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Your Visit is a Demonstration of the Commitment You Have for Youth in Africa – Minister of Youth Receiving UN Youth Envoy in Ghana

Accra, Ghana; 7 February 2017 – United Nations Envoy on Youth was today on a one (1) day visit to Ghana. The visit was an important opportunity to leverage support for vulnerable young girls and women by engaging partners to learn about the interventions they are running whilst also meeting with key beneficiaries to get an understanding of the issues and challenges they face. Encouraged by the call from His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana at the recently concluded Global Partnership on Education Conference in Dakar for African countries to fully finance the education of its people, the visit sought to further elevate the discussion and push for greater empowerment of young girls.

The UN Youth Envoy with Ghana’s Minister for Youth [R] and other dignitaries

An important point of call for the Youth Envoy during the one day mission was to meet with the Minister of Youth and Sports in Ghana, Hon. Hon. Isaac Asiamah for a bilateral exchange on the areas of convergence and opportunities to advance the youth development agenda both in Ghana and at the level of the United Nations.

The two officials were delighted to meet again after having shared at audience at the recently concluded ECOSOC Youth Forum. Hon. Isaac Asiamah welcomed the Youth Envoy to Ghana and noted that the visit was a “demonstration of her commitment to young people in Africa”. He emphasized that the African continent faces challenges that include poverty and unemployment, where young people are the most disproportionately impacted. He expressed confidence in the Envoy’s ability to elevate these issues to prominence in the region and global levels. “I am particularly proud of your appointment” the Hon. Minister added, noting that the Youth Envoy is young, articulate and shares strong ideas on fostering youth development.

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UN Youth Envoy Renews Her Commitment to Champion Girls Empowerment

Accra, Ghana ; 7 February 2018 – Halfway through a five (5) nation mission in Africa, the UN Envoy on Youth kicked off a visit with her delegation to the Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana alongside the UNFPA Country Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape. The visit was intended to renew the Envoy’s commitment to girls empowerment. Working closely with UNFPA and other partners, the Canadian Government has been a strong partner in promoting gender equality, access to services and education for young girls. In Ghana, the Canadian High Commission is set to implement a project with UNFPA targeting young girls who face the risk of gender based violence, sexual exploitation, poor sexual and reproductive health, and lacking access to services and information.

The UN Youth Envoy meets with the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana

Thanking the High Commissioner for accepting to have an audience, the Youth Envoy conveyed great appreciation for Canada’s role and leadership in promoting and supporting youth development. Noting the role the Canadian Prime Minister has played in elevating the issues young people face to the international stage by showing proactive leadership. Asides from being the Prime Minister, His Excellency Justin Tradeau is also the Minister of Youth of Canada. This makes the leadership, resources and ideas Canada shows to the rest of the world an important reference point on youth development.

The High Commissioner congratulated the Youth Envoy for her appointment and welcomed the iteration of male and female appointments for the position and hope it going to be institutionalised. The Commissioner noted that Canada is committed to youth development. One of its youngest Ministers is 30 years of age and while it celebrates international development week, the country is looking at the value of investing in young people and showcasing youth development. In Africa, Canada is working in a number of countries to also advance issues of gender equality, women’s empowerment and addressing harmful practices.

The Youth Envoy reiterated her commitment to work closely with the Canadian Government, noting her priorities to include promoting and recognising youth engagement in the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Other priorities of the envoy include Peace and Security and Gender Equality.

The Youth Envoy continues her visit in Ghana with bilateral visits and a youth townhall.

Youth Envoy encouraged by resilient young women and calls for strong interventions to protect and provide them with services and information

Accra, Ghana; 9 February 2018 – The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth continued her maiden multi-nation visit in Africa with a one day stop in Accra, Ghana. The visit was an important opportunity for her to leverage support for vulnerable young girls and women. Encouraged by the call by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana at the recently concluded Global Partnership on Education Conference in Dakar for African countries to fully finance the education of its people, the visit sought to further elevate the discussion and push for greater empowerment of young girls.

UN Youth Envoy with the UN Resident Coordinator

Press_Release_UNSGYE_Visit_Final 09.02.2018 A press release issued by the UN details the various activities and stops of the Youth Envoy. They included an audience with the Minister of Youth and Sports, her interaction with youth porter girls at the Agbogbloshie market, and a meeting with the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana.

 

UN Youth Envoy arrives in Ghana on Wednesday February 7, 2018

Accra, Ghana, 5 February 2018 – The UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake arrives in Ghana on Wednesday February 7, 2018 as part of her five-country African tour. Serving as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people across the world, Ms. Wickramanayake is coming with one simple message to Put Young People First.

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) with Jayathma Wickramanayake

During her visit, the UN Youth Envoy will pay courtesy calls on both Minister of Youth and Sports as well as Gender, Children and Social Protection to deliberate on how best to implement the AU Roadmap for Harnessing the Demographic Dividend and the strategic roadmap of the President of the Republic of Ghana to enable Ghana be among the first of the African countries to fully harness a demographic dividend.

In a press release, issued by the UNFPA Ghana office, Ms. Wickramanayake will also visit the Agbogbloshie market where she will interact with a group of female adolescent head porters (Kayayei).

