Accra, 18 April 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has issued a statement refuting news reports that it owns a flat in Cantonment, Accra. The statement follows news report in the local media of a flat referred to as “UNDP Flat” which has reportedly been taken over by some occupants. The statement notes that the said flat does not belong to the UNDP and the UNDP has not hired any contractor to redevelop it.
GENEVA (18 April 2018) – A UN human rights expert has commended Ghana as a champion of African democracy and a country which has achieved some important development milestones. But says unless growing inequality and continuing high poverty rates are addressed the country will fall far short of meeting the key UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030.
“Ghana is at a crossroads and must now decide whether to continue existing policies that will further enrich the wealthy and do little for the poor, or to make fiscal adjustments that would lift millions out of poverty and bring them into the agricultural economy in ways that would contribute significantly to economic growth,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, at the end of a 10-day fact-finding mission to the Greater Accra, Northern, and Upper East regions.
“The benefits of record levels of economic growth experienced over the past decade have gone overwhelmingly to the wealthy, and inequality is higher than it has ever been in Ghana,” said Mr. Alston, who examines the human rights implications of poverty in countries around the world.
The most recent official data from the Ghana Statistical Service for 2012-2013 revealed that almost one-quarter of the population were living in poverty and one person in every 12 in extreme poverty. Three-and-a-half million of those in poverty are children, with more than a third of them in extreme poverty.
“Spending on social protection is surprisingly low by the standards of most comparable African countries, and very little is spent on social assistance,” explained Mr. Alston.
“With a thriving economy and the option to start collecting some of the existing but unpaid taxes that currently exist, choosing to eliminate, or not to eliminate, extreme poverty is a political choice for Ghana,” the UN expert said.
The Special Rapporteur continued: “Ghanaian politicians are immensely fond of, and very good at, creating slogans to describe complex but appealing programmes. But there is little doubt that the appetite for such slogans has already far outrun the capacity for realistic implementation.”
“The challenge going forward is for the Government to choose its real priorities, make sure that social protection is among them, and to be more transparent about potential costs and possible funding sources,” Mr. Alston stressed.
The Special Rapporteur today presented his preliminary findings at a press briefing in Accra. His final report on his visit to Ghana will be presented to the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2018. Continue reading
GENEVA (3 April 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, will visit Ghana from 9 to 18 April 2018 to examine the government’s efforts to address poverty through the lens of international human rights law.
“It is widely recognised that Ghana has made great strides in poverty eradication over the past two decades, but government statistics indicate that poverty is still prevalent and inequality is on the rise,” said the human rights expert.
“This is a critical time in Ghana’s history, as the macroeconomic turbulence of the past few years is beginning to stabilise and the country is seeking its own development path. It will be important for the government to address the rising inequality and keep human rights at the centre of its policies, if the country’s longer-term development goals are to be achieved.”
Alston will meet with government officials, civil society organisations, academic experts, and people living in poverty to address a range of issues. These include the specific challenges of urban and rural poverty, the extent and efficacy of the government’s social protection programmes, the ways in which those who are not wealthy fare in the criminal justice system, and the experiences of vulnerable and marginalised groups such as women, children and persons with disabilities who are living in poverty.
He will visit Accra, Old Fadama, Tamale, Bolgatanga, and rural communities in the Northern and Upper East regions. Continue reading
UNMIL/PR/2203-18. Thursday, 22 March 2018 – In a pivotal moment for the history of Liberia, the United Nations mission there successfully completed its mandate after almost 15 years of supporting the West African nation in the transition to peace and democracy.
At a ceremony in Monrovia today attended by President George Weah, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed lauded the accomplishments of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Continue reading
Accra, March 1, 2018 – The 2017 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Annual Report has been launched today in Vienna, Austria. The 2017 report examines the global drug control situation, with a focus on treatment and rehabilitation, and makes recommendations to help States take effective measures to address drug-related challenges in full compliance with international human rights standards and norms.
It further addresses a number of regional developments, including the underuse of controlled substances for medical purposes in some regions, the opioid overdose epidemic in others and legislative and regulatory changes, including those relating to the non-medical use of controlled substances in a few countries.
The report indicates that Africa remains a key transit region for drug trafficking and the use of various types of drugs, including cocaine, opioids, amphetamine-type stimulants, tramadol and emerging new psychoactive substances in the region is growing.
Accra, March 1, 2018 – Today March 1, is Zero Discrimination Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to promote equality, inclusion and freedom towards a more fair and just society.
According to the United Nations, many people face discrimination every day based on who they are or what they do. Recognising that discrimination continues to undermine efforts to achieve a more just and equitable world, the United Nations is seeking to create much needed awareness of the need to denounce discrimination. Observed since 2014, Zero Discrimination brings together everyone who wants to challenge discrimination, wherever it occurs.
As part of this year’s observance, the UNAIDS has launched its #zerodiscrimination campaign to highlighting the right of everyone to be free from discrimination. The campaign invites people to take a quiz to test how much they know about discrimination, to share the results of their test on their social media platforms and share the quiz with friends and family. The idea is to inform the public about discrimination and spread the knowledge as far as possible.
The simple and yet informative multiple-choice quiz can be found on the UNAIDS website at bit.ly/2CEGOiD.
Paris, 26 February 2018 – UNESCO has launched the 9th International Fund for Cultural Diversity call for funding and the U40 Empowered: Women entrepreneurs powering the digital creative industries, a new initiative to support young women entrepreneurs in the digital creative industries.
The IFCD invests in projects that lead to structural change through the introduction and/or elaboration of policies and strategies that have a direct effect on the creation, production, distribution of and access to a diversity of cultural expressions, including cultural goods, services and activities, among others.
U40 Empowered is a special call to expand the IFCD’s actions to support young women entrepreneurs in the digital creative industries.
The deadline for submitting project proposals to both calls is 16 April 2018. Kindly note also that the applications can only be submitted to one call. For further information visit: http://en.unesco.org/creativity/calls/unesco-launches-its-9th-ifcd-call-new-initiative
Geneva, 22 March 2018 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, will undertake a human rights fact-finding visit to Ghana from 9 – 18 April 2018 to assess government efforts to eradicate poverty through the lens of international human rights law.
A press release issued by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner indicates that during his 10-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials and civil society, and visit other parts of the country. Professor Alston will also meet with individuals living in poverty to hear about their experiences, talk with civil society organizations working on poverty and human rights, and receive briefings from academic experts.
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.
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.
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.
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).