Author Archives: Cynthia Prah

UNDP Launches Human Development Report on Northern Ghana today

Tamale, 17 August 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will today launch its Human Development Report on Northern Ghana entitled “Bridging the Poverty Gap and Fostering Socio-Economic Transformation for All”. The report explores development challenges and opportunities in Northern Ghana and offers suggestions for poverty eradication in the zone.

In a press release issued by the UNDP, the report reveals that though the northern zone of the country has witnessed good development over the years, more effort is required to transform the zone.

The report, a flagship of the UNDP, is based on a study that investigated livelihood issues relating to health, education and infrastructure gaps, as well as governance and environmental issues.

The report would be launched at the University for Development Studies in Tamale under the auspices of the Honorable Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, and Dr. Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Northern Development Authority.

UNFPA Supports the Launch of a Coalition to champion against Gender Based Violence

Accra, August 15, 2018 – The UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock has called on partners and stakeholders working to end gender-based violence to move beyond advocacy and make the laws work.  According to Ms. Evans-Klock “having laws and raising advocacy is not just enough”, adding that we need to address issues of prevention and guaranteeing justice to victims.

Ms. Evans-Klock was speaking at the launch of a coalition of groups, individuals and organisations that will spearhead a national response to sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices – CoPASH.

Mrs. Bawumia (3rd from L), the UNRC (3rd from R) and other Heads of Agencies after the launch of CoPASH

The UN Resident Coordinator noted that as a bold and broad coalition, CoPASH Ghana should work to provide solutions to end the ordeal of victims of gender-based violence and other harmful practices.  She expressed appreciation for UNFPA’s support to broaden this coalition, and for the work against gender-based violence and harmful practices by UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, IOM, UNHCR, UNESCO and other UN Agencies working with many partners in Government and Civil Society.

CoPASH, a brain child of the wife of Ghana’s Vice President, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, has been hailed as a forceful platform to rejuvenate action for gender equality. For instance, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama thanked Mrs. Bawumia for bringing once more to the fore the urgent need to fight against gender-based violence in the country.  The Minister of Health Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and a former First Lady of Ghana, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, both decried society’s laidback attitude towards gender-based violence.

Mrs. Bawumia said the launch of CoPASH Ghana is an indication of a renewed energy and spirit to ensure gender equality in Ghana.

UNFPA Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape said although UNFPA is at the forefront of providing assistance to the Coalition, SGBV is high on national and international agendas of the UN system and together in the UN delivering as one, they will mobilize individuals, civil society and women’s movements to put an end to sexual and gender-based violence.

CoPASH Ghana is expected to raise the level of advocacy and increase visibility of interventions that aim to prevent and manage gender issues such as Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Violence against Women and Girls.

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Side Event on African Member States’ Implementation of the SDGs

Accra, Ghana, July 16, 2018 – A meeting to table the challenges African Member States are facing in the implementation of the SDGs, share information on opportunities and available tools will take place in New York today as a side event of the ongoing High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting is on the theme “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063: A Sharing of Experiences and the Way Forward Post-Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development and Voluntary National Reviews.”

It will be attended by all participants in the HLPF, all United Nations Member States, African senior Government officials, African representatives from the civil society, the private sector, the academia, the media, representatives from African regional institutions and representatives from the UN system.

The meeting will offer the opportunity for African Member States to share information on available mechanisms and tools, their merits and relevance to their specific circumstances towards the implementation of the SDGs, encourage themselves to undertake the Voluntary National Reviews and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063.

Two key outputs are expected out of this meeting.  First, a report, compiling policy recommendations and capacity needs on how to overcome the challenges faced by Member States and optimize the opportunities and scale up good practices to strengthen national mechanism for coordination and integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.  The second is a Joint UN-AU platform for coordinated efforts to support African countries to better implement the global and continental Agendas.