UNIC Accra organizes two events in observance of 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Day

Accra, Ghana 31 January 2018 – UNIC Accra has observed Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018 with two events involving students. The events included, exhibition titled “The Butterfly Project: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust” at two locations, film screening, forum and artwork display. Participants included students of Morning Star School, Tiny Flowers Academy, Salem Senior High School and Sea Shells Schools. Present at both events were the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy, Sander Hans-Helge and a Deputy Director at the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr. Mawuli Avetor. Also present was the Head of Morning Star School, Mrs. Nana Abena Kwakyi and teachers from the various participating schools.

A student of Morning Star presenting her art work.

Both events aimed at sensitising students on the Holocaust and to encourage students to confront and rectify negative traits or behavior they encounter in the society in an effort to prevent acts of genocide from its reoccurrence.

German Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, recounting his family’s ordeal of the Holocaust

Ambassador Ami Mehl encouraged students not live their lives as victims but rather live to realize their dreams. In a solemn moment, the Ambassador recounted the ordeal of his family during the Holocaust. For his part Mr. Hans-Helge told students to learn to say ‘stop’ to acts of discrimination of any kind.  Mr Mawuli Avutor said acts of genocide are a grave human rights concerns. He also told the students that, dreams could change at any time based on what one experienced, but as future leaders they should not allow racism to change their dreams.

 

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Serving in Bentiu Awarded UN Medal

South Sudan, 29 January 2018 – Almost 700 Ghanaian peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have been awarded UN Medals in recognition and appreciation for their service in South Sudan.

Among them are 57 female peacekeepers.

UNMISS Force Commander General Frank Mushyo Kamanzi awarded the medals to the Ghanaian officers in Bentiu, Unity region, during a colourful ceremony. Read more

Call for application: Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists Programme

Accra, 26 January 2018 – The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists from mainly developing countries for its 2018 fellowship program. The application deadline is March 12, 2018.
A press release issued by the programme invites radio, television, print and web journalists, age 25 to 35, from developing countries who are interested in coming to New York to report on international affairs during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly to apply. The fellowships will begin in early September and extend to late November and will include the cost of travel and accommodations in New York, as well as a per diem allowance.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers in South Sudan Organise Fun-Day for Displaced Children

Bentiu, South Sudan, 16 January 2018 – Peacekeepers from Ghana have organized a “fun-day” for displaced children in a protection site in Bentiu in northern South Sudan. Various games and a dance competition was part of the programme, which was thoroughly enjoyed by almost a thousand children.

Ghanaian soldiers serving the UN Mission in South Sudan took this nimble and playful, yet robust initiative to engage with hundreds of boys and girls as a way to encourage healthy, social interaction between them. Strengthened relations between peacekeepers and part of the displaced persons they are there to protect were no doubt a priceless, added bonus. Read further

2017 Human Rights Day: UNIC Accra sensitises women traders on child rights

Accra, 14 December 2017 – Some 100 women traders of the Kaneshie Market in Accra were the targets of this year’s United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Accra-organised event to mark Human Rights Day 2017.  The traders were sensitized on child trafficking, child labour, child abuse and the Sustainable Development Goals at a forum held on the premises of the market complex, one of the busiest in the capital city.

A participant making an input

The participants were drawn from the Kaneshie Market Women Association and the event was aimed at educating market women on the rights of children and the significance of the SDGs. The Deputy Director of Public Education at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Mawuli Avutor addressed the women, noting that the protection of the rights of children should be a collective responsibility of parents, teachers and the entire community.  He also advised against the use of children for laborious work and especially when they should be asleep or resting.  Citing an instance where he intercepted a child with a heavy basket of goods on his head, Mr. Avutor challenged traders to intervene when they come across such instances and advise parents accordingly.

Mr. Avutor of CHRAJ making a presentation

The Secretary of the Kaneshie Market Women Association, Ms. Eva Maison, noted with grave concern the effects of child trafficking and other forms of modern slavery on the future of children, “saying it’s a ‘cankerworm’ gradually destroying the future of our children therefore must not be allowed to continue”.  She therefore called for support by all tackle this menace.

A participant asking a question

She said the forum to sensitise the market women on child rights was a step in the right direction since women play pivotal role in shaping the life of children.

The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah presented the UN Secretary General’s message. She also presented highlights of the SDGs. In attendance to highlight their agency’s mandate in relation to the SDGs were representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Volunteers and UN University-INRA.

 

 

UN expert group on the use of mercenaries to visit Ghana

ACCRA, 8 December 2017 –  A delegation of the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries will conduct an official country visit to Ghana, from today 8 December to next Friday, 15 December 2017.

The Working Group delegation will assess the regulation of private security companies in the country and the measures in place to address the challenges posed by mercenarism and mercenary related activities, including foreign fighters and their impact on human rights.

In a Media Advisory issued by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the Commissioner (OHCHR), the delegation will hold meetings in Accra and Takoradi with representatives from relevant Government ministries, members of civil society including non-governmental organizations, private security companies and companies operating in the extractive industry.

The experts will hold a press conference to share their preliminary observations on 15 December, at 12:30 p.m. at the GJA International Press Centre, Accra.

The Working Group will present a full report of the country visit to the Human Rights Council in 2018.