Ghana marks International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2013

Accra –Ghana has marked the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers with a flag-raising and a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute to UN peacekeepers all over the world. Being one of the leading contributors of UN peacekeepers, Ghana is notable for its role in peace building in many countries all over the world.

Hoisting of UN & Ghana flags

Hoisting of UN & Ghana flags at the ceremony

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, the security service, traditional leaders, and students.

Mr. K. K. Kamaluddeen, UNDP Country Director presented the message of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, calling to mind the challenging environment within which UN peacekeepers work and the need to adapt operational strategies “to better help civilians who need protection and support”.

Building on the global theme of “UN Peacekeeping: Adapting to new challenges”, Ghana focused its attention on the Ghanaian perspective. In an address, the Minister for Defence, Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo appealed to the security service and the people of Ghana to ensure the continuous maintenance of peace in the country, especially so as Ghana “has maintained an enviable record of being among the first ten nations contributing both military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.”

Prior to the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony, a press conference was held a week ago to launch activities lined up to commemorate the Day.

Officers holding wreaths to be laid in memory of UN peacekeepers

Officers holding wreaths to be laid in memory of UN peacekeepers

Presenting a statement on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana at the press briefing, Dr. Bernard Coquelin, Country Representative of UNFPA emphasized the importance of peacekeeping as a tool for laying “a foundation for enabling peace building and the return to political stability.” He acknowledged Ghana’s consistent peacekeeping role over the years despite the country’s budgetary and developmental constraints. “It is never easy for countries that are themselves facing [such] constraints to muster courage and resources to support the needs of others. Yet this is what Ghana has done consistently for more than 50 years,” he said.

In a statement read on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian, a Chief Director at the Ministry express profound condolences on behalf of Ghana to all the bereaved families of fallen heroes and those who have been maimed and injured in the cause of peacekeeping.

Various wreaths were laid in memory of peace keepers by the Government of Ghana, the United Nations, spouses of deceased peacekeepers and the Security Service. See a video compilation of the event held at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra.

Prior to the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony, a press conference was held a week ago to launch activities lined up to commemorate the Day.

Presenting a statement on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana at the press briefing, Dr. Bernard Coquelin, Country Representative of UNFPA emphasized the importance of peacekeeping as a tool for laying “a foundation for enabling peace building and the return to political stability.” He acknowledged Ghana’s consistent peacekeeping role over the years despite the country’s budgetary and developmental constraints. “It is never easy for countries that are themselves facing [such] constraints to muster courage and resources to support the needs of others. Yet this is what Ghana has done consistently for more than 50 years,” he said.