International Day of UN Peacekeepers marked in Ghana with a youth engagement
Over 120 youth took part in a virtual event to interact with young Ghanaian Peacekeepers with UNIFIL and discuss the role of youth in peace and security.
On May 29 each year, the world takes a moment to honour United Nations peacekeepers, both active and those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers has been observed since 2003. In Ghana, a national flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony is usually held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in collaboration with the United Nations in Ghana and other stakeholders. During this time, tribute is paid to the many Ghanaian peacekeepers who have died serving under the blue helmet and wreathes are presented to a member or a representative of a bereaved family.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Ministry, the UN and the national security services – Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service and Ghana Immigration Service – partnered with the UNIFIL-PIO to organize a virtual event. The event was under the local theme Peace and Security in Ghana: The role of the youth, culled from the global theme which is centred on youth, peace and security.
The event offered young people the opportunity to engage with young Ghanaian peacekeepers with UNIFIL, namely Lance Corporal Mabel Gyapomah Owusu, Lance Bombardier Samuel Kofi Adu, Able Seaman Class I (ABI) Anita Adu-Gyamfi and L/Cpl Erica Osabutey , all under 30 years. These young peacekeepers shared their knowledge and experiences in the field and offered advice on how the youth can play meaningful role to ensuring peace and security in their communities.
Present at the event were the Minister of Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and newly appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, Ambassador Martha Pobee, who made a statement on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Also present were UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier General Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey, the Nima Divisional Commander of the Ghana Police Service, ACP/Mr. Abraham Acquaye and the Programme Officer for Youth, Peace and Security at the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mrs. Josiane Sombo.