World Water Day marked with students in Accra

Accra, March 23, 2017 –  World Water Day; the essence of water; why we must use water wisely and; accessibility of water were some of the topics discussed with about 100 Grade 7 (Junior High School 1) students of Independence Avenue 1 and 2 Junior High School at a World Water Day outreach event.

15-yr old Alhassan Malik

When asked how many students could relate to the practice of fetching water before school, several of the students raised their hands. According to one of the pupils, it is a household chore and as a matter of fact, they “…cannot sit for [their] parents to fetch water for [them]”.

The discussion on access to water went on and on until 15-year old Alhassan Malik stood up and said “It is wrong for students to travel miles for water before they go to school”.  Intrigued by Malik’s response, I asked him to explain why it is wrong for children to wake up early and carry water on their heads before they prepare for school.  This is what he had to say: “It is wrong because we will be late for school, we will be tired by the time we get to school and even sleep in class or we may miss important lessons in school”. And the class applauded Malik, perhaps for being bold enough to say what they each go through as a result of fetching water before school.

A student showcases her work

For many of the students, fetching water before school is a routine. Though they are not comfortable doing it, they have no other choice. For the others who were not engaged in this practice, they saw the need to use water wisely so that the little available will be enough for several households.

Following the discussions, the students were offered pencils, erasers and papers to sketch their thought on the essence of water and therefore World Water Day, after which some students presented their work to the entire class. The need to preserve and use water wisely run through their messages.

At the end of the event, the Head Mistress of Independence Avenue 1 JHS, Mrs. Lydia Bamfo expressed appreciation to UNIC Accra for choosing their school for such an insightful programme and asked the students to take what they have learnt seriously and apply them to their daily lives.

PLURAL+ 2017 youth video festival/competition call for entries

Accra, March 20, 2016PLURAL + has called for entries for its 2017  youth video festival on migration, diversity and social inclusion.

PLURAL + is a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration, with a network of over 30 partner organizations, who support the creative efforts of young people and distribute their videos worldwide.

PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tensions in a world often characterized by conflict and division.

PLURAL+ aims to support dialogue between young people from different cultures, and in the process, increase awareness and respect for diversity.

Last year over 300 videos were submitted to PLURAL+, of those, 27 were selected for awards.

PLURAL+ International Jury Award winners are invited to New York for the Awards Ceremony.

Kindly note that the deadline to submit entries is 4 June 2017.

Visit the PLURAL + for details.

UN Ghana calls for redress of persisting challenges facing women in the informal economy

Accra, Ghana: 8 March 2017 – Today 8 March is celebrated globally as the International Women’s Day (IWD). As the world marks this important day, our attention is being drawn to the rapidly changing environment in the world of work, the different jobs, roles and business opportunities women encounter in their work life, and the need to enhance their economic empowerment. Hence the theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030”.

In a press release issued today, the team of United Nations Agencies working in Ghana and its Gender Team recognise women’s contributions to national development through all manner of work, including in the informal economy.

According to the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, “When we talk about women at work, we often leave out women in the informal sector,” She adds that “Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, we would like to particularly recognise the hard work and the economic contributions of women in the informal economy. We need to support their efforts to transform their farms, learn new skills, and grow their businesses.”

UNIC Accra hosts Nigerian artists with a cap 300ft long

Accra, 3 March 2017 – An indigenous Nigerian artist, Femi Coker, today paid a courtesy call on UNIC Accra with a cap 300ft long to underline the important contribution made by people of African descent to our societies as part of a project to promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD).

Femi Coker wearing the cap and being interviewed by the local media

The United Nations General Assembly declared 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2024 as the IDPAD to recognize that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. It also means that afro-centric ideals, values, ideas and strategies, inventions, innovations, creative ingenuity, advancement, development and excellence would be the focus of the international community. Read further

 

Secretary-General’s statement on the death of Ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin

New York – Feb 21, 2017 – I have just returned to New York and have learned with shock and sadness of the news of the sudden passing of Ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, who was an outstanding diplomat.

Ambassador Churkin served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with distinction through some of the most challenging and momentous periods of recent history.

The late ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin

In 2006, he was appointed as the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. For more than a decade, Ambassador Churkin was a forceful presence on the Security Council.

