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MFA and UN encourage individuals, civil society organizations to make a positive impact through innovation

Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and Mr. Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs

2 SEPTEMBER 2013, SKOPJE –To mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s membership to the United Nations, Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UN Resident Coordinator a.i.,together with Dr. Dimitar Trajanov, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering (representing the Social Innovation Hub) today launched a social innovation competition.

The competition is designed to engage citizens in developing innovative solutionsto address three development challenges: gender equality, access to health services in rural areas, and disposal of electronic equipment.

"We call you to focus your creative energy towards discovering innovative solutions that address these development challenges. We encourage you to boldly step out of traditional moulds of thinking and offer solutions with the potential for significant social change," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikola Poposki. He continued: "Innovation adds value, promotes growth and progress, solves problems, improves and moves forward. Inovation pushes boundaries."

“The twentieth anniversary of the country’s membership to the UN is a perfect time to reflect on the progress and an excellent opportunity to look for new innovative solutions to social challenges that persist,” said Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNICEF Representative. “We hope this competition inspires people to look beyond the problem and see opportunities to developcreative solutions.”

The three development challenges correspond to the priority areas – social inclusion, local governance and environmental protection -recognized by the Government and the UN in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2010-2015. 

According to the UN, persisting gender stereotypes often hold girls and women back from fully completing their education, participating in the labor force and political life.  In spite of efforts to improve health services in the rural areas, older people, women of reproductive age and children still face challenges in accessing health care services. Another persisting challenge is the limited knowledge and practice of protecting the environment.

The social innovation competition seeks to enable and empower young people to defy negative stereotypes, condemn practices that discriminate against girls and women and embrace universal gender equality across all social strata; identify solutionsto improve access to quality healthcare services in rural areas; and raise the public awareness about the importance of recycling electronic equipment and suggest new ways of doing so.

Open to all citizens and local civil society organizations, the competition encouragesinnovators to make the most of technology for social change and equitable and sustainable development.

The UN and the Ministry of Foreign affairs will award three proposals - one under each challenge - that bestdemonstrates potential visible results.Each of the winners will be awarded the chance to develop the proposal into a prototype in collaboration with the UN and the Social Innovation Hub and the cost of up to 1.500 USD will be covered.  The selection panel’s favorite proposal will receive a 500 USD cash prize.

All proposals will be assessed against clearly defined criteria by a selection panel made up of representatives from the UN, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Social Innovation Hub, national academia and civil society. The prizes will be awarded on UN Day (24 October) at a reception dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of the country’s UN membership.

Those interested in finding out more about the competition and to submit a proposal can do so by visiting www.un.org.mk/ and www.mfa.org.mk.

For further information, please contact:
Amanda Sundell, UN Coordination Officer at the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Skopje on (02)3249 531.

 


Are you an innovator with a vision to change the world around you? Do you know how to make young men and women reject gender stereotypes? Can you find a way to bring health services closer to rural and marginalized communities or to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling electronic waste?

Let us know! Turn your idea into reality and make a positive impact!

To mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s membership to the United Nations, the UN in Skopje together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Social Innovation Hub hosted by FINKI are launching a social innovation competition.

The social innovation competition seeks to enable and empower young people to defy negative stereotypes, condemn practices that discriminate against girls and women and embrace universal gender equality across all social strata; identify solutions to improve access to quality healthcare services in rural areas; and raise the public awareness about the importance of recycling electronic equipment and suggest new ways of doing so.

Below you can find all the material you need to find out more about the competition and submit an application.

 

 
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