Heroes of UN

Jean-Pierre Lacroix

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations


Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix is the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. A superhero in peacekeeping

With 25 years of political and diplomatic experience, Mr. Lacroix was voted to take over the position , it demands a high focus on multilateral organizations, and on United Nations activities and programmes.

From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Lacroix served as Director for United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophonie at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His last positions also include Ambassador of France to Sweden, Chief of Protocol of France, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in New York, Deputy Chief of Mission at the French Embassy in Prague and First Secretary then Second Counsellor at the French Embassy in Washington.

He also honored as Advisor at the Cabinet of the French Prime Minister.

Bintou Keita

Assistant Secretary-General for Africa


Ms. Bintou Keita is currently the Assistant-Secretary General for Africa.

Joined the United Nations in 1989.  She served as Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) since 2015 to 2017. In her last appointment, she was appointed as the Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone, Chief of Staff and Director of Operations for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

Ms. Keita has also taken part in several leadership management role with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Burundi and the United States.  Prior to 2010, she was Deputy Executive Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi. She has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canadian International Development Agency in Guinea.


Paul Nzegha Mzeka

Founder of ANCO (The Apiculture and Nature Conservation)

Born and raised in the rainforest, Paul N. Mzeka has a deep affection  to the existence of forest and trees. He strongly believes his love for them influenced his preference for his career track throughout his life, ending in his profession as a geography teacher.

In 2000, his dedicated team decided to change the name of the organization from NOWEBA to ANCO, the Apiculture and Nature Conservation.

Mr. Mzeka and his dedicated team have supported 30 communities to preserve their watersheds and protect over 4 community forests . In the process, his team has planted a total of 685,000 trees, which is closing up to the target being to reach a million trees before 2013.



PaULO Adario

Guardian of the Amazon


Like Mr. Paul Nzegha, Paulo Adario has been the guardian of the Amazon for the past decades.

His intensive research has contributed largely to the forest and trees safety, his work exposed the timber industry as the first in a number of drivers of destruction in the Amazon rainforest.

In 2001, despite low resource, he led his research team to support the Deni tribe liberty and protect their own land, resulting in a large scale protection of 1,6 million hectares of pristine forest. Mr. Adario also introduced new concepts, such as the ”Green Wall” to describe the network of protected areas and  put and end to the northern encroachment of industrial development. He also started the ”Zero Deforestation” movement – which is a set of political, social and economic initiatives, focus on eliminating deforestation while ensuring the improvement of living conditions of the citizens.

The impacts of his work attracted death threats from forest criminals across the Amazon. Under the circumstance, Mr. Adario persisted and providing framework for bilateral agreements with industrial companies to stop illegal destruction The resulting Soya Moratorium and cattle industry agreements are still in place today.


Zoya Rouhana

Co-founder of “KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation”


Zoya Rouhana, a Lebanese women’s rights activist who has been so persistent to fight against sexual violence on women. For over 30 years, she has worked tirelessly to strengthen women’s and girls’ protection against sexual gender-based violence.

She is the co-founder and managing director of “KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation”, one of the leading NGOs in Lebanon known for their supportive community to sexual violence survivors’ and an advocate against sexual violence. UNDP and UNFPA are currently working with KAFA on a two-year project funded by the UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, which aims to reform the capacity of the Lebanese law enforcement to be more responsive on sexual violence cases.  


Rebecca Gyumi

Founder of Msichana Initiative


Gyumi is the founder of the Msichana Initiative in Tanzania, a local NGO that advocates for girls' right to education.

As prestige lawyer, Gyumi won a landmark case in 2016 on child marriages after petitioning against the 1971 Tanzania Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married.

For her work on girls' rights, the 31-year-old won the UNICEF Global Goals Award in 2016 and was named Woman of the Year by New African Women magazine.


Norbert Bisimwa Yabe Ntaitunda

Lawyer for the South Kivu Bar Association


The South Kivu Bar Association is a free juridical clinics for the poor. Norbert is currently working on the Kavumu Trial of crimes against humanity, for rape perpetrated against 46 minors and the possession of weapons of war.

“I am the father of nine children, including seven girls. I could not bear that any of my daughters should ever be a victim of sexual and gender-based violence.”

As a lawyer with the bar of South Kivu, Norbert offers free consultations to the poor in need of legal assistance. His office recently partnered with UNDP for the Tupinge Ubakaji Project. A public hearing was organized in Luvungi and another in Walungu on the issues of sexual and gender-based violence. Several lawyers have been committed to assist the victims.



Dr. Ivonne Baki

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador


“If we don’t do something soon, it’s the humans who are going to pay the price,” says former Ecuadorian Secretary of State and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Ivonne Baki.

Mitigating conflict between warring states and promoting international collaboration has always been her best interest.

She led the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, a novelty proposal by the President of Ecuador to protect the Yasuni National Park from oil extraction. By trying to create a framework that is more collaborative alternative to the Kyoto Protocol, Baki demonstrates her passion for making global issues relevant to the whole community



Aljazeera. (2018, October). Aljazeera. Retrieved from UN names Human Rights Prize winners for 2018: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/names-human-rights-prize-winners-2018-181026150036334.html

Davidson, L. (2018, November). Climate Heroes. Retrieved from ECUADOR, GOING AGAINST THE FLOW: https://climateheroes.org/heroes/ecuador-going-against-flow-new-form-conservation/

United Nation. (2017, September). United Nations Peacekeeping. Retrieved from Leadership: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/leadership

United Nation. (2018, October). United Nations Forum on Forest. Retrieved from Forest Heroes: https://www.un.org/esa/forests/outreach/forest-heroes/index.html

Smart China

Why Is China Growing So Fast?