Ambassador Churkin was a uniquely skilled diplomat, a powerful orator with great wit, and a man of many talents and interests.

Although we served together for a short time, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with him and will deeply miss his insights, skills and friendship. I pay tribute to his contributions to the United Nations and offer my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and to the Government and people of the Russian Federation.

New York, 20 February 2017

 

IMF staff concludes visit to Ghana

Accra, February 13, 2017 – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Joël Toujas-Bernaté, has completed an official visit to Ghana.  The visit, which took place from February 6-10, 2017, was “to take stock of the 2016 economic developments and the outlook for 2017, engage in a dialogue about the new government’s economic plans, and discuss prospects for program engagement with the IMF”.

A press release issued by the IMF at the end of the visit indicates that the team met with the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Finance Minister Hon. Kenneth Ofori-Atta; Minister of Food and Agriculture Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku; other senior officials; and development partners in the country.

UN calls for nomination for 2017 Public Service Awards

New York, February 13, 2017 – The United Nations is calling for nominations for the 2017 UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA).  The call which closes on 28 February 2017, is open to all public organizations, including governments and public institutions engaged in public-private partnerships for delivering services.

It aims to promote and recognise innovation and excellence in public services supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Awards will be handed out on 23 June 2017, a day designated by the UN General Assembly as the UN Public Service Day and the Awards ceremony will take place during the UN Public Service Forum in The Hague, Netherlands.

Please read further for more information. 

A Continent of Hope

An Op-ed by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

New York, February 4, 2017 – Far too often, the world views Africa through the prism of problems.  When I look to Africa, I see a continent of hope, promise and vast potential.

I am committed to building on those strengths and establishing a higher platform of cooperation between the United Nations and the leaders and people of Africa.  This is essential to advancing inclusive and sustainable development and deepening cooperation for peace and security.

That is the message I carried to the recent African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — my first major mission as United Nations Secretary-General.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Above all, I came in a spirit of profound solidarity and respect.  I am convinced that the world has much to gain from African wisdom, ideas and solutions.

I also brought with me a deep sense of gratitude.  Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world.  African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees.  Africa includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

The recent resolution of the political crisis in the Gambia once again demonstrated the power of African leadership and unity to overcome governance challenges and uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

I left the Summit more convinced than ever that all of humanity will benefit by listening, learning and working with the people of Africa.

We have the plans in place to build a better future.  The international community has entered the second year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an all-out effort to tackle global poverty, inequality, instability and injustice.  Africa has adopted its own complementary and ambitious plan: Agenda 2063.

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Students Tell the ‘Story’ of the Holocaust through Art Works

Accra, January 31, 2017 – As part of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance observance in Accra, students were tasked to express their understanding of the Holocaust in art forms at an outreach event held at the Alpha Beta Christian College, a private High School. The students’ solemn depiction of the Holocaust, an incident that has been recorded in history as one of the worst atrocities meted out by humanity against humanity, highlights the theme of this year’s observance: Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future.  In their own creativity, the students depicted and presented to their colleagues what they know of the Holocaust and what it represents for them as the youth of today. The art works displayed the pain, torture and destruction of lives to reiterate the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.

Blood-stained barbed wire and horrors of the Holocaust by Maripearl Adonteng of East Airport International School

The Gas Mask by Harry Dzanie of East Airport International School

The film The Path to Nazi Genocide was screened, followed by brief presentations by the National Communications Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah and the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, Bernhard Abels. Both presenters took turns to reiterate the essence of the observance and the need to denounce prejudice and racism in an effort to prevent its re-occurrence.

The Holocaust by Maxine Brenya of Alpha Beta Christian College

The outreach event, organized by UNIC Accra, was attended by over 200 students from three schools and staff of the schools.

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UNIC Accra Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with an Outreach

Accra, January 30, 2017 – This year’s International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (27 January) was observed under the theme “Educating for a Better

Bernhard Abels, Deputy Head, German Embassy Accra addresses the students

Future”. In Accra, the United Nations co-organised a Public Forum with the Embassy of the State of Israel and the Embassy of Germany, and an outreach event and exhibition for some 200 students.

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