To date, Africa has had the smallest percentage of its Member States undertake a VNR with seven countries undertaking a VNR in 2016, seven in 2017 and eleven this year.

Read more about the meeting.

UN Secretary-General appoints Hanna S. Tetteh of Ghana as Director-General of UNON

July 13, 2018 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Hanna S. Tetteh of Ghana as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). She succeeds Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde who has been appointed as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU).

Hanna Serwah Tetteh

Ms. Tetteh most recently served in the cabinet of the Government of Ghana as Minister for Foreign Affairs (January 2013-January 2017), and Minister for Trade and Industry (February 2009-January 2013). While serving as Minister for Foreign Affairs, she was also a member of the National Security Council and the Armed Forces Council. From 2014 to 2015 she was the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  During her term as Minister for Trade and Industry, she was also a member of the Government’s economic management team, a member of the board of the Millennium Development Authority, a member of the National Development Planning Commission, and was also the Chairperson of the Ghana Free Zones Board.

Ms Tetteh and the UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana Ms Christine Evans-Klock

Beginning in December 2000 to January 2005 she served for one term as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya Constituency. She later returned to Parliament in January 2013 until January 2017 as the NDC Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya West Constituency.

Ms. Tetteh is a practising Lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB)  degree from the University of Ghana, Legon. She also completed her professional law course at the Ghana School of Law and was called to the Ghana Bar in October 1992.

Mr. Tamrat Samuel, Assistant Secretary-General and Senior Coordinator for Peace and Security Reform in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, will serve as Acting Director-General until Ms. Tetteh assumes her position.

UN Secretary-General Appoints Major Gen. Stefano Del Col of Italy as Head of UNIFIL

13 July 2018 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Major General Stefano Del Col of Italy as Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Major General Del Col succeeds Major General Michael Beary of Ireland, who will complete his assignment on 7 August 2018.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Major General Beary for his exemplary service and leadership of UNIFIL over the past two years.

Major General Del Col has had a long and distinguished career in the Italian Army.  As a Staff Officer in the Italian Army, he served as Special Projects Section Chief, as NATO Force Planning Section Chief and as Italian Army Liaison Officer to the British Army.  From 2009 to 2011, he served as Defence Strategy and Operations Policy Branch Chief at the Defence Staff Headquarters in Rome.  Since 2015, Major General Del Col has been the Senior Deputy Chief of the Cabinet Office of the Minister of Defence.

He has extensive international operational experience, including in Kosovo, Lebanon and Libya.  He served with UNIFIL in 2008 as Battalion Commander and in 2014-2015 as Commander of Sector West and Italian Contingent Commander.

Born in 1961, Major General Del Col holds a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree (with distinction) in International Relations and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Trieste.  He also holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Sciences from the University of Turin and a Master’s degree in International Military Studies from the University of Milan.

New Ghanaian Battalion Takes Charge in South Lebanon

June 11, 2018 – UNIFIL’s Ghanaian Battalion (GHANBATT) saw a change in command of its 850-strong force operating in furthering peace in south Lebanon, last week.

At a transfer of authority ceremony held in the Battalion headquarters in Al Qawzah on 6 July, the outgoing Commanding Officer Lt Col William Nortey passed the mantle to his successor Lt Col Fiifi Deegbe. The newly arrived peacekeepers will serve with UNIFIL for one year.

In his address, the Sector West Commander Brigadier General Paolo Fabbri noted that Ghana has been one of the most important troop contributing countries since 1978 in support of the UNIFIL efforts in the pursuit of peace, security and stability in south Lebanon.

GHANBATT’s area of responsibility includes a 23-kilometer stretch of the Blue Line within their area of responsibility in south Lebanon.

As one of UNIFIL’s 42 troop contributors, Ghana has the highest number of women peacekeepers in Lebanon.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Support Special Needs School and Community Centre

July 11, 2018 – UNIFIL’s Ghanaian peacekeepers donated last week a photocopier to a special needs school in Ayta ash-Shaab and a 30 KVA generator set to a community centre in Al Qawzah, Lebanon.

