Category Archives: Latest News

World Water Day marked with students in Accra

Accra, March 23, 2017 –  World Water Day; the essence of water; why we must use water wisely and; accessibility of water were some of the topics discussed with about 100 Grade 7 (Junior High School 1) students of Independence Avenue 1 and 2 Junior High School at a World Water Day outreach event.

15-yr old Alhassan Malik

When asked how many students could relate to the practice of fetching water before school, several of the students raised their hands. According to one of the pupils, it is a household chore and as a matter of fact, they “…cannot sit for [their] parents to fetch water for [them]”.

The discussion on access to water went on and on until 15-year old Alhassan Malik stood up and said “It is wrong for students to travel miles for water before they go to school”.  Intrigued by Malik’s response, I asked him to explain why it is wrong for children to wake up early and carry water on their heads before they prepare for school.  This is what he had to say: “It is wrong because we will be late for school, we will be tired by the time we get to school and even sleep in class or we may miss important lessons in school”. And the class applauded Malik, perhaps for being bold enough to say what they each go through as a result of fetching water before school.

A student showcases her work

For many of the students, fetching water before school is a routine. Though they are not comfortable doing it, they have no other choice. For the others who were not engaged in this practice, they saw the need to use water wisely so that the little available will be enough for several households.

Following the discussions, the students were offered pencils, erasers and papers to sketch their thought on the essence of water and therefore World Water Day, after which some students presented their work to the entire class. The need to preserve and use water wisely run through their messages.

At the end of the event, the Head Mistress of Independence Avenue 1 JHS, Mrs. Lydia Bamfo expressed appreciation to UNIC Accra for choosing their school for such an insightful programme and asked the students to take what they have learnt seriously and apply them to their daily lives.

PLURAL+ 2017 youth video festival/competition call for entries

Accra, March 20, 2016PLURAL + has called for entries for its 2017  youth video festival on migration, diversity and social inclusion.

PLURAL + is a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration, with a network of over 30 partner organizations, who support the creative efforts of young people and distribute their videos worldwide.

PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tensions in a world often characterized by conflict and division.

PLURAL+ aims to support dialogue between young people from different cultures, and in the process, increase awareness and respect for diversity.

Last year over 300 videos were submitted to PLURAL+, of those, 27 were selected for awards.

PLURAL+ International Jury Award winners are invited to New York for the Awards Ceremony.

Kindly note that the deadline to submit entries is 4 June 2017.

Visit the PLURAL + for details.

UNIC Accra hosts Nigerian artists with a cap 300ft long

Accra, 3 March 2017 – An indigenous Nigerian artist, Femi Coker, today paid a courtesy call on UNIC Accra with a cap 300ft long to underline the important contribution made by people of African descent to our societies as part of a project to promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD).

Femi Coker wearing the cap and being interviewed by the local media

The United Nations General Assembly declared 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2024 as the IDPAD to recognize that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. It also means that afro-centric ideals, values, ideas and strategies, inventions, innovations, creative ingenuity, advancement, development and excellence would be the focus of the international community. Read further

 

Secretary-General’s statement on the death of Ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin

New York – Feb 21, 2017 – I have just returned to New York and have learned with shock and sadness of the news of the sudden passing of Ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, who was an outstanding diplomat.

Ambassador Churkin served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with distinction through some of the most challenging and momentous periods of recent history.

The late ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin

In 2006, he was appointed as the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. For more than a decade, Ambassador Churkin was a forceful presence on the Security Council.

Ambassador Churkin was a uniquely skilled diplomat, a powerful orator with great wit, and a man of many talents and interests.

Although we served together for a short time, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with him and will deeply miss his insights, skills and friendship. I pay tribute to his contributions to the United Nations and offer my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and to the Government and people of the Russian Federation.

New York, 20 February 2017

 

IMF staff concludes visit to Ghana

Accra, February 13, 2017 – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Joël Toujas-Bernaté, has completed an official visit to Ghana.  The visit, which took place from February 6-10, 2017, was “to take stock of the 2016 economic developments and the outlook for 2017, engage in a dialogue about the new government’s economic plans, and discuss prospects for program engagement with the IMF”.

