UN Resident Coordinator addresses key partners at an evening reception to climax UN Day in Ghana
The UN in Ghana hosted key stakeholders and partners to an evening reception to climax the celebration of UN Day in Ghana. The UN RC addressed the gathering.
I warmly welcome you to the RCO premises on this special day when the world pauses to reflect on the role the United Nations has played over the years since its establishment around the pillars of Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development.
Thank you for honoring our invitation to be a part of this historical moment. It’s a celebration of 77 years of collaboration and joint endeavor. I wish to formally thank the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, for the colorful ceremony this morning. It is an annual tradition and this year did not disappoint. Let me also extend our deep appreciation to all the Heads of Missions from across the spectrum who attended to commemorate the day. Your countries are the foundation upon which multilateralism is built and we know that without you, much of the work we do together would not be possible. Thank you. To the partners we work with in civil society, the private sector, the media and across the spectrum of non-state actors – thank you for all your efforts and your collaboration. Across academia, think-tanks, civic organizations, companies, associations, media houses and many more, we value your efforts towards achieving the 2030 agenda. Traditional and faith-based religious leaders are equally worthy of our appreciation. You grant us hospitality in your land, extend trust to the UN, and help us to accelerate the message of global peace and development. Ghana will rise to greater heights because of all of your dedicated, constructive, committed and powerful engagement.
I am elated to have you all here, and together with my colleague Heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes, we congratulate Ghana for its leadership role in the global organization.
Ghana was admitted to the UN on 8 March 1957, two days after attaining independence from Great Britain. The Permanent Mission of Ghana to the UN is responsible for carrying out the nation’s participation in the world body. Just last week, I met again with Ghana’s Permanent Representative and he assured me of continued support and collaboration.
In June 2021, Ghana was elected to the UN Security Council for the 2022-2023 term. Ghana's agenda is focusing on Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development, particularly on the continent of Africa. We commend Ghana for its leadership in the quest for peace and democracy through the efforts at sub-regional, regional, and global levels.
Aside from this, we recognize the many Ghanaians in leadership positions with the UN system in various countries contributing their quota to make meaningful impact
- Kofi Annan – the World’s own secretary general
- Mohammed Ibn Chambas – former SRSG for UNOWAS
- Mary Chinnery Hesse – first female DDG of ILO
- Hanna Tetteh – currently the SRSG/Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa
- Eugene Owusu – currently presidential advisor on the SDGs
- Martha Ama Akyea Pobee – currently ASG for DPPA and first female Perm Rep to the UN
And many more (including those serving as RCs across the globe). Let us also pause to remember those who have laid down their lives as peacekeepers in the pursuit of peace. For the latter, may their souls rest in peace.
Ghana is one of the top ten contributing country’s for UN peacekeeping missions and the number one contributing country for women peacekeepers. The contributions of Ghana to peace and security in West Africa and beyond are a stellar example for all. Ghana is one of the ten fast track country’s for the Secretary General’s Youth Strategy (Youth2030) and a champion country for the SG’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation. The location of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat in Accra no doubt demonstrates the confidence that the African Union has also reposed in Ghana.
A new Cooperation Framework
The UN in Ghana has come a long way. This year, we have developed a new-generation Cooperation Framework, the most important instrument for planning and implementation of UN development activities in Ghana. Indeed, we are grateful for the support we received during the process of development from all stakeholders, but most especially from the Government of Ghana. This will hopefully shorty be signed and through it, we will unlock our commitment of an estimated US$500m to empower institutions and people through advisory services, capacity development, technical assistance, thought leadership, expanded and strengthened partnerships, improved monitoring, evaluation and evidence generation and use, increased accountability and much more over a three-year period from 2023 to 2025. Our focus will be on three key outcomes – inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic transformation, equitable access to services, and durable peace and security in Ghana and across the subregion, especially for those most left behind.
Building on our learning towards a stronger, more agile and responsive UN, we recognize the important role of partnerships – with Government, civil society, youth groups and the private sector – in helping us reach a UN that is innovative, catalytic, and fosters transparency, accountability and good governance and respect for human rights. We shall also count on the existing strong collaboration with Heads of Cooperation and Missions to support Ghana advance the SDGs agenda as part of realizing its vision of a WISER, self-reliant nation.
