better understanding around the linkage that exists between education, gender and peace. Ms. Nathalie also outlined UN Secretary-General's call for better inclusion of youth on matters related to promoting and sustaining peace and security in the world at large. She encouraged university students to be inquisitive about the work of the UN and the UN Youth Envoy to better understand the roles they can play as youth in helping create lasting and sustainable peace for all, a key foundation for achieving development in African countries in particular. Some of the questions raised by students at the university revolved around existing policies, mechanisms and impact that the UN has achieved, and how youth can utilise these to engage further with the UN. The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie delivered the opening remarks in which she also stressed on the need to educate girls and young women. As it stands, the world loses close to 95 billion dollars every year for lack of effectively including girls and women. Mr. Samuel Kissi, African Union Policy Specialist at UNFPA reflected on the positive benefits that come with educating girls and women noting that African can further harness the demographic dividend by ensuring gender equality. Ms. Zeleka Paulos, a social policy analyst from UNICEF Ethiopia shared the country context of the SDGs. Ms. Letty Chiwara, the UN WOMEN Representative to Ethiopia, the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa moderated the session. The students called for more similar engagements with the UN.