A press release issued by the IMF at the end of the visit indicates that the team met with the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Finance Minister Hon. Kenneth Ofori-Atta; Minister of Food and Agriculture Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku; other senior officials; and development partners in the country.

UN calls for nomination for 2017 Public Service Awards

New York, February 13, 2017 – The United Nations is calling for nominations for the 2017 UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA).  The call which closes on 28 February 2017, is open to all public organizations, including governments and public institutions engaged in public-private partnerships for delivering services.

It aims to promote and recognise innovation and excellence in public services supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Awards will be handed out on 23 June 2017, a day designated by the UN General Assembly as the UN Public Service Day and the Awards ceremony will take place during the UN Public Service Forum in The Hague, Netherlands.

Please read further for more information. 

Students Tell the ‘Story’ of the Holocaust through Art Works

Accra, January 31, 2017 – As part of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance observance in Accra, students were tasked to express their understanding of the Holocaust in art forms at an outreach event held at the Alpha Beta Christian College, a private High School. The students’ solemn depiction of the Holocaust, an incident that has been recorded in history as one of the worst atrocities meted out by humanity against humanity, highlights the theme of this year’s observance: Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future.  In their own creativity, the students depicted and presented to their colleagues what they know of the Holocaust and what it represents for them as the youth of today. The art works displayed the pain, torture and destruction of lives to reiterate the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.

Blood-stained barbed wire and horrors of the Holocaust by Maripearl Adonteng of East Airport International School

The Gas Mask by Harry Dzanie of East Airport International School

The film The Path to Nazi Genocide was screened, followed by brief presentations by the National Communications Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah and the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, Bernhard Abels. Both presenters took turns to reiterate the essence of the observance and the need to denounce prejudice and racism in an effort to prevent its re-occurrence.

The Holocaust by Maxine Brenya of Alpha Beta Christian College

The outreach event, organized by UNIC Accra, was attended by over 200 students from three schools and staff of the schools.

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UNIC Accra Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with an Outreach

Accra, January 30, 2017 – This year’s International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (27 January) was observed under the theme “Educating for a Better

Bernhard Abels, Deputy Head, German Embassy Accra addresses the students

Future”. In Accra, the United Nations co-organised a Public Forum with the Embassy of the State of Israel and the Embassy of Germany, and an outreach event and exhibition for some 200 students.

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Violent extremism in prisons: Behind bars, but not locked up

By Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Violent extremism today presents a chilling challenge to the world’s prison correction communities.

Anis Amri, shot dead before Christmas by Italian police after killing 12 people in the Berlin terrorist attack, was allegedly radicalised in prison. His story follows a shocking trajectory that enables murderous terrorism due to the incitement and recruitment of vulnerable prisoners.

Security Council meeting
The situation in Afghanistan
Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2015/684)
Letter dated 15 September 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2015/713)
General Assembly 69th session: High-level Forum on a Culture of Peace
Opening Statements by the Acting President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General, followed by panel discussions

Cases such as Amri’s show that, today, for the small minority, prisons have become the first step towards committing horrific acts of mayhem and destruction. How can we get this minority back on the rehabilitation path and defeat the violent extremists. While no quick remedy exists, there are approaches that can make prisoners less susceptible.

Extremist recruiters are adept at spotting fragile inmates open to joining extremist causes and who can be convinced to commit terrorist acts upon release. Using the tedium of prison life, they exploit hatreds and frustrations and bend inmates towards a shared ideological commitment to using violence.

Prisons may not help by exerting their own coercive pressures encouraging prisoners to join groups due to violence, threatening behaviour, overcrowding and poor management.

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Launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017

Accra, January 11, 2017 – The 2017 World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report will be launched by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on 17 January at 11:00 am in New York (4pm in Accra). Regional analyses will also be launched in the following days in key regional hubs.  

According to the report, facing major headwinds and heightened uncertainty, the world economy remains mired in a prolonged cycle of subdued global growth. In addition to an analysis of the present situation, the report looks at measures that can lift global growth and support sustainable development, including a more targeted policy mix that is based on sound policy analysis and more effective policy coordination at the domestic, regional and global level.

You may follow the global launch at http://webtv.un.org.