Excitement and curiosity in Khartoum as the United Nations celebrates 70 years

By Mia Madsen and Ahmed Subahi

70th Anniversary of the United Nations - Khartoum (Sudan)
At the end of October, the IFAD Country Office (ICO) in the Sudan participated in a joint United Nations (UN) celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN.

As part of the week-long celebration, a public event was organised on 29 October at the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum. The event included a photo exhibition, showcasing work and achievements of UN agencies in Sudan working on humanitarian and development issues, including those related to agriculture and rural development.

The photographs presented by the Sudan ICO highlighted areas of work important to IFAD’s country programme in the Sudan, which included sustainable crop cultivation, rural finance and women’s empowerment.

Curiosity among young people

The Sudan has been a priority country for IFAD since 1979, and ICO staff members were delighted to see that visitors were interested in learning more about IFAD’s work in the Sudan.

A majority of young people in attendance were curious to learn about IFAD-funded projects, and their strategic and operational approaches in the Sudan and worldwide.

They wanted to know what IFAD stands for, why IFAD is not working in Darfur, how the funding is organised, and how IFAD and the Government of the Sudan cooperate in the implementation of projects. Representatives of IFAD’s ICO team in the Sudan were present to answer questions and distribute materials at the information booths.

The event brought enthusiasm and excitement – owed in great part to the presence of young people from the universities, fresh graduates and UN volunteers who helped to organize the exhibition. Other attendees involved members of the diplomatic community, government officials, special guests and the general public.

“The exhibition was extended for another day so that more visitors could attend it,” said Ahmed Subahi, IFAD's Country Programme Officer in Sudan.

Different kind of celebrations

Later in the evening a music concert was organised, with the popular Sudanese female Singer Nancy Ajaj and Balimbo musical band performing. In general, the event has been described as a success, with more than 2 000 visitors.

Other joint UN70 celebration events in Khartoum included a lecture on the UN Charter at 70 held at the University of Khartoum, an official commemoration event, and a Youth Art Exhibition on the new Sustainable Development Goals. The UN agencies in Sudan also joined the global campaign to celebrate the UN Day and the 70th anniversary of the United Nations by lighting up monuments and buildings worldwide with the official blue colour of the United Nations.

In Sudan, the famous Meroe Pyramids and the National Museum of Sudan were coloured in blue light on 24 October 2015. The global event of turning the world UN blue received wide coverage on social media using the hashtags #UNBlue and #UN70, and was shared with millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Flickr and more.