In 1978, after years of state control of all productive assets, the government of China embarked on a major program of economic reform. In an effort to awaken a dormant economic giant, it encouraged the formation of rural enterprises and private businesses, liberalized foreign trade and investment, relaxed state control over some prices, and invested in industrial production and the education of its workforce. By nearly all accounts, the strategy has worked spectacularly.

China now also plays an important role in the international development. Chinese trade have expanded largely and opened widely with the world. Trade has become the key element contributing to the rise of China’s economy. After the control of Communist in 1949, China's trade marked a slight transformation into the modernization yet still disorganized. Until 1978, the world observed an incredible improvement in China's commodity and economic transaction. Furthermore, Chinese government aimed to build a socialist market economy which is a combination of planned economy and market mechanisms. The alteration resulted in the expansion of China's trade in both domestic and foreign institutions as well as the more investment in the economic development. Later, multinational companies made their first step in transferring technology by cooperating with Chinese associations in order to develop their businesses in China. The participation of China in World Trade Organization in 2001 has signified a significant change in China’s economy which has brought many opportunities to the country.

Why the Productivity Boom?

The reforms also gave greater room for private ownership of production, and these privately held businesses created jobs, developed much-wanted consumer products, earned important hard currency through foreign trade, paid state taxes, and gave the national economy a flexibility and resiliency that it did not have before.

By welcoming foreign investment, China's open-door policy has added power to the economic transformation. Cumulative foreign direct investment, negligible before 1978, reached nearly US$100 billion in 1994; annual inflows increased from less than 1 percent of total fixed investment in 1979 to 18 percent in 1994. This foreign money has built factories, created jobs, linked China to international markets, and led to important transfers of technology.

How Tech Revolution Begins ?

  • Research and Development

With huge rise of capital investment and productivity, it has made Chinese government to encourage 'Research and Development' (R&D) in the country. Many multinational companies have constructed R&D centers which functions as a model to motivate Chinese companies and creates skilled labors. The Chinese rendition of Quantitative Facilitating (QE) produced gigantic assets to be directed toward growing Research and development; hiring overseas Chinese and foreign experts, importing high-tech capital goods as well as buying out foreign technological patents and licenses. In 2018, China’s total spending on R&D rose a robust 12.3% last year to a record 1.76 trillion yuan ($254 billion), according to a government report released yesterday. Already second in the world in R&D spending behind the United States, China has narrowed the gap.

  • Intellectual property and innovative technologies

Especially, the intellectual property has become more important in the development of Chinese trade. In 2015, the budgets China provided to pay for intellectual property were 22 times higher than those it received from the rest of the world. These government initiatives are matched with the unprecedented amount of fiscal and financial resources made available in the post-2008 period. Statistically, China became the nation with the highest number of filed patent applications in 2011. Furthermore, the percentage of patents applications in China registered by Chinese companies rose from less than 52% in 2006 to nearly 73% in 2010. Chinese government aims to transform the economy from "Made in China" to "Designed in China" and from contract manufacturing to having profitable brand name companies. Especially, Made In China 2025 is the lead program to tackle the trade barrier which refrain China from accessing to important foreign technology.  China’s internal market, now with 1.4 billion consumers and a per capita income of $8,000+ in nominal U.S. dollars and $15,000+ in PPP U.S. dollars, is also a blessing to innovation in many ways. The huge market size and the potential size enable China to acquire foreign technology as well as pursue the expensive technologies such as CPU chips, nuclear energy, and aviation and space technologies. In many years, the electronics were copied in China which contributed to the unfriendly image of Chinese products and China is called “copycat” nation. However, “Designed in China” becomes the main aim of the government in order to build the better commodity in the country. The local government is trying to build the better image of China’s economy. Many of the cheap electronics dealers packed up their boxes, while new technology businesses moved into refurbished office spaces: startups, investors and even patent lawyers.

With the remarkable development, China is predicted to surpass America in the future. Can they achieve their dream to be the most leading cutting-edge technological country? However, at the moment, China deserves the recognition as a Smart China and as a leader in the technological revolution over the world.


Larson, Christina. "From Imitation to Innovation: How China Became a Tech Superpower." WIRED. February 12, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-china-became-tech-superpower-took-over-the-west.

Unknown. “Trade War To Accelerate China’s Technology Development.” FITCH SOLUTIONS. July 26, 2018. Accessed March 26 2019. https://www.fitchsolutions.com/corporates/telecoms-media-technology/trade-war-accelerate-chinas-technological-development-26-07-2018

Li, Yanfei. “Understanding China’s Technological Rise.” THE DIPLOMAT. August 3, 2018. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://thediplomat.com/2018/08/understanding-chinas-technological-rise/

Yee, Lee. “China tops U.S, Japan to become top patent filer.” REUTERS.  December 21, 2011. Accessed March 26, 2019.


[2019 World Press Freedom Day] Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation

About World Press Freedom Day

Following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference, the UN General Assembly announced World Press Freedom Day in December 1993. After that, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, 3 May, is honored worldwide annually as World Press Freedom Day. The Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press is a statement of press freedom principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991. The Declaration was produced at a UNESCO seminar, "Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press," held in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991.

World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity for us to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;

  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;

  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;

  • and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors, and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favor of press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

2019 Theme: Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation

The 26th celebration of World Press Freedom Day is jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union Commission and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The main event will take place in Addis Ababa, on 1 – 3 May at the African Union Headquarters. Some 100 national events around the world are expected to complement the main celebration.This year's theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.