Category Archives: Latest News

UN Communication Group takes the UN to the door steps of students in Northern Ghana

Tamale, 13 November 2018 – Over 5000 students from nine senior high schools (SHS) and three tertiary institutions in the Northern Region of Ghana have taken part in this year’s joint UN4U outreach activities organized by the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) in the country.  UN4U was held annually by the UN Information Centre (UNIC), Accra.  It has, since 2015, been adopted by the UNCG as one of its core advocacy events to reach out to the youth and share knowledge about the work of the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global and national development priorities. The platform is also used to encourage the youth to explore opportunities to make meaningful impact in societies.

The first event was hosted by the Tamale Senior High School (SHS) and was held at the school’s assembly hall, which seats over 3000 students.  Here, students from the Northern School of Business, Tamale Islamic SHC, Anbariya SHS, Kalpohin SHS, Ghana SHS, Business SHS, Vitting SHS and Tamale Girls SHS were in attendance.

Representatives from UNHCR, UNDP, UNAIDS and UNIC took turns to brief the students on various aspects of their work. At the end of the programme, Muniru Ruweida of Tamale SHS told us she has now learnt that “we should not look down on or stigmatize people with HIV/AIDS.” For Alhassan Azara of Tamale Islamic SHS, who said she never knew about the UN, the programme was very useful because it was as a result of the programme that she gained an understanding of the core objectives of the UN.

Praise Nutakor of UNDP addresses students at Tamale University College of Education

At the tertiary level, students from the Tamale University College of Education (TUCE) showed great interest in the work of the UN.  The event was very interactive and engaging. The students sought clarity on a number of issues around conflict resolution, peace and security and how best to make an impact in a society where young people’s voices are inadvertently silenced by the reminder to wait till they are old.  At the end of the nearly 3-hour session with these students, 18-year old Asmaila Rahinatu, a first-year student of TUCE told the team that “today I have learnt that we can all make a change in a respectable way regardless of our age”.

The Vice Principal of the TUCE, Mr. Imoro Huhu Alhassan

The Vice Principal of the TUCE, Mr. Imoro Huhu Alhassan, expressed appreciation to the UNCG for choosing to hold the event in their school.  He appealed to the UN to organize such events in the Northern region on a regular basis.

Some of the most rewarding aspects in the work of UN colleagues is taking the UN to the door steps of the youth through outreach programmes. UN4U is one way to reach out that connects UN staff from many agencies to young people in their own schools and communities, and that enables us to learn as much from them as they learn about the UN from us.

UNIC Accra at 73rd UN Day Events in Ghana

Accra, 25 October 2018 – The United Nations Information Centre in Accra, with the support of colleagues from other UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, took part in a number of activities in observance of United Nations Day in Ghana. Much of the activities were targeted at the youth.

UNHCR’s Patience Folley addressing the GIS students

The journey began with two days of briefing sessions on the role of United Nations at the Ghana International School in Accra.  These sessions were organized by the School on 11 and 12 October, ahead of their major UN and National Costume Day on 19 October.  The briefing sessions were organised to offer students the basis for celebrating an organization that seeks to maintain world peace, promote economic and social development and protect human rights.

Cynthia Prah of UNIC and Praise Nutakor of UNDP address the students at GIS

During the first two sessions, UNIC Accra explained the work of the organs of the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s presence in Ghana to some 800 elementary students. UNHCR and UNESCO also took turns to brief these students on their specific mandates.  On Day 2, UNIC Accra and UNDP took the lead to address over 500 Senior High Students.

GIS students dressed in Ghanaian costume on parade.

 

The actual event to mark UN Day at the Ghana International School took place on 19 October.  Students were dressed in various costumes representing their country of origin to demonstrate diversity. There were beautiful performances in honour of the former UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan.

Students of Morning Star School

 

The next point of call on 23 October, was Morning Star School.  Here UNIC Accra took over 400 Junior High School students through 17 SDGs. UNHCR and UNDP were also present to offer support and brief students on the importance of the works towards promoting global peace and development.  The students mounted a very information exhibition on the SDGs.

Some UN staff during the walk

A UN Day health walk was held on 20 October under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Integration. Over 1000 people including Heads of UN Agencies, members of the diplomatic corps and the media took part in the walk. The objective was to raise some level of awareness of the UN Day while keeping fit.

The UN flag and the Ghana flag hoisted

On 24 October, UNIC Accra participated in a flag-raising ceremony, the climax of national events to mark the Day. The event, which took place in Accra, was attended by members of the security services, traditional leaders, members of the diplomatic corps and students.

Both the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey addressed the gathering. Ms Evans-Klock thanked Ghana for its leadership role in the United Nations and expressed gratitude to HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo “for agreeing to continue to co-Chair the Secretary-General’s Group of Eminent Advocates for the SDGs for another two-year term.” A position which, according to Ms Evans-Klock, helps drive Ghana’s leadership across Africa.

Hon Botchwey [m] and other officials on the exhibition grounds

Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to the ideals and principles of the United Nations.

An exhibition on the works of the United Nations as a global institution seeking peace, equity and sustainable development was mounted with the support of UNIC Accra.

Panel discusses Zero Hunger to Mark World Food Day

Accra, 25 October 2018 – The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Food Programme recently organised a panel discussion on “Our Actions are Our Future: A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible”, the theme for this year’s World Food Day.

University of Ghana School of Performing Arts students dance performance on zero hunger and agriculture at the event.

The panel’s contributions to the discussion programme were very insightful, engaging and thought provoking.  UNIC Accra compiled some of the comments made during the session. Please refer to the link to read.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.