Category Archives: Latest News

Ghana AIDS Commission launches 2014 World AIDS Day at Ashaiman

Accra, November 4, 2014 – Residents of Ashaiman, a suburb of Tema, and its environs, seized the opportunity of the launch of World AIDS day in their community to check their HIV/AIDS status and receive counseling and free IEC/BCC materials and information.

Residents of Ashaiman patronising one of teh stands

Residents of Ashaiman patronising one of teh stands

The launch of the month-long advocacy and awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS toards World AIDS day on December 1, was under the national theme, “Ghana towards an HIV free generation through PMTCT, safe sex and stigma reduction”. The campaign will include community outreach in churches and mosques, a walk, and media campaign to better engage the general populace on HIV and AIDS issues with the goal of promoting and encouraging the utilization of HIV services, especially testing and counseling, condom use, treatment services and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It was attended by representatives from the Ghana Health Service, the Council of State, United Nations system, NAP+ Ghana and elders from the Ashaiman Township and the clergy. Continue reading

Ghana records 138 incidents of violation against journalists from 2005 till date

Accra,  November 3, 2014 – As the world marks International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists for the first time, media stakeholders in Ghana have called for more measures by regulatory bodies, training institutions and media actors to improve the quality of journalism and ensure the safety of practitioners. Some bemoaned the inadequate facilities for training journalists in the country, the toothless nature of the National Media Commission, the frequent attacks on journalists and the absence of a national mechanism to monitor and report on journalists’ safety.

Participants at the Forum

Participants at the Forum

The stakeholders made the call at a forum organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO and the UN Information Centre, Accra to commemorate the Day.  It brought together over 100 stakeholders to discuss the “state of journalists safety in Ghana” following a presentation by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Ghana, a regional independent NGO that works to defend and promote the rights and freedoms of the media.   Continue reading

Forum on the State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana to be held on November 3

Accra, Ghana, 30 October 2014 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in partnership with the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO and the UN Information Centre, Accra, is organising a forum on the topic The State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana.

The Forum is in commemoration of the first ever United Nations International Day to End Impunity and Crimes against Journalists. A paper on the topic will be presented by the Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah and the discussions will be moderated by a Member of the National Media Commission, Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng.

Download the Media Advisory for details.

UN Day in Ghana Marked with a Cultural Twist

Accra, October 24, 2014 – The 69th United Nations Day has been marked in Ghana at a lively flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House in Accra. This year’s global celebration was themed “Global Citizenship and Youth” and was celebrated nationally under the theme “Youth Engagement for Effective Nation-Building”. The ceremony was graced by Mr. Girmay Haile, Country Director of UNAIDS, representing the UN Resident Coordinator a.i., and Hon. Mahama Ayariga representing the Government of Ghana. In attendance were dignitaries from private and public-sector institutions, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from the various agencies of the United Nations system in Ghana.

Students of Accra Girls High School in a cultural display

Students of Accra Girls High School in a cultural display

Unlike previous flag-raising ceremonies when speeches were delivered and the UN and Ghana flags were both hoisted amidst military display, this year’s event was spiced up with a beautiful performance by students from the Accra Girls High School.  The cultural performance by the all-girls group depicted the challenges some communities face due to poor maternal health and the declining trend of girls’ enrollment from Elementary to Senior High school. These two areas have been selected by the UN Country Team for a pilot One UN advocacy initiative to draw public attention to the lost opportunity countries face when girls drop out of school and the challenges women face due to inadequate maternal health. The performance by the students clearly demonstrated the importance the UN is giving to culture as a relevant factor in the equation of tackling and resolving development issues.

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“Use social media to make your voice heard”, UNIC Accra NIO tells students

Tema, October 20, 2014 – The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre, Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah has urged students of Tema International School (TIS) to make efficient use of social media platforms to share ideas, debates and questions about the work of the United Nations.

Student delegates at the event

Student delegates at the event

She was speaking as a Guest of Honour at this year’s TIS Model United Nations Conference which was on the theme, “The role of the MDGs in securing a peaceful future in a global village”. She said, “In an era where challenges extend beyond borders and have global consequences, our future depends on how well we – young or old, rich or poor, male or female – work together”.

NIO presents UN Day poster to TIS

NIO presents UN Day poster to TIS

Ms. Prah also congratulated the organizers and urged them to involve at least a less-deprived school in subsequent simulations as this would enhance knowledge and understanding of diverse cultural settings. She presented the school with a banner marking the 69th UN Day celebration.

Receiving the souvenir, the acting Principal of TIS, Ms. Felicia Sackey expressed her profound gratitude to Ms. Prah and UNIC Accra for their immense contribution towards youth development in Ghana.

NIO (4th from left) in a group picture with MUN Committee Chairs

NIO (4th from left) in a group picture with MUN Committee Chairs

Model United Nations are organized across the globe as an activity to prepare future leaders and to introduce young people to pressing global issues – in peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development — as well as to inspires them to find global solutions.

Ghana Elected to the Human Rights Council

Accra, 22 October 2014 – Ghana has been elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve a two-year term (2015 – 2017) on the 15-member UN Human Rights Council. Other newly elected countries include; Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, The Congo, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Latvia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal and Qatar.   They replace Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Peru, the Philippines, and Romania.

Ghana competed in the Africa group in which four seats were up for election. The other elected countries in the Africa group are Nigeria, The Congo, Botswana, DRC and Benin.

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UN Secretary-General appoints Ebola Crisis Managers for the three affected countries

New York 8 October, 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointments of Marcel Rudasingwa of Rwanda as Ebola Crisis Manager for Guinea, Peter Jan Graaff of the Netherlands as Ebola Crisis Manager for Liberia and Amadu Kamara of the United States as Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone.

