On Sunday 26 October the United Nations celebrated its 69th birthday by hosting an event on the Grand-Place of Brussels. The public could meet staff from 26 UN Brussels based agencies and a number of partners for the day. There was plenty of information on the UN’s work and the public took time to ask questions and participate in various activities organized. This edition of UNDAY was focused on Green Cities, showcasing how everyone integrates the fight for sustainable development and against climate change within their daily work.
The day’s Programme and Partners
- Discover a unique urban garden
- Understand what ‘Slow Food’ is
- Try a ‘bug’ and learn about the sustainability of Insects as food
- Take part in workshops on how to recycle papers and plastic bags. We’ll even teach you how to turn any odd piece of paper into a windmill.
- Learn about safe ovens in harsh conditions
- Share the experience of an agricultural revitalization project in Swaziland
- Test your knowledge of do’s and don’ts when biking in Brussels
- Learn how to create your own sustainable purchasing group
- Get all the info to make your own worm composting kit
- Come closer and see what a refugee tent looks like
Check out the map, discover the layout of our information village.
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Meet the Partners:
The UN Family in Brussels
Use this website to learn more about the UN departments, agencies and funds in Brussels
City of Brussels
Learn what Brussels is doing in terms of International Solidarity and North-South cooperation, both within and outside the city. Visit the website
Federal Public Service Foreign affairs, Foreign trade and Development cooperation
As an organisation with solid, long-standing experience in foreign relations, FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation deploys its expertise and knowledge of the international environment in order to defend Belgian interests abroad, promote the advent of a more stable, fairer and more prosperous world, and combat global poverty. Our FPS feels that providing support and assistance to Belgian nationals abroad is one of its main responsibilities. Working in coordination and consultation with other partners active abroad, our FPS will continually encourage consistency of action by our country abroad.
Want to know more? Visit their website
Belgian Associations for the United Nations (APNU)
Apnu is the Association for the United Nations for the french-speaking community in Belgium. Initially, a group of belgian citizens familiar with the United Nations, willing to share the values of the U.N. in the framework of a “United Nations Association ”, similar to those existing in most countries of the world, and which was missing in french-speaking Belgium. In the past, a united belgian association used to exist and a flemish-speaking association (Vereniging voor Verenigde Naties) is active in Flanders and Brussels. APNU is presently joining hands with its sister association VVN in order to act, whenever possible, in a common or complementary manner. Visit their website
United Nations Association Flanders Belgium (VVN)
The objective of the United Nations Association Flanders Belgium (VVN in Dutch) is to help disseminate the principles and charter of the United Nations and to raise awareness on the importance of international collaboration. The VVN spreads the knowledge on the UN throughout Flanders, for a better understanding of the functioning and objectives of the United Nations. Not of the UN alone, but also of its many agencies and funds. Visit the website (in Dutch)
A GASAP group is a support group for farmers. It supports local producers who only make use of environmental friendly methods and traditional know-how. In a nutshell, it is a group of citizens directly associated with a farmer and who regularly, and over a long period of time, buys the farmer’s seasonal products. This can consist of vegetables, fruits, cheeses and so on. Discover how the Gasap Network can help you in creating your own group, and how they support local and sustainable farming on their website (in French)
“Micro-gardening” is the intensive cultivation of a wide range of vegetables, roots and tubers, and herbs in small spaces, such as balconies, patios and rooftops. It integrates horticulture production techniques with environmentally friendly technologies suited to cities, such as rainwater harvesting and household waste management. Micro-gardens are highly productive, easily managed easily managed by anyone – women, men, children, the elderly and the disabled- and allow low-income families to improve their nutrition and health by providing direct access to fresh, nutritious vegetables every day. They also offer a source of extra income from the sale of small surpluses.
Brussels Region Compost Masters
Over the past 15 years Bruxelles Environnement / Leefmilieu Brussel has trained over 300 Compost Masters. The main objective is to reduce the amount of “green” waste being incinerated or going to landfill. It used to account for 40% by weight of the typical household dustbin in Brussels, comprising both garden and kitchen waste.
