Author Archives: Cynthia Prah

Africa Climate Week Signals Continent’s Huge Investment Opportunity

UN Climate Change News, Accra, 20 March 2019 – Africa Climate Week in Accra, Ghana, got firmly underway this morning with the commencement of the high-level segment at the capital’s Convention Center.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng; Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, COP24 President, Michał Kurtyka and UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad – affirmed the need to foster cooperation from all countries and non-Party stakeholders globally to meet the 1.5C temperature goal inked in the Paris Agreement.

The event takes place in the shadows of Cyclone Idai, which has hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, affecting more than 2 million people.  Read further the press release issued by UNFCCC.

President Akufo-Addo Opens High-level Segment at Africa Climate Week

Accra, 20 March 2019 – Discussions on Climate Change and Climate Action took centre stage today when the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo officially opened the High-level segment at the ongoing Africa Climate Week in Accra.

Present at the opening ceremony were Ministers and Mayors from Africa, the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ovais Sarmad, Members of the Diplomatic Community, UN officials, stakeholders and the youth.

President Akufo-Addo stressed on the urgency to deal with Climate Change, recounting the most current impact in Southern Africa which have affected over 800,000 people. He also called on his colleagues on the continent to step up efforts to curb the

President Akufo-Addo, who is also the Co-Chair of the Eminent Group of the SDGs Advocates, re-echoed the sentiments of many of the presenters at the ongoing ACW when he touched on finance. He assured the gathering that the continent will strive to halt climate change at the national level, but much needs to be “to streamline access to international climate finance to complement national funding”.

The high-level segment focused on the outcomes of the COP 24 and on Nationally Determined Contributions to offer participants a glimpse into Africa’s implementation plans and Climate Actions ahead of the Climate Summit to take place in September 2019.

Africa Climate Week takes place in Accra from March 18 – 22, 2019

Accra, 16 March 2019 – Delegates from all over the world will meet in Accra for one week to discuss climate change and actions and to strengthen stakeholders’ engagements in key sectors including energy, agriculture and human settlement.  The Africa Climate Week (ACW) is the first of three annual regional climate events ahead of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September this year. It is organized by the Government of Ghana and the Nairobi Framework Partnership partners and cooperating organisations.

Attending the ACW are international and regional stakeholders from the public and private sectors aiming at building a strong regional foundation for climate action under the Parish Agreement. It is under the theme “Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win”.

Also expected in Accra is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba.

Appointed in November 2018, de Alba provides leadership, guidance and strategic direction towards the 2019 Climate Summit and is responsible for cooperation with key strategic climate change leaders, including governments and the private sector, to galvanize climate action and leadership for the event.

Whilst in Ghana, de Alba will brief delegates on the SG’s Climate Summit, hold a briefing session with UNFCCC staff and other ACW attendees and hold bilateral meetings with some key stakeholders. He will also take part in a Youth-led Climate Action capacity building session being organized by YOUNGO, the official youth constituency at the UNFCCC. He will later brief journalists.

 

 

Intensify Innovation by, and for Women and Girls to Ensure Gender Equality

Accra, 8 March 2019 – On International Women’s Day this year, the world is focusing on innovative ways in which we can propel gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Under the global theme “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”, the United Nations in Ghana is calling for the intensification of efforts to put innovation by women and girls, and innovation for women and girls, at the heart of initiatives to achieve gender equality in the country.

In a press release issued by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana in observance of International Women’s Day, the UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra notes that “Innovation can help us address some of the barriers that women and girls face in accessing public services and opportunities. We should make it central to our efforts to promote women’s empowerment and in doing so, we need to make sure that women and girls are not only just consumers of innovation, but that they are given the space to be innovators themselves. The countless numbers of life-changing inventions created by women throughout history, prove that they are capable to do so, when society doesn’t get in their way”.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2019

New York, March 8, 2019 – Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all.

In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent – and they have already sparked a troubling backlash from an entrenched patriarchy. Read more

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

March 1, 2019 – Ghanaian men and women have served as United Nations peacekeepers since the early 1970s, participating in operations that stretched from the Sinai to the African continent. The West African Nations is now among the top 10 contributors to UN peacekeeping, with nearly 3,000 personnel serving on eight missions.

Brigadier General (Dr) Emmanual Wekem Kotia, the Commander of the Western Sector in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), spoke with UN News about his decades-long service, which includes participation in the Organization’s ground-breaking transitional operation in Cambodia – a launch pad for key UN peacekeeping activities such as disarmament and reintegration, and electoral support component – and the post-electoral security landscape in the DRC. Read further.

Let us work to change discriminatory laws to ensure the rights of all – UNAIDS Ghana

Accra, March 1, 2019 – Today 1st of March is Zero Discrimination Day. It is a day set aside by the United Nations to turn the spotlight on one of the biggest challenges in our societies today: Discrimination.

“On this day, we are obliged to ask ourselves not only about the meaning of discrimination, but also take a moment to reflect on whether we are fully aware of our actions – Are we discriminating in any way?” “Are we respecting the human rights of everyone?” Angela Trenton-Mbonde, UNAIDS Country Director remarks.

On Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS recalls the equal dignity and worth of every person, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is calling for action to change discriminatory laws and practices, which are a significant barrier for access to health and other services.

“Human rights violations are happening all over the world because of discriminatory laws and practices,” say Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS in a press release issued from its head office in Geneva, Switzerland. “Laws must protect, not cause harm. All countries must carefully examine their laws and policies in order to ensure equality and protection for all people, without exception.” He adds.

UNAIDS highlights the landmark decisions a number of countries have made to change discriminatory laws and bills. The Philippines lowered the age of consent for voluntary HIV testing without the need to obtain consent from a parent or guardian to 15 years and Malawi removed provisions from a draft bill that would have criminalized HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission.

Ghana has made progress in enacting laws to protect the rights of people living with HIV. For example, the Ghana AIDS Commission Act upholds the human rights of persons living with HIV as enshrined in the Constitution, and the right to redress in cases of violation. UNAIDS commends Ghana in this feat and encourages countries to examine discriminatory provisions in their laws and policies and make positive changes to ensure equality, inclusion and protection.

UNAIDS is therefore proposing specific actions that individuals, civil society organizations, parliamentarians and donor organizations can take to change discriminatory laws. These range from being an ally to someone affected by a discriminatory law to joining a nongovernmental organization, tabling amendments to laws and calling for reviews of legislation.

Working together to change discriminatory laws will restore dignity and respect and save lives.

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Media Contact: Angela Trenton-Mbonde | E-mail: trentonmbondea@unaids.org| Tel. 0243 300 305

UN Ghana organizes a stage play to call for an end to Female Genital Mutilation

Accra, Ghana, February 7, 2019 – On February 6, the world marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with one message: that Female Genital Mutilation must end.  The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, clearly notes in his message to mark the 2019 observance that  “Is a human rights violation, endangers the health of women and girls and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.”

The Secretary-General further indicates that “An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subjected to this this harmful practice and every year about 4 million girls are at risk.”

The events held annually therefore aim at increasing global action to end female genital mutilation. In Ghana, the United Nations, led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), organized a stage play to raise awareness on the increasing trend of the practice. Titled “We Will Arise”, the play was written by Joshua Nana Morrison and performed by Vision Theater Company.  It depicts how the practice has taken on a cross border twist to circumvent government efforts to curb the menace.

In attendance at the Ghana National Theater for this event were students and teachers from Ghana Lebanon Islamic Senior High School and guest from the public.

The National Information Officer at the United Nations Information Center – Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah, emphasized the need for every girl and woman to live a life free of violence and pain, pointing out the dangers associated with the practice for which it must be denounced by all. In conclusion, she delivered the United Nations Secretary-General’s message.

The audience expressed sadness, grief, agony amidst pockets of laughter as they watched the play.

To measure the level of impact of the program, audience shared their views. Some students gave varied comments which all points to new knowledge and the need for them to talk people, especially their relatives, out of FGM. Some also commended the efforts of the organizers in deepening awareness about FGM.

UN SG’s Message on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

New York 6 February 2019 – “Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent human rights violation affecting women and girls around the world. It denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.

Female genital mutilation is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances– and it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential. An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subject to this harmful practice.  And every year, almost 4 million girls are at risk.” Read Further

UNIC Accra holds a second event in remembrance of the Holocaust

Accra, Ghana, 1 February 2019 – In response to the need for education and awareness creation about the Holocaust among the youth, a students’ briefing has taken place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High School for over 200 students as part of the 2019 International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in Accra. The event was organized by the United Nations Information Centre, Accra, in collaboration with the school.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust remembrance activities is, “Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend your Human Rights”.

In her introductory remarks before screening the movie “Who Will Write our History”, the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah said even though January 27 is the date set aside every year for Commemoration of the Holocaust, there is the need to constantly remind ourselves of the factors that led to the killings of over 6 million Jews to avoid its re-occurrence.

Narrating the personal story shared by the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Ms. Shani Cooper with Students of Accra Academy during a similar outreach earlier in the month, Ms. Cynthia Prah stressed that, we must respect the rights of everyone and avoid racial bigotry. She also asked the students to use their social media platforms to denounce hatred and hate speech.

The Girls’ Prefect, of HOTCASS, Ms. Millicent Wede thanked UNIC Accra for choosing to observe Holocaust Remembrance at their school.  She also requested for more programs to be brought to them so that they would learn about the United Nations and the world at large.