Author Archives: Cynthia Prah

14th St. Jerome Translation Contest announced

Following up on the commemoration of International Translation Day, celebrated every year on 30 September, the Conference Management Service of the United Nations Office at Vienna is pleased to announce the launch of the fourteenth edition of the St. Jerome Translation Contest.

It serves to celebrate multilingualism within the United Nations and highlights the important role that translators and language professionals play in the work of the United Nations and in the world at large. Read more about the competition and eligibility requirement: https://languagecareers.un.org/dgacm/Langs.nsf/page.xsp?key=Outreach-StJerome-SJTC14 

Holocaust observed in Accra with student briefing

Accra, Ghana, 11 January 2019 – A student briefing has taken place at the Accra Academy for over 300 Senior High School 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, with the involvement of Accra Academy, the host school, the German Embassy and the Israeli Embassy in Accra.

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

Introducing the programme, the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah, said UNIC Accra is keen on sensitizing the youth to eschew hatred, discrimination and prejudice in society. She said such outreach events, supported by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, are very significant platforms to inform,educate and engage the youth on pertinent issues affecting us.

The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Ms. Shani Cooper-Zubida, shared and emotional personal story of the Holocaust, which captivated the audience.  She traced her experience from her grandmother,who at only six years old, was a second generation of her family lineage to be directly affected by the Holocaust. Ms. Cooper-Zubuda encouraged students to treat others equally. “Never judge people by their religion, gender or race.Always look at them as equal to you”, she said. She further advised the youth to have a conversation with their grandparents to understand and appreciate the experiences of their families.

The Culture, Press and Trade Officer at the German Embassy in Accra, Ms. Gudrun Haider, mentioned that discrimination should not be justified and entreated students to continuously strive for a better world.

US based Ghanaian poet,Cynthia Amoah, who is known for empowering listeners through her poems, presented a poem dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust.  She voluntarily participated in the event “to encourage the youth to use social media and their writing skills to inspire people rather than promote hate” she stated.

The Head of Accra Academy, Mr. William Garr, thanked UNIC Accra for choosing to observe Holocaust Remembrance at his school.  He appealed for educational materials to held the students gain better understanding of the Holocaust and other related events. 

The event took place in response to the need for education and awareness creation about the Holocaust among the youth. The students watched in total silence as the film titled, “the Path to Nazi Genocide” was screened.A second event involving high-level dignitaries is expected to take place later in the month.  Holocaust Remembrance falls on January 27 each year.

Applications invited for Journalism Fellowship at UN Headquarters

New York – The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists for its 2019 fellowship program. 

The fellowships are available to radio, television, print and web journalists, age 25 to 35, who are interested in reporting from New York during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

Visit http://unjournalismfellowship.org/ for details. The deadline for application is March 1, 2019

IOM Ghana Celebrates Migration with Dignity on International Migrants Day

Accra, Ghana, 18 December 2018 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) commemorated International Migrants Day and the 2-year anniversary of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana with a football competition at the Kotobabi Wembley Sports Complex, Accra.

The safe migration football competition attracted about 1000 spectators from all the four communities as well as Government and non-government partners who have been integral in IOM’s work in Ghana.

The Chief of Mission, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra noted that the football competition is an opportunity to bring the youth together to highlight the dangers faced by irregular Ghanaian migrants during their journey. She added that “today we are taking the conversation on irregular migration out of the conference rooms and bringing it to the youth in the communities. We should not do anything for the youth without the youth. We should support them in taking ownership of the safe migration messages, make it their own and carry it forward”. Read more.

Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: A driving force for progress and development

Accra, 17 December 2018 – On December 10, over 160 world leaders and representatives of Governments met in Marrakesh, Morocco to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) for short, is the first-ever United Nations global agreement on a common approach on dealing with international migration in all its dimension.

Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra Chief of Mission, IOM Ghana

There are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Migration provides immense opportunities and benefits – for the migrants, host communities, communities of origin and destination. However, when poorly regulated it can also create significant challenges. These challenges include overwhelming social infrastructures with the unexpected arrival of large numbers of people and the deaths of migrants undertaking dangerous journeys. For the fifth straight year, IOM has witnessed the deaths of at least 2,000 irregular migrants seeking to reach Europe via the Mediterranean alone.

Movement from Ghana to other parts of the world has grown substantially in recent times. For instance, many young Ghanaians attempt to reach Europe in search of greener pastures by traveling irregularly through Libya because of mis-information and limited opportunities for safe and regular migration. Many of them either end up losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea or live in deplorable conditions in Libya, suffering human rights abuses at the hands of smugglers and in detention centres. In 2016 a total of 5,636 Ghanaians (4,933 men, 170 women and 533 children, of which 499 were unaccompanied migrant children) arrived in Italy by boat in search of better opportunities and lives – making Ghanaians the 11th largest nationality to arrive on Italian shores.  Generally, there was a reduction in the number of arrivals on Italian shores in 2017 from all nationalities with the number of Ghanaian arrivals falling to 3,909. The situation in Libya however remains extremely difficult for stranded migrants. Read further.

