Category Archives: Press releases

World Bank approves largest ever guarantees for Ghana’s energy transformation

Washington, July 30, 2015 – The World Bank has approved a record investment of $700 million in guarantees for Ghana’s Sankofa Gas Project – a transformational project that will help address the country’s serious energy shortages by developing new sources of clean and affordable natural gas for domestic power generation.

In a press release issued by the World Bank, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved a unique combination of two guarantees for the Project. The first is an International Development Association Payment guarantee of $500 million that supports timely payments for gas purchases by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.  The second guarantee is an International Bank for Reconstruction and development Enclave Loan guarantee of $200 million that enables the project to secure financing from its private sponsors. Together, the guarantees are expected to mobilize $7.9 billion in new private investment for offshore natural gas, representing the biggest foreign direct investment in Ghana’s history.

According to the World Bank, developing the Sankofa Gas Project – located 60 km offshore – is expected to bring significant benefits for Ghana by fueling up to 1,000 megawatts of clean power generation, replacing polluting and expensive oil-burning electricity. Once the Sankofa field starts to produce gas in early 2018, Ghana will be able to reduce its oil imports by up to 12 million barrels a year and cut carbon emissions by 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

Global Leaders Call for Increased Financing to End Malaria under Post-2015 Development Agenda

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – July 13, 2015 As global leaders gather in Addis Ababa for the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), the malaria community has outlined a vision for a malaria-free world and, in order to achieve it, called for increased investment in malaria control and elimination efforts around the world to bring an end to this costly scourge. A special side event titled Malaria Financing for a New Era: An Exceptional Case for Investment was convened by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as host country of the conference and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. Government leaders, UN officials and development stakeholders highlighted malaria as a cost-effective investment for development and urged greater commitment to build on the unprecedented progress seen under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Group picture of dignitaries at the event

Group picture of dignitaries at the event

This call, according to a press release issued by the RBM, comes just months before the UN Member States plan to adopt a new set of Global Goals for Sustainable Development which calls for malaria elimination by 2030.

Roll Back Malaria Partnership releases new strategies to guide global efforts toward malaria elimination by 2030

Geneva, July 10, 2015 – As the 3rd International Financing for Development Meeting opens in Addis Ababa today, partners and stakeholders will gather for the unveiling of the World Health Organization’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership’s Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016-2030, which together provide a strategic framework toward malaria elimination, in line with the 2030 targets outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set to be adopted later this September. The strategies will be presented during a discussion on “financing for malaria elimination” that RBM and partners are organizing. Read details in the press release issued by RBM.

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

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.

 

UN Committee to review Ghana’s record on children’s rights

Geneva, May 13, 2015 – Ghana’s record on children’s rights will be reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on Wednesday 20 May and Thursday 21 May in sessions that will be webcast live.

Ghana is one of the 195 states that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to undergo regular examinations of its record by the Committee of 18 independent experts.

The discussions between the CRC and the delegation from the Ghanaian Government will take place at Palais Wilson in Geneva at the following times:
20 May: 15:00-18:00 (13:00-16:00 in Ghana)
21 May: 10:00-13:00 (08:00 – 11:00)
The sessions will be webcast at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

Among the possible issues to be discussed: measures to eliminate discrimination against vulnerable children, particularly children with disabilities; steps to increase birth registration; measures to combat spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce poverty; legislation and awareness-raising to eradicate harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, early marriage and ritual servitude (Trokosi); measures to eradicate worst forms of child labour.

The full list of issues and Ghana’s submitted written report can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=829&Lang=en . The CRC’s concluding observations on Ghana and the other countries being reviewed – Eritrea, Mexico, Honduras, Ethiopia, Netherlands, Laos and Israel – will be published on this page on 10 June.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+41 (0) 22 917 9466/ ethrossell@ohchr.org

 

His Holiness Pope Francis to visit the United Nations Headquarters in September

Accra, 18 March 2015 – His Holiness Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 25, 2015. A note to correspondents today indicates that  Pope Francis will address the UN General Assembly in the morning of September 25 and hold bilateral meetings with the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly. He will also participate in a town hall meeting with UN staff.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the visit of Pope Francis as an important part of a historic year in which the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary and in which Member States will take major decisions about sustainable development, climate change and the future peace and well-being of humankind” the note says.

