Category Archives: Press releases

UN pushes for tough action against environmental criminals

Accra, 24 June 2014The United Nations wants to see more vigorous action taken against environmental criminals, and appeals for faster implementation of environmental policies and national legislation. These are some of the highlights from the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya which began sitting on Tuesday, June 23.



The UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever to be convened on the environment and it is expected to deliberate on tightening environmental laws that regulate the legal impact facing those involved in foul environmental practices, such as illegal trading of wild animals and harmful disposal of hazardous waste.

About 1200 delegates from 160 countries including Ghana are attending this 5-day meeting. Many countries sign environmental agreements, but the implementation of new obligations is often slow. Frequently, countries fail to translate their commitments to environmental agreements into their national legislation.

During the meeting, high-level lawyers, Environment Ministers, government delegates and representatives of major groups and other stakeholders will gather to find methods to speed up the process of committing states to the environmental agreements, and find methods to advance the implementation of binding agreements into the national legislation.

One example is the Minamata Convention on Mercury, agreed upon by 140 states in January 2013, which includes a ban on new mercury mines and phase-out of existing ones. When 50 states ratify the treaty, it will enter into force. As yet, only the United States has ratified the treaty.

In the preparations to the UNEA conference, the world’s fastest-growing e-waste dumping site at Agbogbloshie, on the outskirts of Accra, has been mentioned as a shocking example of what hazardous waste can produce.

United Nations to honour 3 fallen Ghanaian peacekeepers

Accra, May 27, 2014 –Three Ghanaian peacekeepers who lost their lives in the cause of peace will be honoured at an event to mark this year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Thursday, 29 May 2014.  The Ghanaians are among some 106 Peacekeepers who “perished carrying out their duty under the UN flag…”.

Officers with wreathes during the 2013 UN Peacekeepers Day event

Officers with wreathes during the 2013 UN Peacekeepers Day event

They are Lt Col Jack Franklin GLAWU who died of disease while serving with the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), and Corporal Daniel Kwaku SASU and Private Kwabena NYARKO, who both died of disease while serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Commemorative activities will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as at UN peacekeeping operations and offices around the world. A flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony would be held at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra in remembrance of all the gallant men and women who continuously risk their lives in the quest for peace. An exhibition would be mounted as a side event.

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Africa Launch of Climate Change Guidebook for Journalists

Accra, Ghana, 19 May 2014 – Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Ghana will host the African launch of a new Climate Change in Africa Guidebook for Journalists.  The guidebook is prepared by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Internews/Earth Journalism Network. It is based on research and a consultative process that included journalists from 17 African countries and is in response to study findings that indicated gaps in the coverage of Climate Change and its impact on the livelihoods of people in Africa.

Over 100 dignitaries from the academia, government institutions, diplomatic community and media are expected to attend the event.

The launch is to be performed by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, H.E. President John Agyekum Kufuor. He will be supported by the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama.

The Guidebook targets journalists, editors, teachers and media trainers and is expected to deepen journalists’ understanding of key concepts in Climate Change reporting and to improve coverage on Climate Change. Continue reading

Secretary-General appoints María Eugenia Caser & Jessica Faieta for key positions at the UNDP

Accra, 8 May 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced two appointments on key positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). María Eugenia Casar of Mexico has been appointed to succeed Rebeca Grynspan as the Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the UNDP, whilst Jessica Faieta of Ecuador replaces Heraldo Muñoz as Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Muñoz has returned to Chile to take up the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Casar has a rich and distinguished career. She began her career as a Professor and headed the School of Accounting and Administration Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Before joining the UN in 2005, she held several positions in her country including National Treasurer, among others.  She is currently serving as Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, Controller and Representative of the Secretary-General for the investments of the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. She also served as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management and Accountability and Chief Financial Officer (2009-2011), and Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance and Budget (2004-2006) at the World Food Programme in Rome.

Similarly, Ms. Faieta has many years of distinguished service within the UN, and in particular within the UNDP where she has held various leadership positions, most recently as Deputy Regional Director of the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. She also served as the Senior Country Director at UNDP Haiti, where she led UNDP’s post-disaster recovery effort after the disastrous 2010 earthquake.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his appreciation to Ms. Grynspan and Mr. Muñoz for their dedication and commitment during their terms of office at the UNDP.