The Ghanaian peacekeepers from the outgoing battalion (GHANBATT 84) had organized a benefit musical concert in the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura on 22 June to raise funds to buy the equipment.

UNIFIL’s Sector West Commander Brigadier General Paolo Fabbri attended a ceremony to hand over the generator on 6 July.

Between their peacekeeping operational duties, UNIFIL peacekeepers carry out a number of activities in the communities they serve in order to preserve and strengthen their ties. https://unifil.unmissions.org/ghanaian-peacekeepers-support-special-needs-school-and-community-centre

First ever UN High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States to open in New York

Accra, 27 June 2018 – The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres will on Thursday, 28 June 2018 convene the first United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States at UN Headquarters under the theme “Strengthening international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism.” The 2-day Conference will provide an opportunity for the UN and Member States to forge new partnerships to address the complex and transnational threat of terrorism.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

In an Op-Ed, the UN Secretary General called for a concerted multilateral response at global, regional and national levels to defeat the threat of terrorism. He writes “Terrorism is a transnational threat that cannot be defeated by any single government or organization… we must also address root causes by promoting education, tackling youth unemployment and addressing marginalization.” through the engagement of local communities, religious organizations and the media.

Meanwhile, the Sixth Biennial Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of the General Assembly has opened at UN Headquarters. In advance of the event, the Secretary-General issued on 20 April his report on the activities of the UN System (A/72/840) (http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/72/840). The Review will provide an opportunity for Member States to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy and to discuss the way forward.

 

UNHCR Ghana calls on Government to accede to UN Conventions on Statelessness

Accra, 20 June 2018 – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ghana office and the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) have called on the Government to develop the legal pathways for local integration of protracted refugees in the country and accede to the two UN Conventions on Statelessness.  The call was contained in a statement read in Parliament by a Member of Parliament of Ningo-Prampram, Hon. Samuel Nartey George, as part of commemorative events to mark World Refugee Day in Accra.

Minister of Information addressing the audience

At a ceremony held in Accra in commemoration of the Day, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock commended Ghana’s efforts at meeting the needs of refugees over the past years.  The Chairman of the GRB, Professor Kenneth Attafuah reiterated the need to recognise the opportunities that refugees bring to their host countries. The Minister of Information, Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid shared his personal life experience growing up as a son of a refugee.  He noted that “we must realise that refugee situations are real and it could happen to anyone”.

eShun performing

There was a presentation by High Level Influencer (HLI) Kwame Amfo-Akonnor, calling for support for refugees under the LuQuLuQu campaign.  HLI eShun, a Ghanaian singer also added her voice to the call in a performance dedicated to the stateless.

1st Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin Annual Lecture & Essay Competition

Accra 4 June 2018 – Entries are invited for the First Professor Babatunde Osotimehin Annual Essay Competition (PBOC). In honour of the life, times and work of the late professor of clinical pathology, former Nigerian Minister of Health and Executive Director of UNFPA between 2011 and 2017, young people are invited to submit entries on the theme- “Comprehensive Sexuality Education for the Adolescent Girl in Ghana”.

The essay competition seeks to enrich conversation and research on the continual and untiring quest for brilliant solutions as a means to drive the much desired demographic dividends. Top 10 essay entries from the competition will be compiled into an anthology and launched during the award ceremony, which will be held in Accra in the margins of the African Girls Summit scheduled for August 2018.

Prizes will be awarded to three individuals with the most outstanding essays.

  • Winner will be awarded the sum of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis and a sponsored trip to attend the Family Planning Conference in Rwanda later this year.
  • First Runner up will be awarded the sum of Three Thousand Ghana Cedis and an iPad.
  • Second Runner up will be awarded the sum of Two Thousand Ghana Cedis, and a Smart Phone.

Read further for the guidelines for essay entries.