Category Archives: Latest News

Ghana presents its Voluntary National Review Report in New York tomorrow 17 July 2019

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is ongoing in New York.  Today, the UN Secretary-General opened the three day High-Level ministerial meeting to set the tone for the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) presentations.

Ghana is for the first time taking part in the VNR and is scheduled to present its VNR report on the SDGs tomorrow, Wednesday 17 July 2019.

Per the attached schedule, Ghana will present its report between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. New York time (From 7:30 p.m. local time). You may follow the United Nations live broadcast programming here where you will find the link to tomorrow’s broadcast on the VNR: http://webtv.un.org/live/

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sub-Saharan Countries and UNESCO Lead Largest Regional Initiative for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Accra, 30 January 2019 – The Ministry of Education in Ghana has hosted UNESCO and other UN partners, Ministries of Education and Health from across 14 Sub-Saharan African countries to launch the Our Lives, Our Rights Our Future (03) program. O3 supports the delivery of good quality CSE that empowers adolescents and young people by building skills, knowledge and attitudes to prevent HIV, reduce early and unintended pregnancies and eliminate gender-based violence.

This South-South dialogue was also a platform for Ministers and senior government
officials from across Sub-Saharan Africa to engage with UNESCO representatives,
UN senior officials, partners, youth, Civil Society Organizations, educators, parents
and religious leaders. Discussions revolved around sustaining political commitment
to accelerate the implementation of CSE programs in the region. Read further.