Special Rep. of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa confers with President Mahama

Accra, 6 May 2014 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit was received in audience by HE Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. On this occasion, the Special Representative congratulated the President on his election as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support ECOWAS in its efforts to lay a solid foundation for durable peace, security, development and stability in the region. The Special Representative informed President John Dramani Mahama of the excellent working relationship between the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations.

Mr. Said Djinnit renewed his commitment to continue to partner with ECOWAS on the implementation of the Cross-border Security Strategy for the Mano River region; the inter-regional initiative against piracy and crimes at sea in the Gulf of Guinea; and in the ongoing process of the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

The Special Representative and President Mahama also discussed cross-cutting issues such as transnational organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking, violent extremism and terrorism. They exchanged views on the political, social and security situations in the region as a number of countries in West Africa are expected to hold crucial elections in 2015 and beyond. Both President Mahama and SRSG Djinnit stressed the need to ensure that these elections are held in a peaceful environment, while underlining the necessity to consolidate transitional processes and democratic achievements in the region.

The SRSG expressed his outrage on the kidnapping of the more than 200 school girls in Northern Nigeria and the subsequent reported heinous statement of the leader of Boko Haram on the fate of the kidnapped girls. SRSG Djinnit expressed his solidarity with the affected families and with the people and Government of Nigeria. He underlined the importance of regional and international cooperation to fight terrorism.

This press release was issued by the United Nations Office for West Africa.


UN University Hails Ghana for Supporting Natural Resources Management Research in Africa

Accra, 29 April 2014 – The Director of the United Nations University – Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Dr. Elias T. Ayuk has commended Ghana for its commitment in supporting research on natural resources management in Africa.

In a press release issued by UNU-INRA, the commendation was made during a courtesy call on the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor in Accra by Dr. Ayuk and a Board Member of UNU-INRA, Professor Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah.

UNU-INRA Director, Dr. Elias T. Ayuk (left) presenting the institute’s latest research reports on Climate Change and other related areas to Former President Kufuor (right).

UNU-INRA Director, Dr. Elias T. Ayuk (left) presenting the institute’s latest research reports on Climate Change and other related areas to Former President Kufuor (right).

The UNU-INRA Director used the occasion to congratulate Former President Kufuor on his appointment as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. He stated that Ghana is one of the few African countries that is committed to contributing to the UNU-INRA’s endowment fund through its Ministry of Education. He indicated that the fund is meant to support research on natural resources management in Africa, to inform policy formulation and implementation. The full press release is available here.

Pan-African Conference on Inequalities to take place in Accra in April

Accra – A 3-day international conference on the theme Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation will take place in Accra from April 28- 30, 2014. About 200 participants will discuss how the “…global development framework and the character of the transformation process have likely contributed to growing disparities…”. The conference is expected to forge linkages between the ongoing African developmental debates and the discussions on a post-MDGs development framework and contribute to the African agenda on inequalities in the context of the Africa 2063 agenda.

The Accra conference is a follow up to the Global Consultation on Inequalities, hosted jointly by the Government of Denmark and the Government of Ghana in February last year in the context of the Post-2015 development agenda consultation process.

For details, read the full press release issued by the National Development Planning Commission or visit the conference website.

Formalise Non-State Stakeholder Participation in the Extractive Industries – Says UNU-INRA Book

Accra – Formalising the interactions between non-state stakeholders and public agencies for collaborative governance could help in addressing some of the challenging issues in Africa’s extractive industries, says the United Nations University- Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), in a book entitled “Collaborative Governance in Extractive Industries in Africa”,

For further information, see the full press release issued by UNU-INRA.

UNIDO Director General visits Ghana, highlights importance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development

Accra – The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LI Yong, has commended the ambition of the Government of Ghana to transform the economy and foster the creation of employment to achieve long-term socio-economic goals.  He however stressed the need for introducing policies to safeguard the environment and enhance green growth strategies in the country.  He made these remarks during his recent visit to Ghana. For details please read the full press release issued by UNIDO. 

60 students to tour Salaga heritage site as the world remembers victims of slavery

Accra, March 20, 2014 – The United Nations Information Centre, Accra will this year partner with the Ghana Museums and Monument Board (GMMB), UNESCO and the Ghana Education Service to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Salaga, Northern region on Tuesday, March 25, 2013.

About 60 students drawn from three Senior High Schools in the Northern region are expected to participate in an exciting educative tour of the Salaga Market, a slave heritage site where they will be made to understand the link between slavery in West Africa and Haiti and the Caribbean.

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