Youth Envoy encouraged by resilient young women and calls for strong interventions to protect and provide them with services and information

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.

UN Youth Envoy with the UN Resident Coordinator

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.

 

UN Youth Envoy arrives in Ghana on Wednesday February 7, 2018

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.

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) with Jayathma Wickramanayake

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).

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.

 

UN calls for concerted efforts to End Violence against Women and Girls

Accra, December 7, 2017 – As the world observes 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2017, the United Nations in Ghana calls on governments, non-governmental organisations, religious and traditional leaders, communities and individuals to take individual and collective action against human rights abuse of women and girls. A world free from gender-based violence and from discrimination is paramount to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2017 global theme, “Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls” reflects the vision of the United Nations Secretary-General’s global UNiTE campaign to end violence against all women and girls. The commitment to realising this vision requires reaching out especially to the most underserved and marginalised women and girls among refugees, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters.

Violence against women is one of the most extreme forms of discrimination. The UN Secretary-General’s 2017 report on progress towards the SDGs states: “On the basis of data from 2005 to 2016 for 87 countries, 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. […] In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to 6 per cent of male victims.”

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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.