Author Archives: Cynthia Prah

Dansoman Baptist Academy and Osu Salem SHS Students visit UNIC Accra

Accra, 28 September 2018: UNIC Accra has hosted some 62 students and 4 teachers as part of its outreach events dubbed “Meet the UN”.  The students are from the Dansoman Baptist

Students of Osu Salem SHS during the presentation

Academy and Osu Salem Senior High School. “Meet the UN” is a platform that presents the works of the United Nations to the general public.  For this set of students, the Centre, represented by the Reference Assistant, Ms. Evelyn Sarpong, placed emphasis on the history of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as one of the key priorities of the United Nations.

Dansoman Baptist Academy students being briefed by Ms Sarpong

With excitement and curiosity, the students demonstrated apt knowledge of the UN after the presentation at which time they asked pressing questions and made some contributions.  The students expressed their gratitude to the Centre for inviting them and charged themselves to “own” components of the SDGs and become advocates of same in their daily lives.

Both schools were presented with few UN publications for use at their school libraries.

Kofi Annan was the United Nations: An Op-ed by UN Secretary General António Guterres

New York, 18 September 2018 – Since the shock of former United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special.

To my mind, it is simply this: Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us.

António Guterres signs a book of condolences during a ceremony honouring the memory and legacy of Kofi Annan

He was an exceptional global leader — and he was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaches of poverty, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior UN staffer following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath “always remember, you are never too young to lead — and we are never too old to learn.”

Like few in our time, Kofi Annan could bring people together, put them at ease, and unite them towards a common goal for our common humanity. Read further.

H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés Starts Work Today as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Accra, Ghana, 18 September 2018 – H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés will be sworn in today to commence her official tasks as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The General Assembly elected María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés on June 5, 2018 as President of its seventy-third session — making her the fourth woman to helm the 193-member organ in its more than seven-decades-long history.

H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

Ms. Espinosa, a former Ecuadorian Minister for National Defence and current Minister of Foreign Affairs, received 128 votes, surpassing the required simple majority of 96. The only other candidate, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake (Honduras), received 62 votes during the elections.

Speaking at the UN Headquarters, in New York, after her election in June, she promised to lead the Assembly in a way that strengthens multilateralism and better delivers on its commitments. On her priorities for the 73rd Session, she said “I think that we are really living in a very troubled environment, and I think it is very important that we really work towards the strengthening of the multilateral system and the revitalization of the United Nations; that we work hard to deliver better”.

She also added “to use an acronym that I have come up with, the “D.A.R.E” acronym, meaning “Delivery, Accountability, Relevance and Efficiency. “The D.A.R.E acronym is going to guide my work as President of the General Assembly during the 73rd Session. So, revitalize and boost multilateralism, revitalize the General Assembly, revitalize the UN system. I think that we all need, and we will all benefit from, a strong rules-based international system”. She added.

H.E. Ms. Espinosa has chosen the theme “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”.

The 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly opened in New York today.

The UN University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa Has a New Director

Accra, 18 September 2018 – The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) has a new Director. She is Dr Fatima Denton and takes over from Dr Elias Ayuk who has led the Institute for the last eight years.

Dr. Denton

In a press release issued by the Institute, the UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General
David M. Malone notes that “Dr Denton’s appointment… is a promising development not only for UNU-INRA’s stakeholders, but for the whole UNU family,” adding that “Dr Denton is an accomplished senior leader in the UN system, respected across the research and implementation branches of the organisation.”

Dr. Denton’s appointment takes effect 10 September 2018.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Provide Free Medical and Dental Care to community in South-Western Lebanon

Marwahin, South-Western Lebanon, 17 September 2018 – Ghanaian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) organized a free medical and dental camp for the residents of the village of Marwahin, south-western Lebanon, last week.

The 6 September civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) event sought to strengthen the existing relationship between the residents and Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT).

GHANBATT Senior Medical Officer, Major Kofi Nyarko Oppong, who led the camp, said his team provided free treatment to 40 people. The age of patients varied from a seven-month-old baby to a 90-year-old elderly.

The GHANBATT medical team provided free consultation, dental care and medications for all the ailments that were detected.

The Mukhtar of Marwahin, Salen Ghannam, said his village folks normally travel all the way to Tyre and other neighbouring towns for such treatments. While expressing gratitude for GHANBATT’s continuous medical support to the community, Mr. Ghannam lamented that the lack of proximity of medical facilities in the area has been a persistent challenge.

“The kind gesture would go a long way to cement the existing relationship between the community and UNIFIL,” the Mukhtar said.

