United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has said that to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the world urgently needs collective action to revitalise the ocean.
Guterres made the assertion on Wednesday in a message to a forum organised by the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) to commemorate the 2022 World Oceans Day in Lagos.
The message of the UN Secretary-General was delivered by Bolanle Olumekor, Knowledge Management Assistant, UNIC, at the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Oceans Day is marked yearly to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean and to also develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
It is also to mobilise and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
The theme for the 2022 celebration of WOD is “Revitalisation: Collective Action for the Ocean”.
According to Gutteres, the world must find a new balance in the relationship with the marine environment.
This, he said, means working together with nature, not against it, and building inclusive and diverse partnerships across regions, sectors and communities to collaborate creatively on ocean solutions.
“Momentum is growing. Last November, the Glasgow climate change conference recognised the role of marine ecosystems in achieving the world’s climate goals.
“In March, countries agreed to work together on a new treaty to end plastic pollution, which is threatening the marine environment.
“Later this month, the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon will focus on scaling up action based on science and innovation for the achievement of SDG 14,” he said.
The Secretary-General said the ocean produced more than 50 per cent of the planet’s oxygen and the main source of sustenance for more than a billion people.
He said ocean-based industries employed about 40 million people, noting that the ocean’s resources and biodiversity were being undermined by human activities.
According to him, it is clear that the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are threatening the health of our oceans, on which we all ultimately depend.
“Ensuring a healthy and productive ocean is our collective responsibility, which we can only fulfill by working together.
“And discussions will continue on a new agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction,” he added.
Also, Mr Akanbi Williams, Director, International Ocean Institute (IOI) in Nigeria said the institute had a mission of promoting education, training and research to enhance the peaceful use of ocean space.
He said IOI- Nigeria continued to successfully promote current issues in ocean governance including Blue Economy, Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, Food Security and Sustainable Trade, among others.
“We are committed to creating awareness on issues such as marine pollution, oil pollution, over fishing and deep ocean mining.
“One of our major activities is the facilitation of Ocean literacy programmes through the education of the populace, especially students on the richness of the ocean and the need for its conservation.”
Williams said that IOI-Nigeria operated at the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) with a number of staff and volunteer experts working towards these goals.
The UN Information Centre (UNIC), Nigeria in collaboration with Media Awareness and Information for All Network (MAIN) on Tuesday, trained Journalists in Enugu on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking on the objective of the training in Enugu, the Chairman, MAIN, Prof. Lai Oso, said the training was aimed at realising 17 SDGs through journalists and media organisations.
According to him, for us to achieve 17 SDGs, media is very vital in sharing the knowledge and its understanding by creating awareness to the public through sustainable journalism.
“The journalists have a role of understanding how these SDGs works and capture its leakages,” he said.
The UNIC National Information Officer, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, in an address, said the training would help increase capacity of Journalists with the knowledge of sustainable high-quality journalistic practice.
This, he said, would aid sustainable reporting with emphasises on economic, social and environmental dimensions.
The Information Officer, however, described SDGs as initiative that improves lives of people today and tomorrow.
He stated that the two-day training would expose Journalists and Media Organisations to the sustainability of the goals through their reportage.
Soremekun listed SDGs as Poverty Alleviation, Hunger, Inclusive Education, Gender Equality, Economic Growth, Industrialisation, Climate Changes among others.
He added that similar programme had been held across other geo-political zones of the country, stressing that no individual or country can achieve SDGs but through collaboration and partnerships.
“Journalists can use any of the SDGs to stimulate and trigger storylines that would better the live of people.
“This will help us do better than we did in Millennium Development Goals,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MAIN is Non-Governmental Organisation that specialises on media research, National Development, Media and Information Literacy, Communication and Advocacy for SDGs.
The United Nations Information Center (UNIC) and Media Awareness and Information for All Network (MAIN) on Tuesday called on journalists to increase integration of sustainability in news reporting.
They made the call at a two-day training of selected journalists on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organised by UNIC and MAIN in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos edition of the training is the fifth so far, with others having held in Kano, Uyo, Borno and the FCT.
The Director of UNIC, Mr Ronald Kayanja, said sustainability involved development that met the needs of this generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.
He said the media was important in realisation of the objectives of SDGs.
Kayanja said also that the 17 SDGs could not be achieved without the active cultivation and cooperation of the media.
According to Kayanja, the media is central to the initiation, execution and public support of any policy and programme of development.
He said it was in realisation of the importance of communication and the media that the need to train, equip and deploy an informed media to achieve SDGs had become imperative.
“To be able to achieve SDGs, we need knowledge and information. There are specific national and regional issues that should be taken on board when discussing the goals in different countries.
“One of the roles of the media is to enable the public to make sense of global change and how this is affecting them.
“The media should also demand accountability from governments at all levels, on progress with the implementation of commitments to sustainability both nationally and locally,” he said.
The Chairman of MAIN, Prof. Lai Oso, said in every contemporary society, the mass media had become the main institution of knowledge creation and meaning making,.
