The German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, has commended Ghana for upholding constitutional democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights and called for improvement in order to attract more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
He stressed that the international business community was keen on investing in countries where human rights and the rule of law was respected and enhanced at all times.
“Coming from the business community, I would stress that Ghanaians should not underestimate the importance of human rights and its capacity to attract international investments. If Ghana was to attract more foreign direct investments, it must strengthen Human rights but not weaken the respect for human rights.” he said.
Mr Krull added that for a longtime the democratic constitution, rule of law and respect for human rights has been a great selling point for Ghana in the international arena and such rights must be expanded.
He made the assertions at the in-country pre-session on Ghana’s 4th cycle of the United Nations (UN) Universal Peer Review (UPR) in Accra.
The UN UPR was introduced in 2006 by the UN General Assembly as part of reforms to promote human rights in the world following the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council.
The event was a dialogue between the diplomatic community and human rights inclined Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) to assess Ghana’s performance in various human rights areas ahead of Ghana’s UN UPR review next year.
Under the UPR mechanism, UN member countries are peer-reviewed and examined on their entire human rights record every five years.
Ghana has been reviewed three times- in 2008, 2012 and 2017, with the next one slated for 2023.
It was organised by the POS Foundation, a CSO group, with support from the UN Ghana Office and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) under the theme “Diplomacy Meets Human Rights on Ghana’s Record: UPR is a Process,Not an Event.”
The German ambassador asked Ghana to use its new position as the head of the UN Security Council to help end the war between Russia and Ukraine, which he said was violating the human rights of the people.
“Freedom of expression especially from academia, the private sector and business people who take certain positions on policies must be guarded as I have observed such people have come under increasing focused and targeted pressure,” he disclosed.
The Attorney-General (A-G), Godfred Yeboah Dame, represented by Principal State Attorney, Nana Abena Brenya Okyere highlighted the implementation of the National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-ups (NMRF), a function under the A-G department for managing reporting on the UPR and other UN reports, as well as the passage of the Rights to Information Law as some of the successes chalked since the last review.
She added that the drafting of the Narcotics Control Commissions act which focused on addressing drug use from a public health and human rights perspective rather than a criminal one and a non-custodial sentencing bill drafted together with the POS Foundation and the Ministry for the Interior and about to be laid before cabinet as the other successes.
She welcomed continuous dialogue with the CSOs and the diplomatic community who she described as partners in the UPR and promoting human rights across the country.
On his part, the Executive Director of POS Foundation, Jonathan Osei Owusu,
called for proactive measures to implement all Ghana’s recommended UPR measures.
He pledged that as CSO’s they will perform their role as watchdogs to ensure government worked on the recommendations.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO