A UN4U session held for students from 10 Senior High Schools in Western region

Takoradi, 18 November, 2014 – UNIC Accra, in partnership with United Nations Association (UNA), Western Region, have taken some 400 students through an information and knowledge sharing session.  The exercise, known as UN4U, was held at the Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS), Takoradi, and was attended by Senior High School students from 10 schools in the region. They were taken through various presentations on the history and work of the United Nations by the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah; on the role of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees by its Assistant Protection Officer, Mr. Samuel Dzikunu; and on UNA and the World Federation of UNAs, by Ms. Edna Nyame, the Secretary-General of UNA Ghana.

A cross section of students at the event

A cross section of students at the event

Mr. Obed Bentum of the Ghana AIDS Commission also educated the students on the state of HIV/AIDS in Ghana and the national response.  He urged students to refrain from discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS and, instead, learn more about the disease in order to support national efforts to reach the “Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths” target.

Mr. Nyrako of SOS International making a presentation on Ebola

Mr. Nyrako of SOS International making a presentation on Ebola

Another interesting and engaging topic was on Ebola.  The presentation was made by Mr. Chris Isaac Nyarko of the SOS International. He threw more light on the disease, its history and preventive measures.

At the end of the presentations, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. For many of the students, this was their first time of participating in such a session which offered them the platform to gain insight into the work of the UN and other useful topics. All the schools expressed their preparedness to host future UN4U sessions in the region.

UN4U is an outreach program which brings UN officials to speak to students in their schools. UNICs around the world are encouraged to organize such sessions in their countries to engage students at all levels.

Journalists call for a mechanism for reporting & documenting attacks against journalists

Takoradi, November 17, 2014 – Journalists attending a media forum to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) in the Western region have called on media stakeholders and the United Nations to initiate a mechanism for reporting and documenting incidents of attacks against journalists in the country.  They also called for more fora to provide information on issues relating to safety of journalists for the security services and political parties.  The journalists expressed their displeasure about the way they are treated at events to which they have been invited to provide coverage, citing a recent incidence involving a Citi FM news reporter and political party supporters in Bogoso in the Western region.

 Acting GJA Regional Secretary Mr Saminu addressing the participants presentation


Acting GJA Regional Secretary Mr Saminu addressing the participants presentation

The Forum which was organized by UNESCO and the UN Information Centre (UNIC, Accra), brought together about thirty five journalists from the print and broadcast media. The event marked the IDEI under the theme “The State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana: The case of the Western Region”.

In a presentation, the Acting GJA Regional Secretary, Zambaga Rufai Saminu reminded journalists of their responsibility to protect the citizens of Ghana and emphasized the need for professionalism in their field of practice.    He expressed his appreciation to UNESCO and UNIC for holding a forum to draw public attention to the state of Journalists’ safety in Ghana. Mr. Saminu also promised to hold events to highlight the dangers journalists face in the course of their duties and to engage the security service in discussions on the protection of journalists in the future. Continue reading

Ghana AIDS Commission launches 2014 World AIDS Day at Ashaiman

Accra, November 4, 2014 – Residents of Ashaiman, a suburb of Tema, and its environs, seized the opportunity of the launch of World AIDS day in their community to check their HIV/AIDS status and receive counseling and free IEC/BCC materials and information.

Residents of Ashaiman patronising one of teh stands

Residents of Ashaiman patronising one of teh stands

The launch of the month-long advocacy and awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS toards World AIDS day on December 1, was under the national theme, “Ghana towards an HIV free generation through PMTCT, safe sex and stigma reduction”. The campaign will include community outreach in churches and mosques, a walk, and media campaign to better engage the general populace on HIV and AIDS issues with the goal of promoting and encouraging the utilization of HIV services, especially testing and counseling, condom use, treatment services and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It was attended by representatives from the Ghana Health Service, the Council of State, United Nations system, NAP+ Ghana and elders from the Ashaiman Township and the clergy. Continue reading

Ghana records 138 incidents of violation against journalists from 2005 till date

Accra,  November 3, 2014 – As the world marks International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists for the first time, media stakeholders in Ghana have called for more measures by regulatory bodies, training institutions and media actors to improve the quality of journalism and ensure the safety of practitioners. Some bemoaned the inadequate facilities for training journalists in the country, the toothless nature of the National Media Commission, the frequent attacks on journalists and the absence of a national mechanism to monitor and report on journalists’ safety.

