Ghana marks 73rd United Nations Day

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(second from left),Ms. Evans-Klock(left) and other minister s of state taking the national anthem.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(second from left),Ms. Evans-Klock(left) and other minister s of state taking the national anthem.

A colourful flag-raising ceremony was yesterday held at the Fore Court of the State House, Accra in commemoration of the 73rd United Nations Day.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, hoisted the Ghana flag on behalf of the people of Ghana, while the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock did that of the United Nations.

The Day is held annually to mark the birthday of the Founding Charter which is the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of member states.

This year’s worldwide commemoration is on the theme: “Making the United Nations Relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Sharing Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”

It was was on the sub-theme, “Mr Kofi Annan, the legacy of an Illustrious son of Ghana and Global Statesman.”

In attendance were members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, students from selected schools in Accra, members of the security forces and other dignitaries.

Delivering a statement at the event, Madam Botchwey said Ghana would continue to play significant role in peacekeeping operations of the world in spite of the constraints of her resources.

This according to her was in line with the country’s firm belief in the noble ideals of the United Nations Peacekeeping, stressing that “I will like to use this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the government of Ghana to the ideals and principles of the United Nations and to reiterate that, we would continue to discharge our international obligation in promoting peace and security throughout the world.”

She said the UN had made remarkable strides in its advocacy for member states to uphold the principles that guaranteed basic freedoms and human rights of the citizenry; but the world was still faced with threats to peace, security and stability.

Madam Botchwey said inspite of the achievements, there were serious violations of human rights, marked social deprivation, poverty, and the devastating effects of climate change and its consequent environmental degradation.

“In the same way, transformative and sustainable development has continued to elude many nations across the globe, and the sense of hopelessness and despair of the poor and marginalised in our societies constitute an affront to our common sense of humanity,” she emphasized.

She noted that this state of affairs was increasingly posing a serious threat to social cohesion and progress, adding that “Against this background, the choice of the theme for this year’s celebration is both apt and significant.”

Touching on the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said Ghana believes that the 17 goals and 169 targets that were aimed at shaping the development agenda of the world within the next 12 years were attainable.

“The goals which cover issues of infrastructure development and industrialisation, equality within and among countries, gender equality, clean and renewable energy, climate change, preservation of the planet, and above all, elimination of poverty among all the people without leaving anyone behind, are not overly ambitious, as others will have us believe; they are actually achievable with the fullest commitment of all of us,” she emphasized.

She explained that Ghana believed that the goals and targets go far beyond the imperatives of economic growth to also encompass the recognition of tackling the most cases of poverty and deprivation.

On her part, Ms Evans-Klock said the UN’s partnership with the Government of Ghana, Civil Society and the Private sector was geared towards sustainable economic, social and environmental development, peace and democracy as well as human rights.

She said the partnership framework aligned with the coordinated programme of economic and social development policies (CPESDP) 2017-2024 which sets out a vision for agricultural modernisation, industrial diversification and youth employment.

Ms Evans-Klock said the celebration of the day was to remind all member states of their commitment to the Secretariat to continue to improve the UN in terms of its impact and efficiency.

“I would like to thank Ghana for its leadership in the United Nations. I am grateful to President Akufo-Addo for agreeing to continue to co-Chair the Secretary General’s Group of Eminent Advocates for the SDGs for another two-year term’” she said.

She said the position helps drive Ghana’s leadership across Africa and the world and it would make Ghana’s efforts more visible, as it continues to be accountable to citizens for the tangible difference the SDGs make in their lives.

Ms Evans-Klock who used the occasion to bid good bye to Ghana after a four- year term of service as the Resident Coordinator, stressing that “It has been an honour to represent the Heads of the UN Agencies and the more than 800 dedicated and experienced UN staff in Ghana on these special occasions.”

By Cliff Ekuful

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