Author Archives: Cynthia Prah

100+ “Green Tickets” for young climate activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers to attend the UN Youth Climate Summit in New York.

The United Nations is offering 100+ “Green Tickets” for young climate activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers to attend the UN Youth Climate Summit  event to be held at UN Headquarters on 21 September.

Interested youth must apply by 19 Julywww.un.org/en/climatechange/youth-summit.shtml

The event will take place as part of a weekend of events leading up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday, 23 September.

For updates on the UN Youth Climate Summit, we encourage you to follow the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (@UNYouthEnvoy), the Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit (@ladealba), @UN and @GlobalGoalsUN.

For more information, please find attached a press release issued by the UN Department of Global Communication and the Climate Action Summit Team.

UNITED NATIONS UNDER SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR PEACE OPERATIONS, H.E. JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX ARRIVES IN GHANA TO BID FAREWELL TO MAJOR GENERAL VIB-SANZIRI.

Accra, Ghana, 27 June 2019 – The United Nations Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix arrives in Accra today 27 June to attend the funeral of the late Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri. Mr. Larcroix will pay tribute to the former Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) at the funeral service.

Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri passed away while in active service on Friday 19 April 2019 and will be laid to rest on Friday 28 June 2019 following a funeral service at Burma Camp.

Whilst in the country, Mr. Lacroix will hold bilateral talks with the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Expected at the meeting are high-level government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and the Minister for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul. He is also scheduled to meet with the leadership of the Ghana Armed Forces. He will also visit the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and call on its Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Santrofi Evans. UNDP Ghana United Nations Peacekeeping Ghana Police Service

Two fallen peacekeepers from Ghana to be honoured at ceremony at UN Headquarters

New York, 22 May 2019 – United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, will lay a wreath at UN Headquarters on Friday 24 May 2019 to honour all UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948 and will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 119 military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives in 2018 and early 2019.

The late CPL Mercy Adade

Two fallen peacekeepers from Ghana are among the 110 who will posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjold medal.  They are the late Frank Sammy Kwofie who served with the UN Police in the United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID); and the late CPL Mercy Adade who served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)

During a special ceremony, the Secretary-General will award the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” posthumously to Private Chancy Chitete of Malawi. The medal is named after a Senegalese peacekeeper who was killed in Rwanda in 1994 after saving countless civilian lives. This is the first time to award the medal since the inaugural medal was presented to Captain Diagne’s family in his honour in 2016.

The late Deputy Police Commissioner Mr. Franck Sammy Kwofie

Private Chitete served with the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and was killed last year while saving the life of a fellow peacekeeper from Tanzania who had been badly wounded during an operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which was aimed to stop attacks on local towns and to prevent the disruption of the Ebola response. His comrade survived, and Private Chitete’s heroism and sacrifice helped the peacekeepers achieve their objective of protecting civilians and forcing the ADF to withdraw from the area. It is planned that Private Chitete’s family will receive the medal on his behalf during the Peacekeepers’ Day commemorations in New York.

In a video message to mark Peacekeepers Day, the Secretary-General said: “Today we honour the more than one million men and women who have served as UN peacekeepers since our first mission in 1948. We remember the more than 3,800 personnel who paid the ultimate price. And we express our deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today and to the countries that contribute these brave and dedicated women and men.”

Ghana is the 9th largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping.  It currently contributes nearly 2,800 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Mali, the Middle East, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and the Western Sahara.

The global theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace’. In his message, the Secretary-General’s said: “This year, the United Nations marks 20 years since the Security Council first mandated a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. Peacekeepers protect men, women and children from violence every day, often at great personal risk.”

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said: “UN Peacekeeping deploys to some of the most complex and difficult places, protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable. We are working in partnership with Member States to implement the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative to strengthen peacekeeping, including to improve how we protect civilians, which is at the heart of our work. For hundreds of millions, peacekeeping is the last best hope and it needs all our support.”

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. The General Assembly designated 29 May as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in commemoration of the day in 1948 when the UN’s first peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.

While the Day will be marked at UNHQ on the 24th, UN missions and offices around the world will commemorate the Day on 29 May.

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UNU-INRA to launch lecture series in honour of Professor Alexander Adum Kwapong

Accra, April 24, 2019: The inaugural session of the Professor Alexander Adum Kwapong Lecture Series: Nature Speaks – a new initiative co-convened by the United Nations Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and the University of Ghana (UG) in honour of the late Professor Kwapong, first Ghanaian Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and first African Vice-Rector of the United Nations University – will be delivered by Dr Frannie Léautier, Chief Operating Officer  of the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (TDB) on the topic “Innovation, Infrastructure, Technology and the Promise of Renewed Growth for Natural Resource Management in Africa – Blind Alleys or Transformational Change?

The inaugural lecture – to be chaired by Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana – will be held 25 April 2019, 2pm – 5pm, at the ISSER conference centre of the University of Ghana. Read further.

University Students from Nigeria and Ghana Pay A Learning Visit to the UN Office

About 25 level 300 students of Crescent University, Abeokuta, traveled all the way from Nigeria to Accra to learn about the work of the United Nations in Ghana. For the students, most of whom are studying Political Science and International Relations, this is a mandated exercise that offers them an opportunity to learn how international organisations, governments and other national institutions outside their country operate.

Although it is an academic requirement, it was fun and a learning curve for many of them. “Being in school is not only about reading.  We need to gain practical experience and see how things are done to shape our world” says Agboola Abdul Azeez, a student.

The students interacted with the UN Communications Group and learned about the UN Ghana focus areas as contained in the UN Sustainable Development Partnership document. The UNCG in turns expounded on issues transforming our world including the SDGs, Climate Change, youth engagement and data access.

“United Nations in Ghana considers partnership as key to achieving its objectives and therefore the SDGs” says the Chair of the UNCG and National Information Officer at the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah. “We do not work alone.  We work with governments, NGOs and CSOs, academia and youth groups, among others.” She added.

The UNCG invited some 20 UN student group members from the University of Ghana to take part in this outreach session to allow for further engagement and network amongst the students. The session was very interactive and educative with students from both sides seeking clarity on how the UN is tackling climate change challenges and its data collection methods for instance.

“I have learned a lot today. I can now summarise the SDGs with the 5Ps – people, planet, partnership, prosperity and peace” says Sodipo Aminat Adenike.

The leader of the delegation and Lecturer in Political Science and International Relations, Ebenezer Oluwole Oni, expressed gratitude to the UN in Ghana for hosting the students.  He noted that “there is no doubt that the students have been exposed to the systems and operations of the UN and he looks forward to the students’ report after their trip”.

Present at the briefing were representatives from each UN agency.  The session forms part of the UN4U initiative which is one of the major means through which the United Nations in Ghana reaches out to the public about its activities and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Major New UN Report Calls for Overhaul of Global Financial System

NEW YORK, 4 March 2019: A new United Nations report warns that unless national and international financial systems are revamped, the world’s governments will fail to keep their promises on such critical issues as combating climate change and eradicating poverty by 2030.

In their 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, the international organizations find some good news: investment has gained strength in some countries and interest in sustainable investing is growing, with 75 per cent of individual investors showing interest in how their investments affect the world.

Please find details in the attached press release issued by the United nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

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”.