Ghana, the 10th largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping, currently deploys more than 850 military personnel to UNIFIL

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Provide Medical Treatment to Inmates and Prison Officers in Bentiu, South Sudan

Bentiu, South Sudan, 14 September 2018 – A total of 75 inmates and prison officers at the Bentiu prison have received free medical treatment by Ghanaian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as part of its mission to protect civilians.

“We thought that nobody cared about us, but now we feel better and at home. UNMISS has continued to visit us and provide all our need such at sleeping mats, blankets and mosquito nets, and today they given us medical treatment,” says one of the inmates, who prefers to remain anonymous. He added that each inmate now has a set of essentials.

“Our target is not only to visit the prisoners, but also to assist the local population as well. We are committed to assist them and we will not stop here. We will continue to explore other places where we can provide medical assistance to those in need, particularly the most vulnerable,” Captain Edenezer Menlah, a Laboratory Officer of the Ghanaian battalion, says about their most recent intervention.

The Ghanaian peacekeepers have been providing free medical services to local communities in Southern Unity for the last two years, following the evacuation of humanitarians and health workers due to the fighting in the area. More recently, they have been expanding these activities to Bentiu and surrounding areas.

The medical care offered by the West African contingent is a task that has been taken on in addition to their everyday physical protection of more than 114,000 displaced persons in the UN protection site in Bentiu and regular confidence building field patrols to various parts of the region.

Ghana, the 10th largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping, currently deploys nearly 1,000 military and police personnel to UNMISS.

Staff of UN in Ghana pay final respect to @KofiAnnan

Accra 11 September 2018 – Mourners from all walks of life are trooping in to file past the body of the former United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan.  The remains, contained in a sealed coffin and cladded with the Ghana flag, have been laid in state at the foyer of the Centre amidst traditional drumming and hymns.  Among those who went to pay their last respect today are about 100 UN staff in Ghana representing various agencies and programmes.  They lined up to bid farewell to their former boss whose departure has triggered  a flood of tribute from all over the world.

University of Ghana holds an evening of Remembrance in honour of the late Mr. Kofi Annan, former Chancellor of the University

Accra, 11 September 2018 – The atmosphere in the University of Ghana on Friday, 7 September 2018 was charged with profound felicitations as scores of sympathisers trooped to the Great Hall of the University to participate in an epic night of remembrance in honour of the late Chancellor of the University, Mr. Kofi Annan.

The event, which was organised under the auspices of the Public Affairs Directorate of the University, was attended by several senior officials of the University, religious leaders, corporate moguls, diplomats, political leaders and students.

The President of the Trinity Theological Seminary, Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu reiterated the need for leaders to work with dedication and commitment for the good

of society as exemplified in the legendary life of the late Mr. Kofi Annan. In his exhortation, he further lauded the monumental efforts churned by the former UN Secretary General in making giant strides towards global peace and development and charged participants to replicate same in their respective endeavours.

Speeches were delivered by the University’s former high-level staff as well as the current Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu. A striking session of the event was when a documentary on the works of the late Chancellor was aired to the audience. The footage evoked emotions and stirred very profound memories.

Under a well coordinated arena, the night was interspersed by solemn blends of choral and traditionally scintillating melodies from the Ghana Dance Ensemble as well as the Harmonious Chorale – an Accra based choral choir.

Remains of former UN Secretary-General have arrived in Accra

Accra, 10 September 2018 – The remains of the late UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan have arrived in Accra for burial. Several high-level government dignitaries and members of the diplomatic community, led by H.E. the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, gathered at the Kotoka International Airport to receive the remains. The solemn event was attended by the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the Speaker of Parliament Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye and the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock.

Accompanying the remains were the spouse of the late UN Secretary-General Mrs. Nane Annan and his children.

Following the pouring of libation and Christian prayers, the United Nations flag which was draped on the coffin on arrival was replaced with the Ghana flag, signaling the formal receipt of the remains by the people of Ghana.

The coffin was then transferred to the Accra International Conference Centre, where the state funeral will take place on Thursday, 13 September 2018. Meanwhile, there will be two days of public viewing of the remains of Mr. Kofi Annan starting tomorrow, 11 September.

Remains of former UN Secretary-General arrive in Accra today

Accra, 10 September 2018 – The remains of Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, accompanied by Mrs. Nane Annan and the children will arrive in Accra today.  His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will receive the remains of the former Secretary-General of the UN at the Kotoka International Airport at a brief ceremony to be led by the Ghana Armed Forces.

Guard post rehearsal by the Ghana Armed Forces at AICC

The remains will then be sent to the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), where they will be laid in state for public viewing until the funeral service on Thursday, 13 September 2018.