Category Archives: Latest News

Over 1000 students tour Slave River in Ghana to remember slavery

Assin Manso, 3 April 2017 – Some 1000 students from three schools in Assin Manso in the Central region of Ghana joined the rest of the world this year to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade with a tour of the Assin Manso river site and to reflect on the ordeal of slaves who were held there. The tour of the site was organized by UNIC Accra with support from the Department of Public Information Remember Slavery Programme.

Mr. Addo briefs students

Referred to as the Slave River, the Assin Manso River runs through the woods in Assin Manso, some 40 kilometers down the Cape Coast-Kumasi highway. It is believed that slaves from the Northern part of the country and from other West African countries were held at the Slave River, where they received their last bath, auctioned and branded before led to the slave castle in Cape Coast and transported out of the country.

Students at the river

The students, from Assin Manso Senior High School, Adankwaman Senior High School in Assin Darmang and Assin Nsuta Agriculture Senior High School in Assin Nsuta, were briefed by the Slave River site manager, Mr. Kwaku Addo.  He explained the concept of slavery to the students and cautioned them against prejudices and injustice. The students later took turns to tour the site to gain a deeper understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the agony of the slaves. For these students, reliving the moments of the slaves at the Slave River, was educative, informative and emotional.   In an interview, 16-year-old Albert Dwumfor Sarpong remarks: “coming here helps us to know and appreciate the past and to honour our ancestors”.  And 16-year-old Millicent Gyamfi adds: “I have learnt that we are all equal, we should denounce maltreatment and we should learn to work together for our common good”. Continue reading

UN Peacekeepers Provide Urgently Needed Medical Services to Population in Leer

South Sudan, 27 March 2017 – Ghanaian peacekeeping troops (GHANBATT) serving under the UN Mission in South Sudan are providing desperately needed medical services to the local population in Leer County in Southern Unity state.

Dr. Agyiri

Health facilities in the region have been subject to looting during the on-going conflict.  In addition, several local health partners were evacuated, leaving the county without a functioning health facility to provide basic services.

These dire circumstances made UN peacekeepers step in to lend aid to pregnant women suffering complications during delivery at the clinic in Leer.

Dr. Bny Agyiri, a physician with the Ghanaian battalion operating at the temporary base, explained their activities in the county. Read further.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Save Lives by Swiftly Containing Fire Outbreaks in a South Sudan’s Protection site

South Sudan, 27 March 2017 – Swift, well-coordinated actions by different components of UNMISS saw two separate outbreaks of fire in the Bentiu protection of civilians site being taken care of without any resulting deaths or injuries. The fires, occurring over the weekend, destroyed a total of 117 shelters.

 “The coordination between different components of UNMISS was really commendable and that was what made a timely and effective response possible,” says Anastasie Nyirigira, Acting Head of the UNMISS Bentiu Field Office. 

As soon as the fire was reported, an integrated team consisting of members of the  the Ghanaian military troops and Formed Police Unit, UN Police, Mongolian troops and UN Security personnel responded swiftly. They controlled the fire, and kept people safely away from it.

Read further

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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