UN4U High School SDGs Awareness Campaign at St. Martin’s Senior High School – Nsawam Adoagyiri

Accra, Ghana, 4 December 2018 – UN4U is one of the major means through which the United Nations Information Centre reaches out to the public about its activities and the Sustainable Development Goals. And since the beginning of the year, it has embarked on several of such activities reaching out to the youth. The most recent was held at the St. Martin’s Senior High School at Nsawam in the Eastern Region involving the United Nations Developments Program (UNDP) and Young Visionary Leaders of Ghana, a local NGO. About 1800 students were reached.

UNIC staff with SDGs club members.

The presentations dwelt on the history of the United Nations, its agencies and their respective functions, the SDGs, with emphasis on the 5Ps (People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership) and the specific mandate and scope of work of the UNDP.

At the end of the presentations, the team led the students to establish SDGs Club in the school to support understanding of the SDGs. The new SDGs Club at St, Martin makes about five, SDGs Clubs created by high schools under the leadership of the YVLG in partnership with UNIC Accra and UNDP. The aim of the Clubs is to promote the SDGs among students in high school.

16 Heads of UN Agencies and Diplomatic Missions embark on Social Media Campaign to End Gender-Based Violence in Ghana

Accra, Ghana, 28 November 2018 – Sixteen diplomats serving in Ghana are using social media platform to add their voices to the global campaign to end gender-based violence.  The campaign which began on November 25, will run for 16 days until December 10, 2018. The exercise is part of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which takes place every year.

The diplomats include the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock, the Heads of Missions of Germany, Canada, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), France, Australia, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union.

Others include the Heads of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Mexico, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Netherlands, World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Italy. Read more.

Stand with survivors, victims, advocates and activists to end violence against women and girls in Ghana

Accra, November 26, 2018 – The United Nations in Ghana, in partnership with the Government of Ghana, launches the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign with renewed commitment to work together to end gender-based violence. This means for 16 days we join the rest of the world to increase awareness and intensify our advocacy to end gender-based violence.

The systemic silencing of victims/survivors and impunity for the perpetrators contributes to an entrenched and endemic violence against women and girls all over the world. This year’s theme: Orange the World: #HearMeToo is calling on all stakeholders to stand in solidarity with survivors and support grassroot activists and women’s human rights defenders in their work to end gender-based violence.

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UN Communication Group takes the UN to the door steps of students in Northern Ghana

Tamale, 13 November 2018 – Over 5000 students from nine senior high schools (SHS) and three tertiary institutions in the Northern Region of Ghana have taken part in this year’s joint UN4U outreach activities organized by the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) in the country.  UN4U was held annually by the UN Information Centre (UNIC), Accra.  It has, since 2015, been adopted by the UNCG as one of its core advocacy events to reach out to the youth and share knowledge about the work of the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global and national development priorities. The platform is also used to encourage the youth to explore opportunities to make meaningful impact in societies.

The first event was hosted by the Tamale Senior High School (SHS) and was held at the school’s assembly hall, which seats over 3000 students.  Here, students from the Northern School of Business, Tamale Islamic SHC, Anbariya SHS, Kalpohin SHS, Ghana SHS, Business SHS, Vitting SHS and Tamale Girls SHS were in attendance.

Representatives from UNHCR, UNDP, UNAIDS and UNIC took turns to brief the students on various aspects of their work. At the end of the programme, Muniru Ruweida of Tamale SHS told us she has now learnt that “we should not look down on or stigmatize people with HIV/AIDS.” For Alhassan Azara of Tamale Islamic SHS, who said she never knew about the UN, the programme was very useful because it was as a result of the programme that she gained an understanding of the core objectives of the UN.

Praise Nutakor of UNDP addresses students at Tamale University College of Education

At the tertiary level, students from the Tamale University College of Education (TUCE) showed great interest in the work of the UN.  The event was very interactive and engaging. The students sought clarity on a number of issues around conflict resolution, peace and security and how best to make an impact in a society where young people’s voices are inadvertently silenced by the reminder to wait till they are old.  At the end of the nearly 3-hour session with these students, 18-year old Asmaila Rahinatu, a first-year student of TUCE told the team that “today I have learnt that we can all make a change in a respectable way regardless of our age”.

The Vice Principal of the TUCE, Mr. Imoro Huhu Alhassan

The Vice Principal of the TUCE, Mr. Imoro Huhu Alhassan, expressed appreciation to the UNCG for choosing to hold the event in their school.  He appealed to the UN to organize such events in the Northern region on a regular basis.

Some of the most rewarding aspects in the work of UN colleagues is taking the UN to the door steps of the youth through outreach programmes. UN4U is one way to reach out that connects UN staff from many agencies to young people in their own schools and communities, and that enables us to learn as much from them as they learn about the UN from us.

Impacting lives in Northern Ghana: UN’s contributions

Northern Ghana, 13 November 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of the UN Programmes changing lives in the northern part of Ghana. Recently, the UN Communications Group, led by the UN Information Centre conducted a media visit to project sites in the Northern region to learn about the some interventions by the UN in that region. We came into contact with beneficiaries of some of these projects. Read more about the Pashiguni solar irrigation project being implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the Energy Commission of Ghana and the Adaptation Fund Project being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).