Green “waste” is in fact a raw material. The Brussels Compost Masters show how this so-called waste can easily be turned into excellent compost whatever the circumstances. There are Compost Masters in every commune within the Brussels Region. Free of charge, they show their fellow citizens how to make compost, and advise on the best solution for each situation. Visit our stand for more information about garden compost, worm compost and neighbourhood compost, and for personal advice tailored to your needs.
Green Kow & Bugsin Mugs
A delicious range of products containing insects, created to become part of your daily diet. Green Kow and Bugs in Mugs are joining the UN on the Grand’Place to offer visitors the possibility of discusng and tasting eadible insect based product.
Trends towards 2050 predict a steady population increase to 9 billion people, forcing an increased food/feed output from available agro-ecosystems resulting in an even greater pressure on the environment. Scarcities of agricultural land, water, forest, fishery and biodiversity resources, as well as nutrients and non-renewable energy are foreseen.
Edible insects contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans. Insects have a high food conversion rate, e.g. crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein.Besides, they emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than conventional livestock. Insects can be grown on organic waste. Therefore, insects are a potential source for conventional production (mini-livestock) of protein, either for direct human consumption, or indirectly in recomposed foods (with extracted protein from insects); and as a protein source into feedstock mixtures.
Since 2003, FAO has been working on topics pertaining to edible insects in many countries worldwide.
Slow Food Brussels
Good … tasty and flavoursome, fresh, capable of stimulating and satisfying the senses.
Clean… produced without straining the earth’s resources, its ecosystems and its environments and without harming human health.
Fair… respectful of social justice, meaning fair pay and conditions for all concerned – from production to commercialization to consumption.
By training our senses to understand and appreciate the pleasure of food, we also open our eyes to the world.
More information on the web site www.slowfood.com
Grown in Swaziland
In a major effort to revitalize agriculture in Swaziland, the government, the European Union and FAO have helped over 20,000 smallholder farmers produce more, higher-quality food and connect with new markets. Agriculture is on its way to become a key driver of Swaziland’s development. Products resulting from the programme will be showcased on the Grand Place.
Le Gracq- Les Cyclistes Quotidiens (daily bikers) is contributing to make cycling transporta safer, easier and more pleasant for everyone. In Brussels and Wallonie, they federate bikers, represent them towards public authorities, inform and sensibilize bikers and the general public around themes linked to cycling and mobility, train the bikers to cycle in the city, and many other duties.
Become member (info in fr): www.gracq.org/membre
Jane Goodall Institute
Who is Jane Goodall? In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzees in what is now Tanzania under the mentorship of famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. The Jane Goodall Institute is not just about chimpanzees! JGI Belgium promotes respect for all living things – Animals, People, and the Environment (APE!) – both in Belgium and elsewhere in the world. JGI Belgium is one of the 10 JGI offices in Europe and is part of JGI Global.
Want to know more? Visit their website
Secretary-General’s Message for #UNDay 2014
The United Nations is needed more than ever at this time of multiple crises. Poverty, disease, terrorism, discrimination and climate change are exacting a heavy toll. Millions of people continue to suffer deplorable exploitation through bonded labour, human trafficking, sexual slavery or unsafe conditions in factories, fields and mines. The global economy remains an uneven playing field.
The founding of the United Nations was a solemn pledge to the world’s people to end such assaults on human dignity, and lead the way to a better future. There have been painful setbacks, and there is much work ahead to realize the Charter’s vision. But we can take heart from our achievements.
The UN Millennium Development Goals have inspired the most successful anti-poverty campaign ever. United Nations treaties addressing inequality, torture and racism have protected people, while other agreements have safeguarded the environment. UN peacekeepers have separated hostile forces, our mediators have settled disputes and our humanitarian workers have delivered life-saving aid.
At this critical moment, let us reaffirm our commitment to empowering the marginalized and vulnerable. On United Nations Day, I call on Governments and individuals to work in common cause for the common good.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon