Category Archives: Press releases

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.

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.

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”.

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

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.

Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Progamme to be Launched in Accra

Accra, Ghana, 28 January 2019 – Over 20 Ministers of Education and of Health will meet in Accra to officially launch a programme that will support delivery of good quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in Ghana and five other countries on the continent. The officials will also meet to commit to scaling up comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and youth friendly sexual and reproductive health rights services for adolescent and young people.

The Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme, supported by UNESCO and the Governments of Sweden and Ireland, will allow the six countries, including Ghana, to deepen the scope of existing activities to attain an almost full-scale implementation of CSE. The purpose is to improve sexual and reproductive health of young people and adolescents for a consistent reduction in new HIV infections, early and unintended pregnancy, gender-based violence, and child marriage.

The meeting in Ghana will enable a secured and sustained strong political commitment and support for adolescents’ and young people’s access to CSE and sexual and reproductive health services across sub-Saharan Africa among others. Read further.

The UN Condemns the Killing of Ghanaian Journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale

Accra, 19 January 2019– The United Nations in Ghana, through its Acting Resident Coordinator,Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, expresses its strong condemnation, following the death of Ghanaian Journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, in Accra, on Wednesday, January 16,2019.

The United Nations calls for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into Mr.Hussein-Suale’s death and full accountability for those responsible. Failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice, creates a climate of impunity,which perpetuates the cycle of violence against journalists.

The United Nations in Ghana reiterates the message of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists:“When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a priceThis should not become the new normal.”

Protecting the fundamental right to freedom of expression also requires that journalists and media workers be protected, and action be taken to proactively promote their safety.

The United Nations in Ghana extends sincere condolences to Mr. Hussein-Suale’s family, friends and well wishers.

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Media Contact:

Ms. Cynthia Prah

UN Information Centre, Accra

Tel: 055 678 3033

Email: prah@un.org