Participants at the Forum

Participants at the Forum

The stakeholders made the call at a forum organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO and the UN Information Centre, Accra to commemorate the Day.  It brought together over 100 stakeholders to discuss the “state of journalists safety in Ghana” following a presentation by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Ghana, a regional independent NGO that works to defend and promote the rights and freedoms of the media.   Continue reading

My Internship Experience by Grace Folley

Ms Grace Folley

Ms Grace Folley

“At UNIC Accra, tasks came in several forms and were not routine. They included media monitoring, drafting news stories, preparing concept notes, drafting of press releases among others. All these made it interesting and challenging….Aside the prestige that came with working with the United Nations, UNIC Accra presented a platform for everyone to be creative and independent… and you were treated as a colleague and not an “apprentice.”

Forum on the State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana to be held on November 3

Accra, Ghana, 30 October 2014 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in partnership with the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO and the UN Information Centre, Accra, is organising a forum on the topic The State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana.

The Forum is in commemoration of the first ever United Nations International Day to End Impunity and Crimes against Journalists. A paper on the topic will be presented by the Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah and the discussions will be moderated by a Member of the National Media Commission, Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng.

Download the Media Advisory for details.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to visit Ghana for talks on the global Ebola response

ACCRA, October 28, 2014 World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will arrive in Ghana on Thursday, October 30, 2014, for meetings with Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and other country officials. Dr. Kim will also meet with officials of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)  to discuss the Ebola epidemic and its debilitating impact on the three most heavily affected countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone   and on the West African sub-region as a whole.

Dr. Kim will reaffirm the World Bank Group s commitment to fighting the Ebola epidemic and will share the latest news on how the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with partners to assist the affected countries.

Continue reading

UN Day in Ghana Marked with a Cultural Twist

Accra, October 24, 2014 – The 69th United Nations Day has been marked in Ghana at a lively flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House in Accra. This year’s global celebration was themed “Global Citizenship and Youth” and was celebrated nationally under the theme “Youth Engagement for Effective Nation-Building”. The ceremony was graced by Mr. Girmay Haile, Country Director of UNAIDS, representing the UN Resident Coordinator a.i., and Hon. Mahama Ayariga representing the Government of Ghana. In attendance were dignitaries from private and public-sector institutions, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from the various agencies of the United Nations system in Ghana.

Students of Accra Girls High School in a cultural display

Students of Accra Girls High School in a cultural display

Unlike previous flag-raising ceremonies when speeches were delivered and the UN and Ghana flags were both hoisted amidst military display, this year’s event was spiced up with a beautiful performance by students from the Accra Girls High School.  The cultural performance by the all-girls group depicted the challenges some communities face due to poor maternal health and the declining trend of girls’ enrollment from Elementary to Senior High school. These two areas have been selected by the UN Country Team for a pilot One UN advocacy initiative to draw public attention to the lost opportunity countries face when girls drop out of school and the challenges women face due to inadequate maternal health. The performance by the students clearly demonstrated the importance the UN is giving to culture as a relevant factor in the equation of tackling and resolving development issues.

Continue reading

“Use social media to make your voice heard”, UNIC Accra NIO tells students

Tema, October 20, 2014 – The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre, Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah has urged students of Tema International School (TIS) to make efficient use of social media platforms to share ideas, debates and questions about the work of the United Nations.

Student delegates at the event

Student delegates at the event

She was speaking as a Guest of Honour at this year’s TIS Model United Nations Conference which was on the theme, “The role of the MDGs in securing a peaceful future in a global village”. She said, “In an era where challenges extend beyond borders and have global consequences, our future depends on how well we – young or old, rich or poor, male or female – work together”.

NIO presents UN Day poster to TIS

NIO presents UN Day poster to TIS

Ms. Prah also congratulated the organizers and urged them to involve at least a less-deprived school in subsequent simulations as this would enhance knowledge and understanding of diverse cultural settings. She presented the school with a banner marking the 69th UN Day celebration.

Receiving the souvenir, the acting Principal of TIS, Ms. Felicia Sackey expressed her profound gratitude to Ms. Prah and UNIC Accra for their immense contribution towards youth development in Ghana.

NIO (4th from left) in a group picture with MUN Committee Chairs

NIO (4th from left) in a group picture with MUN Committee Chairs

Model United Nations are organized across the globe as an activity to prepare future leaders and to introduce young people to pressing global issues – in peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development — as well as to inspires them to find global solutions.