The appointments are part of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). In their respective roles, the Crisis Managers will work with their host Government along with key stakeholders in ensuring a rapid and effective international response to the Ebola crisis within their respective country.

Mr. Rudasingwa brings great value of service with United Nations Children’s Fund for almost twenty years, having served extensively in various senior management and leadership functions in Kenya, Mali, Guinea and Denmark. Born in 1955 in Rwanda, Mr. Rudasingwa graduated from the Makarere University of Kampala in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in languages and communication and has undertaken additional studies in psychology and teaching.

Mr. Graaff brings to the position a wealth of experience in international health issues along with international affairs, having served extensively with the World Health Organisation in a number of countries in Africa, Afghanistan and Haiti, along with more recently leading the Civil Affairs and Development team within the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Born in 1960 in Heerde, the Netherlands, Mr. Graaff graduated from the University of Leiden in 1986 with a master’s degree in science focused on pharmacy, and from Herriot Watt University in 2003 with a master’s in business administration.

Mr. Kamara brings to the position a diverse portfolio spanning the continent of Africa in international affairs, having served extensively with the United Nations in various senior management support functions and other roles in Liberia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Timor Leste, Haiti, and Lebanon. Born in 1957 in Sierra Leone, Mr. Kamara graduated from the State University New York in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in arts and economics and has undertaken post graduate studies at the New School for Social Research.

UN Books on Wheels project launched in Accra

Accra, 1 October, 2014 – Blessing and Chris are both students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and the University of Professional Studies respectively.  Both schools are based in Accra.  However, neither of them has stepped in any of the UN offices in search of information about the United Nations. For Blessing and Chris, the UN is a distant organization.

Cross section of participants at the launch of UN Books on Wheels project

Cross section of participants at the launch of UN Books on Wheels project

It is to demystify this conception and to make information about the United Nations easily accessible to the general public, including students that the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, with support from all the UN agencies and the Resident Coordinator’s Office, embarked on the ‘UN Books on Wheels’ project. The project aims to decentralize access to UN research materials and other literature and place them within the reach of Ghanaians.  The project has been launched at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra.  The event was attended by students and representatives from 10 institutions of higher learning.

The Commandant of the GAFCSC presenting some UN publication to UDS Assistant Registrar Mr. Ansa

The Commandant of the GAFCSC presenting some UN publication to UDS Assistant Registrar Mr. Ansa

The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Cynthia Prah in her opening statement stressed on the need to provide a means of research into evolving global trends especially concerning the United Nations and its functions; what it stands for and on its work. On how the project will unfold, she explained that participating libraries will have a ‘UN corner’ which will be branded as such and stocked with UN literature in hard copies, and access to soft copies.

The UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms Susan Namondo Ngongi, expressed a desire for Ghanaians to better understand and relate with the United Nations , adding that the project will help achieve that.

Deputy Minister for Communications & UN RC ai cut the sod to officially open the UN Corner at GAFCSC.j

Deputy Minister for Communications & UN RC ai cut the sod to officially open the UN Corner at GAFCSC.j

The Guest of Honour and Deputy Minister for Communications, Ato Sarpong , lauded the United Nations for defining and redefining the global development agenda since its inception seven decades ago. He expressed support for ‘UN Books on Wheels’ and outlined the government’s efforts to make information easily accessible to the general public. He also hoped that the project will spark the interest of more Ghanaians in the affairs of the United Nations and hopefully produce the next ‘Kofi Annan’.

Minister Ato Sarpong (Back to camera) in a chat with the Commandant of the GAFCSC

Minister Ato Sarpong (Back to camera) in a chat with the Commandant of the GAFCSC

At the end of the launch, Blessing expressed excitement at the opportunity to access information about the UN with ease and hoped that the resources will be extended with time to all district libraries to enable her gain access to information anywhere in the country. For Chris, the sustainability of the project was his concern, citing the immense help it will be to his studies and many other Ghanaians if the project was to be sustained for a longer period.

Participants were later taken on a tour of the ‘UN Corner’ of the International Peace Keeping library of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College following the official opening of the corner. The institutions were later presented with some UN publications and UNIC Accra designed UN-labeled posters.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General arrives in Accra to establish the UNMEER Headquarters

ACCRA, GHANA, 30 September 2014 – As the number of patients with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone surpassed 6500 with more than 3000 deaths, the United Nations is increasing the momentum to curb the spread of the disease. The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Anthony Banbury, arrived in Accra Monday 29 September to head the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which will join governments and international partners to respond to the Ebola outbreak.

“Ghana has never had a case of Ebola, yet the leadership of this country recognizes the impact this outbreak is having on the region” says Banbury. “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Ghana and the people living here for their willingness to support our work. Our task now is to work with the international community and support the national authorities of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to stop this outbreak from spreading any further.”

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UNMEER Head to brief media in Accra

Accra, September 29, 2014 – A 13-member advance team of UNMEER, led by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNMEER, Anthony Banbury has arrived in Accra. A press conference will take place tomorrow September 30.

Ghana's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey welcomes Tony Banbury

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey welcomes Tony Banbury

Under the leadership of Mr. Banbury, the team will ensure the rapid, effective and coherent action necessary to stop the Ebola outbreak is outlined and implemented.

The establishment of UNMEER follows the unanimous adoption of UN General Assembly resolution 69/1 to provide a platform for wide-ranging international efforts to put an end to the spread of the disease. UNMEER will have its headquarters in Accra with offices in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.