It continues that the Pope’s visit is expected to “inspire the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve human dignity for all through ensuring greater social justice, tolerance and understanding among all of the world’s people”.

UNCTAD gets new Deputy Secretary-General

New York, 8 January 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has appointed Joakim Reiter of Sweden as Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD at the Assistant Secretary-General level. Mr. Reiter will succeed Mr. Petko Draganov to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and commitment to UNCTAD.

Joakim Reiter Photo credit: Johan Oedmann/the Government Offices of Sweden.

Joakim Reiter
Photo credit: Johan Oedmann/the Government Offices of Sweden.

Mr. Reiter brings to this position a wealth of international experience at the senior level including in the trade and development field dealing with multilateral organizations, senior political experience as a representative of his country, hands on expertise on technical cooperation and donor relations, and highly relevant negotiations skills within the intergovernmental machinery.

He is currently Deputy Director General, heading the Department for International Trade Policy within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden which is responsible for the interaction with UNCTAD, World Trade Organization (WTO) and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). From 2011 to 2014, he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the WTO, Switzerland, where he also served as chair for the WTO bodies on services, goods and trade policy reviews. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Reiter was Minister Counsellor and Head of Trade Section at the Representation of Sweden to the European Union, Belgium. From 2004 to 2008, he served at the European Union Directorate General for Trade in European Commission. Before that, he held various positions within the Swedish National Board of Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry, including as Special Advisor to the Minister for Industry and Trade.

Born in Sweden in 1974, Mr. Reiter holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and a MA from University of Lund, Sweden. He is married and has 2 children.

Outgoing head of UN Ebola mission sums up progress in ‘big battle’ with outbreak

Accra, 2  January 2015 – Delivering his final press conference as head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury today pointed to significant progress in tackling the outbreak since he was appointed in September last year, while stressing that zero cases is the only acceptable outcome in the “big battle” with the disease.

“It’s important to remember where we were when we started,” Mr. Banbury told journalists in Accra, Ghana, where the Mission is headquartered. “At the time, there were predictions of up to 1.4 million cases of Ebola by the start of the year…Here we are in January and we have a total of around 20,000 cases instead of 1.4 million. That’s 1.4 per cent of what was being projected as a possibility by credible scientists back in September.” Read further.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has arrived in Accra to continue from where Mr. Banbury left.

Speaking with UNMEER staff at a town hall meeting today, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed praised their achievements but also noted the challenges in battling the deadly outbreak.

“This is a global crisis. We definitely have a difficult time ahead of us, but we can achieve it,” Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said. “We have no plan B, we have to get rid of this virus. This is within our reach, but we should not be complacent.”

“We need to keep going until we don’t have even one case, because even one case is too many,” he said. “The work ahead remains very hard but we really have no other choice.”

Ould Cheikh Ahmed will be visiting Liberia and Sierra Leone next week, then Guinea shortly after, to reinforce UNMEER’s strategic priorities and see first-hand the Ebola response. He will be accompanied by UN Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to visit Ghana for talks on the global Ebola response

ACCRA, October 28, 2014 World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will arrive in Ghana on Thursday, October 30, 2014, for meetings with Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and other country officials. Dr. Kim will also meet with officials of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)  to discuss the Ebola epidemic and its debilitating impact on the three most heavily affected countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone   and on the West African sub-region as a whole.

Dr. Kim will reaffirm the World Bank Group s commitment to fighting the Ebola epidemic and will share the latest news on how the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with partners to assist the affected countries.

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