Remains of former UN Secretary-General arrive in Accra today

Accra, 10 September 2018 – The remains of Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, accompanied by Mrs. Nane Annan and the children will arrive in Accra today.  His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will receive the remains of the former Secretary-General of the UN at the Kotoka International Airport at a brief ceremony to be led by the Ghana Armed Forces.

Guard post rehearsal by the Ghana Armed Forces at AICC

The remains will then be sent to the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), where they will be laid in state for public viewing until the funeral service on Thursday, 13 September 2018.

Scaling up through trade: World Export Development Forum in Zambia

Accra, 28 August 2018 – The World Export Development Forum 2018, will take place in Lusaka, Zambia, on 11-12 September under the theme ‘Scaling Up through Trade’. The Forum will bring business leaders, policymakers and youth from around the world to explore a range of trade-related issues, including agribusiness, investment and the African Continental Free Trade Area.

This year’s annual flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC) will be co-hosted by the Government of Zambia through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Focusing on youthThe youth will take the centre stage at this year’s Forum. The global population is forecast to grow by 2.2 billion people by 2050, and more than half of that growth is expected to be in Africa. Read Further.

UN Honours Kofi Annan

Accra, 23 August 2018 – The United Nations System in Ghana joins the Government and the people of Ghana in mourning the loss of former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan and expresses heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Nane Annan, the children and the entire family.

At a wreath-laying ceremony held in New York on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute to the late Kofi Annan, noting that “He put people at the centre of the work of the United Nations, and was able to turn compassion into action across the UN system.” According to the UN Secretary-General, “In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations.”

Secretary-General António Guterres pays his respects during a ceremony honouring the memory and legacy of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan

He added that Kofi Annan was “A true voice for the voiceless, … [and] worked creatively to bridge differences and protect the most vulnerable. He stood his ground without antagonizing others; his humility, good humour, courtesy and charm went hand-in-hand with enormous wisdom and strength.”

Ms. Christine Evans-Klock, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said that “The UN family in Ghana joins all Ghanaians in mourning the passing of former UN Secretary-General, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and son of Ghana, Mr. Kofi Annan. We give thanks for his amazing life of service to peace, human rights and development.”

UN Ghana honours Kofi Annan with the opening of a book of condolences in Accra

Referring to his life-long commitment to the United Nations, Ms. Evans-Klock pointed out that “What would be the most significant sign of respect for Kofi Annan, is the resoluteness with which we follow his example and act on our own opportunities to make a difference and to ensure that no one is left behind.”

The UN Country Team in Ghana shares Ghana’s grief at this time and stands with all Ghanaians in honouring the outstanding leadership and service of Mr. Kofi Annan.

Experts Meet in Accra to Improve Road Safety and Urban Mobility

Accra, 21 August 2018 – Every year, road crashes are estimated to claim over 300,000 lives in Africa. According to WHO, the African region has 2 per cent of the world’s registered vehicles but a disproportionate 16 per cent of the world’s road traffic deaths. Road traffic fatalities are estimated to be the fourth leading cause of death of persons aged 5 through 44 years.

To share experience in improving road safety, over 100 participants representing nearly 20 African Government Ministries of Infrastructure/Transport, National Road Safety Authorities and Councils, African sub-regional and regional organizations, international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academic and research institutions, and the private sector are attending a 2-day workshop on Road Safety and Urban Mobility in Accra, Ghana.

Mr. Jean Todt, UN SG’s Special Envoy for Road Safety

The workshop was inspired by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt, and former UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, who had intended to participate in the meeting before his sudden illness caused him to cancel his trip to Ghana.  The meeting on Monday began with a moment of silence in respect for Mr. Annan and in sympathy with his family at his recent passing.

“I shared with him the plight this great continent faces in terms of road safety and he, as expected, was ready to help make a difference… I am honored to carry on his legacy through the outcomes of this workshop and in our continued work towards improved road safety in his country and region” says Mr. Todt on Mr. Kofi Annan’s desire to end road deaths in Africa.

The workshop underscored the linkages between growing urbanization and expected rise in the number of road traffic fatalities in the region. It was opened by Mr. Todt, Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, and the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Henry Kerali.  Mr. Todt was appointed Special Envoy for Road Safety in 2015 and is also the President of the International Automobile Federation (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Continue reading

UN Ghana pays tribute to Kofi Annan

Accra, 20 August 2018 – The UN system in Ghana, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock, has hoisted its flags at half-mast as a sign of respect for and in honour of the former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan.

Additionally, a minute’s silence was observed today at the beginning of all UN events in respect for Mr. Annan and in sympathy with his family at his passing. One of such events was the Regional Workshop on Road Safety and Urban Mobility opened by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean Hodt and hosted by the World Bank in Accra. Watch the video.

Mr. Kofi Annan passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland after a short illness.

A ‘charismatic leader’ dedicated to making the world a better place for all: officials bid farewell to former UN chief Kofi Annan

New York, 18 August 2018 – Officials from across the UN system have been paying tribute to the man who led the global body for a decade, starting in January 1997.  He was Secretary-General during what has been described as one of the darkest days in the Organization’s history: the 19 August 2003 bombing of the UN premises in Baghdad, Iraq.

For Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Annan is simply “irreplaceable”.

“Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace.  In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful,” Zeid said in a statement.

Mr. Annan was the seventh of nine men appointed Secretary-General since the UN was established in 1945.  He was the first to emerge from the ranks of UN staff and the second to come from the African continent. Read more.

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’

New York, 18 August 2018 – Mr. Annan was the seventh man to take the helm of the global organization and the first Secretary-General to emerge from the ranks of its staff.

The current UN chief, Antonio Guterres hailed him as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”

“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement.

“He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world.  In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.” Read further.

UNDP Launches Human Development Report on Northern Ghana today

Tamale, 17 August 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will today launch its Human Development Report on Northern Ghana entitled “Bridging the Poverty Gap and Fostering Socio-Economic Transformation for All”. The report explores development challenges and opportunities in Northern Ghana and offers suggestions for poverty eradication in the zone.

In a press release issued by the UNDP, the report reveals that though the northern zone of the country has witnessed good development over the years, more effort is required to transform the zone.

The report, a flagship of the UNDP, is based on a study that investigated livelihood issues relating to health, education and infrastructure gaps, as well as governance and environmental issues.

The report would be launched at the University for Development Studies in Tamale under the auspices of the Honorable Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, and Dr. Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Northern Development Authority.

UNFPA Supports the Launch of a Coalition to champion against Gender Based Violence

Accra, August 15, 2018 – The UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock has called on partners and stakeholders working to end gender-based violence to move beyond advocacy and make the laws work.  According to Ms. Evans-Klock “having laws and raising advocacy is not just enough”, adding that we need to address issues of prevention and guaranteeing justice to victims.

Ms. Evans-Klock was speaking at the launch of a coalition of groups, individuals and organisations that will spearhead a national response to sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices – CoPASH.

Mrs. Bawumia (3rd from L), the UNRC (3rd from R) and other Heads of Agencies after the launch of CoPASH

The UN Resident Coordinator noted that as a bold and broad coalition, CoPASH Ghana should work to provide solutions to end the ordeal of victims of gender-based violence and other harmful practices.  She expressed appreciation for UNFPA’s support to broaden this coalition, and for the work against gender-based violence and harmful practices by UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, IOM, UNHCR, UNESCO and other UN Agencies working with many partners in Government and Civil Society.

CoPASH, a brain child of the wife of Ghana’s Vice President, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, has been hailed as a forceful platform to rejuvenate action for gender equality. For instance, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama thanked Mrs. Bawumia for bringing once more to the fore the urgent need to fight against gender-based violence in the country.  The Minister of Health Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and a former First Lady of Ghana, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, both decried society’s laidback attitude towards gender-based violence.

Mrs. Bawumia said the launch of CoPASH Ghana is an indication of a renewed energy and spirit to ensure gender equality in Ghana.

UNFPA Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape said although UNFPA is at the forefront of providing assistance to the Coalition, SGBV is high on national and international agendas of the UN system and together in the UN delivering as one, they will mobilize individuals, civil society and women’s movements to put an end to sexual and gender-based violence.

CoPASH Ghana is expected to raise the level of advocacy and increase visibility of interventions that aim to prevent and manage gender issues such as Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Violence against Women and Girls.

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Side Event on African Member States’ Implementation of the SDGs

Accra, Ghana, July 16, 2018 – A meeting to table the challenges African Member States are facing in the implementation of the SDGs, share information on opportunities and available tools will take place in New York today as a side event of the ongoing High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting is on the theme “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063: A Sharing of Experiences and the Way Forward Post-Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development and Voluntary National Reviews.”

It will be attended by all participants in the HLPF, all United Nations Member States, African senior Government officials, African representatives from the civil society, the private sector, the academia, the media, representatives from African regional institutions and representatives from the UN system.

The meeting will offer the opportunity for African Member States to share information on available mechanisms and tools, their merits and relevance to their specific circumstances towards the implementation of the SDGs, encourage themselves to undertake the Voluntary National Reviews and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063.

Two key outputs are expected out of this meeting.  First, a report, compiling policy recommendations and capacity needs on how to overcome the challenges faced by Member States and optimize the opportunities and scale up good practices to strengthen national mechanism for coordination and integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.  The second is a Joint UN-AU platform for coordinated efforts to support African countries to better implement the global and continental Agendas.

To date, Africa has had the smallest percentage of its Member States undertake a VNR with seven countries undertaking a VNR in 2016, seven in 2017 and eleven this year.

Read more about the meeting.