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UN Celebrates Day with Quiz

Oct 28, 2008, 7:16 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

The United Nation system in The Gambia recently called on several schools to compete in a quiz competition set aside for them based on UN's job in the Gambia and in the world at large.

UN has interest in several aspects of its member countries thus helping them to achieve the MDGs set for those countries. They have peacekeepers, peace builders with several other qualified personnel involved in different areas of development in the world.  The UN system in The Gambia deems it fit to gather children from different school, journalists and some top government officials to be part of the it all with speeches from some of those officials. Methodi8st Academy managed to top the quiz and was crowned the champions. Read on and tell the difference to the society as you hear it.

Madam Chinwe M. Dike, the Resident Coordinator of the UN system in The Gambia in her opening statement says, "Today is UN Day and the theme this year is UN4U. The concept being that of information sharing about the UN and its activities that is to be done through schools." She termed the quiz competition as a learning session about the UN and its intervention not only in The Gambia but globally.  UN, she said was established in The Gambia in 1975 and one of its objectives is to support the development efforts of the government of The Gambia in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs she said includes

1. The eradication of Hunger and Extreme Poverty everywhere

2. To achieve universal primary education

3. To promote gender equality and empower women

4. To Reduce child mortality

5. To Improve maternal health

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and their diseases

7. Environmental sustainability

8. Develop a global partnership for development

She further said that among 41 of the heavily indebted countries, 33 have received US$48 Billion in debt relief. "UN agencies are working in close collaboration with governments and development partners to support the people of The Gambia to attain the MDGs. WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO are those involved in the different developments," Madam Chinwe M. Dike said. She urged all to visit www.un.org, to get more facts on the MDGs.

As a youth activity, the SoS for Youth and Sports, Hon. Sheriff Gomez said he was proud to be part of the historic event marking the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of the world great body called the United Nations. He thanked President Jammeh, president of The Gambia and the Resident coordinator Madam Dike for making it possible for him to grace the occasion. "UN since its establishment has championed the cause of human development, peace, prosperity and freedom of all citizens of the world," Hon Gomez said. He went further to name the MDGs.

Hon Sheriff Gomez says, "With these global goals, targets are set at the millennium summit held in 2000 for each goal for attainment by the year 2015 and 2008 is the mid target date. I am proud to inform you that at the mid target date the government of the Gambia through the support of the UNDP had conducted an assessment and a report is produced that outlines the achievements and challenges. I am further pleased to say that the assessment shows mixed results and identified low level of external assistance as promised by the developed world as the biggest challenge for the our attainment of the MDGs by 2015. On the other hand we have done extremely well on the social sectors (health, education, water.) and gender parity."

He said as they join the international community to celebrate this historic and memorable event, they would re-emphasize the government of the Gambia's fullest commitment and unflinching support to the UN family and other development partners for together we achieve this noble goals set by their leaders by 2015.

Hon Gomez said the participating students, will increase their awareness of the Gambia's development concerns and in particular the MDGs. This will further enhance their participatory responsibility to common issues and will further strengthen collective commitment at national level. He thanked participating schools and the Dept of State for Basic Education for an enabling environment.

Delivering a statement on behalf of the SoS for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Pap Sey says, " I am intrigued by the candour in which the very pertinent issues and pathetic calamities and circumstances that beset human progress and development have been articulated. Indeed the Secretary General is right in reminding nations of their civic and moral responsibilities in respect of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular and the need to address and guarantee global public good in general."

Dr. Sey said the message serves as a source of gratification and encouragement for all given that reference has been made to the successes registered thus far in relation to the MDGs. He said that they in The Gambia are convinced of the wisdom embedded in building partnerships within the parameters of good governance and strong leadership. "No doubt, the latest report on progress towards the attainment of the MDGs in the country is encouragingly positive in many respects. E.g. the successes registered in curbing malaria, enhancing gender equality, reducing infant mortality and in battling poverty through strides towards food sufficiency highlight this positivity.

"Culminating the ceremony into interschool quiz competition makes it relevant to observe, with pride, that the education sector is no means way, associated with these successes.  Key among these is the attainment of gender parity at the basic education level within the set timeline of 2005," Dr. Sey said. He further opined that it could not have been possible without the unprecedented expansion of access at various levels of the school system. That the appropriate strategies employed to promote and actualise girls' education exemplifies government's resolve to pursue unwaveringly all the international targets to which they are a signatory. "We are hopeful that the quiz competition will further demonstrate that children in The Gambia are provided with not only broad-based education but also one of quality and relevance to both national and global contexts.

He reassured the gathering that the Gambia government and the education sector in particular, will not falter in pursuing the noble ideas, values, goals and targets to which they have committed themselves.

The quiz competition between, St. Joseph Senior Secondary school, Gambia High School, Marina International, Ndows High, Nusrat High School and Methodist Academy ended in favour of Methodist Academic, Marina International clinching the second position, St. Joseph's Senior clinching the third position followed by Ndows, Gambia High and Nusrat. Certificates were presented by Hon Fatim Badjie, SoS Communication, the UNICEFF Country Representative and another UN personnel. Momodou Sowe, head boy of Gambia High gave the vote of thanks.