Category Archives: Latest News

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.

 

17-yr Old Ghanaian Student Wins SDGs Photo Contest

Accra, 14 November 2017 – A 17-year old Ghanaian student, Matthew Paa kwesi Williams has been adjudged the second prize winner, out of 1000 entries, of the 2017 international SDGs photo competition for students.  The competition, co-organized by the United Nations Information Centre in Tokyo and the Sophia University, aims at encouraging students to “reflect on sustainable development from their own perspectives, express it through a photo, and share it with others”.

Matthew addressing the media

Matthew, a student in Morgan International Community School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, who aspires to be a Business economist and entrepreneur, entered the competition with his image titled “Struggle of Childhood”. The photo captures a school-going age girl gathering sticks of a disentangled broom she was using to sweep. The girl, barefooted and squatting to collect the broom sticks, has a very pensive look away from the lenses into the distant.

Speaking at a press briefing organized by UNIC Accra to highlight the feat of Matthew and to engage the media on the SDGs, Matthew called on the government to ensure policies are implemented to help children attain the best in education.  He said, “school-going children should be in school during school hours”.

Matthew told a team of local media that he was inspired by SDG1 which seeks to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. To help promote the global agenda and advocate for the achievement of the SDGs therefore, Matthew announced the establishment of Pixel Action, an online photo platform aiming to draw attention to the needs of communities through pictures.

Matthew, supported by UNIC Accra NIO and students proudly shows off his certificate

Matthew’s picture, which won the Award of Excellence category in the SDGs photo contest was captured in Gomoa Manso, a small town in the Central region of Ghana.

The media were briefed by the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms Cynthia Prah.  She congratulated Matthew and urged journalists to focus more on development oriented stories to bring up challenging issues facing various communities in the country.

 

 

2017 UN Day Celebration: Ghanaians urged to exercise ‘will’ power to overcome challenges

Tuesday 24 October 2017 – The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock has reiterated the global call for the use of “will” power as the key means to end the challenges of the world. Delivering a speech on behalf of the UN Secretary- General, António Guterres at a flag-raising ceremony held in Accra to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the

Ms Evans-klock addressing the audience

United Nations, Ms. Evans-Klock said the UN looks forward to supporting the Government’s coordinated effort towards the implementation of the SDGs. She commended the non-Government actors, including the civil society, youth and the private sector, for their commitment to advocate the SDGs and build public accountability.

For her part, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey reaffirmed government’s commitment to continue to work and collaborate with the UN in its quest to find solutions to the humankinds’ most pressing challenges which the SDGs seek to address.

Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

“We recognize the colossal task placed on our shoulders through the global goals and the need to implement them by 2030” she added.

According to the Minister, the achievements of the SDGs holds a prominent place on government’s development agenda. This she said was the reason why it has incorporated the goals into Ghana’s 40-year development plan as well as programmes and policies such as “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One District – One Factory” and “Free Senior High School Education”.

 

Members of the diplomatic community

 

This year’s event forms part of activities to celebrate everything the UN has achieved since its establishment in 1945 and it’s on the theme: “Achieving the SDGs: Innovating, Mobilizing and Partnering for the Implementation of the SDGs in Ghana”.

The flag raising ceremony climaxes the UN Day celebration in the country at the national level out of numerous events earmarked to commemorate the day in different parts of the country.

 

 

Hoisted flags of the UN and Ghana

The occasion was graced by Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, Public sector officials, representatives of the Security Services, Members of the Diplomatic corps, Heads of UN Agencies, students and the general public.

Panelists dialogue on the SDGs to mark UN Day in Ghana

Accra, 23 October 2017 – Several events are taking place in Ghana to mark United Nations Day. The focus of the week-long observation is to draw public attention to the Sustainable Development Goals and to encourage public engagement on developmental issues facing the people of Ghana.

Mr. Ayensu making his presentation

At the start of the week, representatives from various sectors including the Ministry of Finance, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) and the Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) took part in a public dialogue on what needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of the SDGs in the country.

A Director of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Michael Ayensu said that in order to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the country’s development efforts, the 2018 national budget will be anchored on the SDGs. He also hinted that Ghana is likely to take part in the 2018 Voluntary National Reviews held annually at the High-Level Dialogue on the SDGs in New York.

Representing the CSOs Platform on the SDGs, Madam Joyce Larnyoh said it was crucial that the SDGs are communicated to people in a way they would understand.  She made reference to efforts by the UN system and the CSOs to develop and translate common messages on the SDGs for everybody to understand and relate to.

The UN RC

From the private sector, the Chief Executive Office of PEF, Nana Osei-Bonsu stressed on the need for effective resource mobilization to support the implementation of the SDGs. The NDPC representative Dr. Felix Addo-Yobo said the SDGs would be attainable if everyone came on board. He said the private sector, CSOs and public sectors need to work together on the implementation of the SDGs.

For her part, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Ghana, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock had one message: “Ending abject poverty is realistic”.

Secretary-General Appoints Francis Vib-Sanziri of Ghana to Head UN Disengagement Observer Force

New York, 13 October, 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri of Ghana as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

Major General Vib-Sanziri succeeds Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India, who completed his assignment on 30 September 2017. The Secretary-General is grateful to Major General Menon for his dedicated leadership of UNDOF.

Since joining the Ghana Army of the Ghanaian Armed Forces in 1985, Major General Vib-Sanziri has had a distinguished military career at both national and international levels. He has been serving as Director-General of the International Peace Support Operations at the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces since April 2017. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant Director, Ghana Army Operations (1996-1998), Deputy Head of the Ghana Military Academy (2002-2004), Commanding Officer of an Infantry Battalion (2004-2009), Director for International Peacekeeping Support Operations in 2009 and Army Secretary at the Army Headquarters (2010-2011).  In 2014, he was appointed Director-General for Joint Operations, General Headquarters.  He served as Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organization from 2015 to 2017.

Major General Vib-Sanziri also possesses extensive peacekeeping experience, including deployments to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (1988 and 1991), the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (1993-1994), and the United Nations Mission in Liberia in 2007. He also served with the Economic Community of West Africa States Monitoring Group in Liberia (1990), in Sierra Leone (1999-2000) and, subsequently, with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as a strategic military planner in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations.

Major General Vib-Sanziri holds a Master’s degree in Military Art and Science from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (USA), a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA Hons) in Geography and Rural Resource Development from the University of Ghana. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and General Staff College, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College and the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Born in 1957, he is married and has two daughters.

New York, 13 October 2017