Category Archives: Press releases

Ghana’s Record on Women’s Rights to Face Scrutiny by UN Committee

Geneva, October 20, 2014 – Ghana’s record on women’s rights will be examined by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Friday 24 October 2014 in Geneva. This event will be webcast live at

A press release issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), “Among the issues likely to be discussed by the Committee and the delegation of the government of Ghana are: measures to eliminate harmful practices against women, such as widowhood rites, FGM, ritual or customary slavery, polygamy, child marriage; [and] measures to tackle violence against women believed to be witches…”


UNMEER to Further Consult Governments of Ebola-affected Countries on International Support

Accra, October 18, 2014 – At the end of a 4-day meeting on Ebola, participants have come out with an operational framework to ensure the United Nations adopts a unified and coordinated approach to the international support being provided to national response plans. In a press release issued by the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), “All partners at the meeting reaffirmed the principle of moving rapidly and in a coordinated and precise manner to defeat the disease.”

UN Secretary-General to convene high-level meeting on Ebola response & appoints Special Envoy for Ebola & Head of UNMEER

Accra, September 24, 2014 – In an effort to speed up the momentum for global support to curb the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the Secretary-General will convene a High-level Meeting on Response to the EVD on Thursday, 25 September 2014 in New York.

The meeting will bring together global leaders to focus international attention to combat the outbreak of the disease. It aims to mobilize an exceptional response to contain and stop the spread of the virus, treat those who are infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent outbreaks in other countries.

President Alpha Condé of Guinea, and via teleconference: Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone will take part in the meeting. Representatives the African Union Commission, the European Commission, the ECOWAS Commission, the United Nations Development Group, the World Bank Group, Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and WHO are expected to participate in this meeting.

David Nabarro

David Nabarro

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of David Nabarro of the United Kingdom as his Special Envoy for Ebola and Anthony Banbury as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

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Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partners launch new report and call for renewed commitment from health & development community

New York, 10 July 2014 –  A new report highlighting the impact of malaria interventions on maternal, newborn and child health was launched today alongside the annual High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York.

A press release issued by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership states that intermittent preventive malaria treatment during pregnancy and the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) can reduce the risk of death to malaria within the first 28 days of life by 18%.

Read the full press release here.

World Health Organization to establish a Sub-Regional Control Center in Guinea on Ebola

Accra, 4 July, 2014 – Health Ministers at the just ended 2-day meeting on the Ebola Virus Disease have called for an immediate action to curb the disease which they agreed poses a serious threat to all countries in the region and beyond.

In a press release issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the meeting developed an inter-country strategy requiring the establishment by the WHO of a Sub-Regional Control Center in Guinea to act as a coordinating platform to consolidate and harmonize the technical support to West African countries by all major partners; and assist in resource mobilization. The delegates also underscored the importance of WHO leading an international effort to promote research on Ebola virus disease and other hemorrhagic fevers.

Highlights of the strategy include:

  • Convening national inter-sectoral meetings involving key government ministries, national technical committees and other stakeholders to map out a plan for immediate implementation of the strategy.
  • Mobilising community, religious, political leaders to improve awareness, and the understanding of the disease
  • Strengthening surveillance, case finding reporting and contact tracing
  • Deploying additional national human resources with the relevant qualifications to key hot spots.
  • Identifying and committing additional domestic financial resources
  • Organise cross-border consultations to facilitate exchange of information
  • Working and sharing experiences with countries that have previously managed Ebola outbreaks in the spirit of south-south cooperation
Ghana's Minister of Health, Ms. Hanny-Sherry Ayittey (middle) and colleagues from the continent in a group picture

Ghana’s Minister of Health, Ms. Hanny-Sherry Ayittey (middle) and colleagues from the continent in a group picture

The current Ebola outbreak is reportedly the highest recorded in terms of cases, deaths and geographic spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This necessitated the Ministerial meeting in Accra to discuss ways to contain the disease and bring it to an end.

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.