Cooperation with key partners has long been a touchstone of the work of the UN, due to the unique and complementary capacities that, when properly harnessed and coordinated, can contribute decisively to lasting change. We will strengthen and deepen our relationship across a wide spectrum of actors, especially in the three key areas of the Cooperation Framework. All of this speaks clearly first to Ghana’s priorities as identified through the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies and Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework as flagship programmes but also to the UN SG’s ‘Common Agenda’. We are committed that the UN’s concerns and priorities will be driven by Ghana’s own concerns and priorities and by the global consensus articulated through the Common Agenda.
Let me take this moment to throw some light on all UN agencies, funds and programmes in Ghana, that have made it possible for us to be here today and contributed through their respective mandates to make the UN succeed in Ghana.
I am talking about
WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNOPS, UNDP, UNU-INRA, WFP, FAO, UNAIDS, UNCDF, UNODC, UNIDO, UNESCO, IOM, IFAD, IAEA, IMO, ITC all of which are present in Ghana. I also want to mention the immense contributions and support from externally based entities such as UNEP, OCHA, OHCHR, UN Women, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNITAR, UNECA, UNOWAS, ITU, Global Pulse, UN REDD+, UNDRR, DPPA and UNMAS. Together, this is a formidable team.
If I were to list the achievements of these agencies, we would be here all night (and then some). Permit me though to mention a few. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with the Government of Ghana, the UN resolutely supported Ghana’s ambitious development plan to be on track with the SDGs commitments through the Country Preparedness and Response Programme (CPRP) and the Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan (SERRP) – all of which were anchored in our promise of the 2018 – 2022 Cooperation Framework – to deliver change in four key areas amounting to some $440m over the 5 year period. Through our proposed new Cooperation Framework, once signed, we will commit at least $500m to support Ghana's development priorities between 2023 and 2025 – showing at least a 25% increase from the previous period.
Over the last 12 months, we have supported Ghana’s engagement in and commitment to outcomes of the Food Systems Summit; COP 26 (and shortly COP 27); the Global Disability Summit (hosted here in Ghana), the World Trade Promotion Conference (hosted here in Ghana), the Transforming Education Summit, the Financing for the SDGs Roadmap for Ghana – among others. We back and support this model fully. We have also supported Ghana to conduct a successful Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs as well as make a substantive submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights. Below this and across a myriad of areas, agencies have worked tirelessly. Thank you to all the agencies who have worked so hard and to the dedicated staff who have stayed and delivered. We appreciate you all. And we appreciate too, all those who have supported this work across the spectrum.
n a world full of problems – growing inequality, rapidly escalating climate impacts, finance and debt, instability, conflict and growing divides and a potential ‘trust and belief’ deficit – we must be mindful and in somber reflection mode. As we gather this evening, we are reminded of the monumental tasks that lie ahead of us all, especially in the face of the global crisis of Climate Change, COVID-19 and its associated economic woes and conflicts in many parts of the world. We owe it to the people we serve to bring relief and comfort to them. The SDG’s mantra of Leave No One Behind remains central to us all. Ensuring the effective participation of women and girls, children, persons with disability and youth is a ‘must’ that we must all rededicate ourselves to. We call on the Government of Ghana to continue to lead from the front. We call on all Ghanaians to play their role, positively and constructively, and also call on the international community to play their role in supporting the UN and Ghana to achieve the SDGs.
As we mark the 77th UN Day, let me remind us of the message of the UN Secretary-General to “renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity”. Undoubtedly, when we work together, we can overcome the many grave challenges we face.
At this time, let me share with you the UN Secretary-General’s message in observance of the 77th UN Day:
The United Nations is the product of hope.
The hope — and resolve — following the Second World War to move beyond global conflict to global cooperation.
Today, our organization is being tested like never before.
But the United Nations was made for moments like this.
Now, more than ever, we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in every corner of the world.
By giving peace a chance and ending conflicts that jeopardize lives, futures and global progress.
By working to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, and rescue the Sustainable Development Goals.
By safeguarding our planet, including by breaking our addiction to fossil fuels and kickstarting the renewable energy revolution.
And by finally balancing the scales of opportunity and freedom for women and girls and ensure human rights for all.
As we mark UN Day, let us renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity.
The UN development system’s role in Ghana is to serve Ghana - as a catalyst in the process of development and the march towards the achievement of the SDGs. To that end, the UN on this important day, recommits to supporting Ghana and providing catalytic and transformative assistance that will enable Ghana to recover from global challenges, build back better and achieve the SDGs.
I thank you all and look forward to a new year, with renewed hope, of great prospects and break-through solutions that will propel us all to the place we ought to be. I wish you all a HAPPY UN DAY.