He said that they structured perceptions and sense of social reality.
“The point is that any issue that does not register in the media space may not attract the required attention.
“Also, the way an issue is presented in the media influences public perception, attitude and knowledge, and sometimes policy decisions.”
According to Oso, the main focus of sustainability journalism includes reporting SDGs based on knowledge and understanding, fostering dialogue towards finding solutions to problems, among others.
He emphasised that sustainability journalism recognised the challenges in implementing SDGs and focused attention of empowering the people in highlighting solutions and how to accomplish such.
“Sustainability journalism is similar to solution journalism, development journalism, civic journalism and constructive journalism.
“These forms of journalism believe in using journalism to serve the people and giving voice to the lower class or status social groups.
“These forms of journalism do not dwell on just the negative but put emphasis on solutions and collective action of the people to problem solving,” Oso said.
He urged the media to explore the connections within the context of the three pillars of sustainability — environmental, economic and social sustainability.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has urged investors to trade with caution on the shares of 13 companies for failing to submit financial statements without any explanation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the affected companies include Aso Savings and Loans, Deap Capital Management & Trust, DN Tyre & Rubber, FTN Cocoa and Goldlink Insurance.
Others are International Energy Insurance, Medview Airline, Resort Savings & Loans, Staco Insurance, Standard Alliance Insurance, UNIC Diversified Holdings, Union Dicon Salt and Union Homes Savings and Loans.
The exchange in a statement by Mr Godstime Iwenekhai, Head, Listings Regulation Department, said the defaulting companies failed to meet regulatory deadlines for the submission of their financial statements without any explanation.
The statement said defaulting companies failed to comply with the Exchange’s directives set forth in the Deficiency Filing Notice (DFN) issued to them.
“Investors are advised to trade with caution on the securities of these companies in the absence of up to date financial information on them,” said the Exchnage.
The NSE warned that it may suspend trading on the shares of the companies if they fail to comply with extant rules within the specified period.
According to the statement, the deadline for submission of the unaudited financial statement of the companies became due on June 29, being the extended due date as granted by the Exchange.
“By virtue of non-filing of the unaudited report by the due date, the companies violated extant rules at the NSE which provide that every company shall file its unaudited quarterly accounts not later than 30 calendar days after the relevant quarter,” it said.
It noted that companies were required to publish the financials within five business days after the date of filing, in at least two national daily newspapers, and post it on the company’s website, with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publication.
The rules also required that an electronic copy of the interim financial publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the newspaper publication.
It said the NSE issued deficiency filing notice to the companies notifying them of their violations and mandated them to make public disclosure regarding the violation, the reasons for the violation and possible date for publication of the outstanding financial statement.
According to the Exchange, the defaulting companies failed to comply with the directives in the DFN.
The statement said the Exchange would continue to engage with these companies on the need to comply with post listing requirements.
It, however, warned that it may take additional steps if they failed to comply and file their unaudited financial statements within 90-day cure period by Sept. 27, 2020.
The Exchange said it would send to the aforelisted companies a “Second Filing Deficiency Notification” within two business days after Sept. 27 and suspend trading in the companies’ securities.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
The UN Information Centre (UNIC) has called for more efforts from all Nigerians toward ending the menace of misinformation in the country.
The UNIC National Information Officer, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, who said this at a Webinar on “Overriding Influence of misinformation’’ on the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, described misinformation as a common enemy.
He noted that the world should not continue to spread falsehood, which was orchestrated campaigns, putting lives at risk.
According to him, myth about COVID-19 is global, hence the decision of WHO to build conversations around myth busters and encourage partnership with the social media platforms to counter such spread.
He said such activities through the UN Regional Information Centre, inciting and misleading posts without medical advice had been filtered down and brought down in facebook and other platforms.
Soremekun said the UN body had partnered with celebrities, musicians and comedians to develop contents to reflect true narratives about COVlD-19.
He added that traditional and religious leaders had been engaged with consideration with messages in local languages to pass authentic reports, especially in rural areas.
“One of it is the song by Cobhams Asuquo, which is currently trending. Our programme interventions also consider inclusion as needs of persons with disabilities is looked into.”
He urged Nigerians to play their part to break the spread of misinformation received on their phones or other devices, saying this was the only way to break the cycle of fake news in the country.
Earlier, the WHO Representative, Dhamari Naidoo, said current data on COVID-19 was being collated from the national level situation reports.
She said currently, there was no evidence to show that cloth face masks were effective enough to prevent spread of the virus, but emphasise that the WHO was still collecting data on its effectiveness.
According to her, cloth masks may limit transmission, emphasising that those to be used must adhere to be breathable, and cover the vital areas of the face.
“We know they may limit transmission, we are still gathering data, we must adhere to the requirements that cloth face masks must be breathable, the shape must cover the vital part of the face.
“We are still studying, no one can necessarily say yes or no at this point in time.”
According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by an Infodemic, a spread of disinformation and misinformation, making it difficult for people to get accurate information for informed decisions.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Webinar was organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Felix Ajide (NAN)