The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, has advocated integration of employment, sustainable development and the advancement of equal rights for all to serve the interest of minority groups across the globe.
He was speaking at the just ended High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to mark the commemoration of the 13th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistics Minorities last Wednesday in New York, United States of America.
“We welcome the integration of employment, sustainable development and social protection into domestic polices, and the advancement of equal rights and opportunities for all in a manner that ensures that the interest of minority groups is served,” Mr Dame told member states of the United Nations (UN) in his speech delivered at the UN Headquarters.
Mr Dame said that despite the progress made in advancing the rights of minority groups following the adoption of the Declaration three decades ago, challenges persisted.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the adoption of the Declaration remained relevant in addressing contemporary challenges facing minority groups, and urged member states to make good their commitments to its implementation.
In addition, Mr Dame said as member states moved towards a post COVID-19 future, it was important for states to deliberately put in place measures that would enhance emergency aids, boost data collection for monitoring and tracking of disparities on minority groups, intensify outreach, including in minority languages and sign languages on how to prevent and address COVID-19 and other challenges.
Notwithstanding, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice noted that the growing exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination against minorities required a holistic and comprehensive approach in addressing the situation.
Mr Dame recommended the introduction of interventions such as helplines, psychosocial support and online counselling and deployment of technology to meaningfully address the challenges minorities faced.
Mr Dame asked for investment in media literacy and education aimed at advancing the rights of minority groups as well as adopting technology-based solutions such as SMS and other networks to expand social support, and to reach out to women in minority groups.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice told member states that the government of Ghana solidarised with the people belonging to minority groups and was concerned about the disproportionate suffering they were subjected to in conflict situations, including their vulnerability to forced displacements, obstacles to education and other attendant effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Dame pointed out that Article 17 of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution guaranteed equality before the law and prohibited discrimination on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status, and that the government of Ghana remained committed to advancing these fundamental rights, and to fulfiling her obligations under international human rights laws in a manner that ensured that minority rights were not marginalised.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA