Category Archives: Latest News

UN Ghana commiserates with flood victims

Accra: 5th June, 2015 – The United Nations System in Ghana is saddened by the loss of more than 100 lives, homes, properties and livelihoods as a result of the floods in Accra and other parts of the country, and the explosion at the fuel station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle on Wednesday, 3 June 2015.

On behalf of the United Nations in Ghana, the Resident Coordinator Ms. Christine Evans-Klock extends condolences to the flood victims and bereaved families and friends.

The UN will work with partners to support the efforts of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) toward early recovery. The UN will also mobilize technical assistance to support national efforts in response to the President, HE John Dramani Mahama’s, call for measures to mitigate the effect of future flooding in the country.

The UN continues to monitor the situation closely and will assess needs that may arise for relevant support.

For more information:

Mutinta Chimuka – Acting UN Resident Coordinator
Email: mutinta.chimuka@wfp.org, Tel: +233 302 773 540, Mobile: +233 540 113 288

4th World Summit of Mayor ends in Accra

Accra, 5 June 2015 – The 4th World Summit of Mayors has ended in Accra with a call by the former President of Ghana, Flt Lt. Rawlings on African leaders to modernise their respective cities. He said effective leadership, planning and a good sense of direction will no doubt yield positive results in the transformation process.

President Rawlings implored the people of Africa to remain united to promote growth and development.

Over a hundred delegates attended the 3-day summit which sought to find solutions to the challenges facing African cities.

The Mayor of Accra and President of Global Alliance for Africa (GAMAD), Dr. Okoe Vanderpuije passed a flaming torch onto the special guest Ms. Celia Sacramento, (Deputy Mayor of Salvador, Brazil and the Vice President of GAMAD) to signify the passing on of the right, blessings and authority to host the next/5th World Mayors’ summit in Brazil come 2016. She was filled with pride and was emotional as she delivered her speech of gratitude and appreciation to the delegates and to Ghana.

UN University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa launches two books

Accra, 3 June 2015 – Co-Authors Stephen Frimpong and Dr. Effiom Oku have presented an overview of their respective books “Economic and Financial Analyses of Small and Medium Food Crops Agro-Processing Firms in Ghanaand “Harnessing Land and Water Resources for Improved Food Security and Ecosystem Services in Africaat a gathering in Accra. Both authors, affiliated with the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa in Accra, made the presentations at an event to launch the books.

They addressed the overarching theme of the challenges facing natural resources in Africa and the agri-business potentials within Ghana, but with ideas that can be extended and implemented throughout the continent.

Dr. Oku and colleagues employed empirical data to propose and suggest policy options, and encourage Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in order to facilitate the successful management and use of natural resources and to improve food security. The main objective of their book “is to draw attention to the impact of human activities on land and water resources and the need for the sustainable management of Africa’s ecosystem services to improve livelihoods”

For Stephen Frimpong and colleagues, “provide empirical evidence for stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to improve efficiencies in food crops agro-processing in Ghana”.

Varying topics which relate to the subjects of the two books such as marketing, empowerment of women, technology and education were discussed following the presentations.  There were sentiments and remarks from the panelists and audience. The event was moderated by Dr. Elias T. Ayuk, the Director of UNU-INRA.

United Nations present at 4th World Summit of Mayors

Accra, 3 June 2015 – An entire session was devoted to presentations by UN officials at the just ended 4th World Summit of Mayors held in Accra.  The UNDP, UNFPA, IOM and UNICEF were fully represented on Day 2 of the 3-day summit.

UNDP Country Representative Dominic Sam (Credit: AMA)

UNDP Country Representative Dominic Sam (Credit: AMA)

The UNDP representative Mr. Dominic Sam, spoke on issues that bothered around the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He emphasized the fact that “we live in a rapidly changing world” and that as of 2015, 95% of the urban expansion would be in the developing world mostly Africa and Asia. He also maintained that without collaboration between the Mayors and the Chiefs, MDGs and SDGs would be unattainable. To this end, as a concluding remark, the speaker therefore implored the leaders not to be spectators but to take the lead in the fulfillment of the MDGs.

UN Officials at the Summit

UN Officials at the Summit

For his part, the representative of the UNFPA Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi spoke on issues related to Demographic Dividends explaining the concept as the benefit that arises when a country has a colossal number of working population and invests enormously into education and women empowerment. He made known the fact that due to the youth purge prevalent in the world today arising from the number of adolescents totaling 1.8 billion of the world’s population, it was imperatively important that gargantuan investment be made into education, health facilities and girl/women empowerment in order to harness the demographic dividends of the country.

The subsequent speaker representing the International Organization of Migration (IOM), Mr. Azu Samri discussed issues centered on migration trends in the 21st century asserting that 222 million people engaged in international migration and about 740 million people worldwide were internal migrants. He also maintained that more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas.

He asserted that 31 million Africans migrated in 2013 which has caused severe Brain Drain on Africa, loss of skills significant for development which has led to Africa’s dependency on foreign products while the countries of destination have continued to receive addition manpower provided by migrating Africans. To this end, the IOM created the Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) which is saddled with the responsibility to assist African States in achieving their economic and development goals so as to lessen the rate of Brain Drain from Africa. He proposed three methods through which this objective would be accomplished: Enabling, Engaging and Empowering the Diaspora for development in Africa. He informed the gathering that the IOM is planning to organize a forum that will bring together Mayors, Leaders, and Presidents amongst others to discuss issues on migration.

For UNICEF, Ms. Susan Ngongi discussed on issues surrounding Child Poverty. She emphasized that children should get the best investment available from their guardians and from the society at large. She also postulated that to ensure that the socio economic status of parents doesn’t pass on automatically to children, child poverty needs to be tackled with all seriousness. She concluded her speech by noting that due to the fact that African Mayors are busy and getting busier, Child poverty is on the rise and therefore needs to be tackled effectively so as to abate it to the barest minimum.

 

Discussions continue at 4th World Summit of Mayors in Accra

Accra, 3 June 2015 – The 4th World Summit of Mayors continues in Accra with discussions on various areas of enhancing the capacity and taking care of cities and nations in Africa.

Officials at the Summit on Day 2

Officials at the Summit on Day 2

An area that was dealt with was “The Role of Mayor in Community Development”. Here, the Paramount Chief of the Akyem Abuakwa State, Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, focused on Africa’s future and how it needs to be addressed and managed appropriately. He eloquently explained that the continent needs to reach a point in which we will appreciate the progress made adding that “although change needs to be radical and is not for those who are faint at heart, it nonetheless needs to be facilitated within the bounds of municipal laws”. However the pursuance of a better future on the continent is crucial because it should no longer be synonymous with concepts such as death and disease.

Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II also implored that “never forget your tradition, who you are, and where you are from”. He also spoke on the problem of the rising population in the city of Accra emphasizing that there is a limit to how many people the city could accommodate, and that that limit has been exceeded.

A theme that was upheld by many speakers was that the power of change is within the reach of everyone and that it is possible.  What is required therefore is for African leaders to harness the power of collaboration and focus.

Furthermore, an entire session was dedicated to addresses by the United Nations Systems, such as the UNDP, UNFPA, IOM and UNICEF. Through them topics such as Transformative Growth, the Management of Human Capital, Immigration and Children were elaborated on and nuanced. From the speakers’ presentation it was clear that “the world is rapidly changing” and there is still much more to be done to allow for the African continent and those connected to it benefit from global trends in socio-economic prosperity.

 

Hundreds of delegates attend 4th World Summit of Mayors in Accra

Accra 2 June 2015 – The 4th World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent has opened in Accra with Ghana’s Vice President, HE Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Ex-president Jerry John Rawlings, Vice President of Honduras, Lorena Herrera, the Mayor of Accra and President of Global Alliance for Africa (GAMAD), Dr. Okoe Vanderpuije in attendance.  Others include Dr. Dijbiri Dailo, Senior Advisor, UNAIDS and Mr Oscar Gamboa Zuniga, Executive Director of GAMAD. Several Mayors from all over the world as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and traditional leaders also graced the occasion. The special guest was HE Lorena Herrera.

Young flute players perform to usher guests to the Summit

Young flute players perform to usher guests to the Summit

In a ceremonial cultural performance, the Mayor of Cali, Columbia, handed over the flame of fire to the Mayor of Accra, Ghana, signifying the transfer of responsibility to host the Summit.

Dr. Okoe Vanderpuije welcomed the guests and participants to the conference and elaborated the objectives of the conference. One of the key issues on the agenda of the conference is the “Fast-Track Cities” initiative which aims at ensuring that by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV knows their HIV status,

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur

90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are receiving treatment, and 90% of people are being treated with suppressed viral loads. The summit will also discuss issues of racism, empowerment of girls and women and job creation for young people of Africa.

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Ghana Honours UN Peacekeepers

Accra, 29 May 2015 – The International Day of United Nations Peacekeeping has been marked in Accra to honour our gallant peacekeepers and commemorate those who lost their lives in service to humanity. The theme for the celebration is UN70, Ghana in Peacekeeping, Past, Present and Future. Present at the ceremony were the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Education, the Deputy Minister for Defence, the UN Resident Coordinator, members of the diplomatic corps and heads of the security services including the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, and the Ghana Prisons Service.

Wreath bearers at the UN PKD 2015

Wreath bearers at the UN PKD 2015

The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, in her speech applauded the invaluable contribution of the blue helmets to the proud history of the United Nations.  She expressed her condolence to the bereaved families of fallen peacekeepers, four of whom have been honoured posthumously at an event in New York.  They are Corporal Augustine Ackah of UNMIL who passed on 2nd   January 2014, Sgt George   Koranteng of UNMIL who passed on the 15th August 2014, LtMoses Adatara UNMIL who passed on 26th November 2014, and WOI Peter Atabire of MINUMA who passed on 14th November 2014. A minute silence was observed in their memory.

UN RC lays a wreath on behalf of UN

UN RC lays a wreath on behalf of UN

For her part, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Hanna Tetteh disclosed that the Government of Ghana has formed an inter-ministerial committee to ensure that Ghanaian Peacekeepers get state of the art equipment and technological expertise so as to protect and empower them in the discharge of their duties. She also expressed gratitude to the Government of Lebanon for providing scholarships to children of some fallen heroes.

The highlights of the event was a flag raising and wreath-laying ceremony, where Hon. Hanna

Ghana Navy on parade to mark UN PKD 2015

Ghana Navy on parade to mark UN PKD 2015

Tetteh hoisted the Ghana flag and the Resident Coordinator hoisted the United Nations flag. Wreaths were laid in memory of fallen heroes and heroines by the Government and people of Ghana, the United Nations, the Security Service and spouses of the fallen soldiers.

Press conference ahead of UN Peacekeepers Day held in Accra

Accra, 26 May 2015 – A press conference, to create awareness on the celebration of United Nations Peacekeepers’ Day was held at the Accra International Conference Centre. The theme

UN RC (middle) and Hon Hanna Tetteh (Right) at the Press Briefing

UN RC (middle) and Hon Hanna Tetteh (Right) at the Press Briefing

for the celebration globally is In Ghana’s theme for the national event is “UN70, Ghana in peacekeeping, Past, Present and Future”. Present at the press briefing were the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Hanna Serwaah Tetteh (MP).

Officials at the Prisons Service exhibition stand

Officials at the Prisons Service exhibition stand

Hon. Hanna Serwaah Tetteh provided an overview of the purpose of the commemoration event to pay homage to the valiant men and women whose efforts ensure global peace and development. On behalf of the people of Ghana and the government, she expressed condolences to all bereaved families of fallen heroes and heroines. Furthermore, she said the occasion is used to acknowledge those who have been maimed and injured, some permanently.  The Minister invited the public to the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony to mark the UN Peacekeepers Day on Friday, 29 May 2015 at the forecourt of the State House.

A photo exhibition was launched. The Minister and the UN Resident Coordinator were guided through the gallery. The UN Information Centre, together with the Prisons Service, Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service mounted some photos of peacekeeping operations around the world. Major Evelyn Asaomah who served as a parade commander during the Liberia war, in 2007 had a warm handshake with the Minister when her picture was seen among the photos that had been exhibited.

UNIC holds UN4U outreach in Ho

Ho, 27 May 2015 – UNIC Accra has held two events in Ho as part of its UN4U outreach activities in schools. The first event was patronised by over 500 students from Ola Girls Senior High and Mawuli Senior High school. The second event was held with students from Sonrise Senior High, a private high school in the Ho municipality.

Bossman Owusu of UNDP addressing the students at Ola Girls SHS

Bossman Owusu of UNDP addressing the students at Ola Girls SHS

The events were graced by representatives from UNDP and UNESCO. Students were introduced to the work of the UN, the organs and various agencies. They also asked questions about the UN, most of them wondering how its activities are funded.

The UN officials present encouraged the students to take their studies seriously, strive for excellence in all their endeavours and make their academics a priority. Students got to win UN branded souvenirs for actively participating in what appeared to be one of the most the interactive encounters with students by UN staff.

A cross section of students of Sonrise SHS

A cross section of students of Sonrise SHS

UN4U is an outreach program which brings UN officials to speak to students in their schools. The programme forms an important component of the mandate of UNIC Accra in terms of advocating and raising awareness on the activities and work of the United Nations. The UNIC team held the event as part of creating awareness for UN@70 celebrations.  The theme for the event was “From MDGs to SDGs: Education remains a priority”.  It was also organised to coincide with the World Education Forum 2015.

Four fallen peacekeepers from Ghana to be honoured at ceremony at UN Headquarters

Accra, 26 May, 2015 – Four fallen peacekeepers from Ghana who lost their lives in 2014 will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjöld medal in New York at a solemn event to mark International Day of UN Peacekeepers. They are Corporal Augustine ACKAH,  Sgt George KORANTENG, and Lt. Moses ADATARA who served with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); and Warrant Officer 1 Peter ATABIRE who was deployed with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Peacekeepers Day 2015 logoThese fallen heroes were among some 126 peacekeepers – military, police and civilian – from 38 countries across the world who lost their lives in 2014 while serving with the United Nations as a result of hostile acts, accidents and disease.

In Ghana, a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the forecourt of the State House in memory of the fallen Ghanaian peacekeepers and to honour the over 3,000 military and police personnel currently deployed to eleven peacekeeping operations in Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India-Pakistan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Western Sahara.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, in tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.  The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.

The 2015 commemorative ceremonies will be held at a time when the demand for United Nations peacekeepers is at an all-time high. There are now more than 125,000 UN peacekeepers, including 91,000 military personnel, 13,000 police officers as well as 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 16 operations on four continents.