Ghana on May 29, 2022, joined the global community to mark the 77th International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in Accra.
This year’s celebration is on the theme “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships”, and offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel for their contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour nearly 4,200 peacekeepers who lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 135 last year.
Mr. Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Mr. Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana hoisted Ghana and the UN flags respectively.
Wreaths were also laid by Mr. Abani on behalf of the UN whereas Mr. Kofi Amankwa-Manu, the Deputy Minister of Defence, did it on behalf of Ghana.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in a speech, read on her behalf said peacekeeping was not only a unique tool used by the UN to help secure global peace and security but was also one of the most effective investments by the international community to support peace, security, and prosperity.
“While peacekeeping comes at a tragically high cost in terms of lives lost, it yielded dividends in terms of lives saved and had a beneficial influence on the lives of millions of people worldwide.”
She said Ghana believed that the strong and effective partnership between the UN Secretariat, the Security Council, and the countries that contributed uniformed personnel, made possible the 55 peacekeeping operations around the world.
She said the UN, through the years, had successfully completed its mandates, with 12 remaining missions currently in operation globally.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said that guided by the commitment to promote peace and security all over the world, Ghana had maintained her position as one of the top 10 troop-contributing nations, and that Ghana’s men and women in the military, police, and prison service continued to serve with professionalism and distinction.
She reiterated this commitment was also high on Ghana’s agenda, in her current role as Chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) as well as in her membership of the UN Security Community.
“Our commitment to peacekeeping and conflict prevention is reflected in our priorities for the Council,” she said.
“We believe that strengthening partnerships between the UN and continental and regional organisations such as the African Union (AU) is crucial.
“We are also believing that post-conflict reconstruction, improved strategic planning, better force generation and enhanced safety and security and strengthened efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, are key ingredients of effective peacekeeping efforts.”
The Minister reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to the Action for Peace (A4P) Initiative and the declaration of shared commitments.
“We are therefore encouraged by the action plan to improve the security of the UN, the safety and security of UN Peacekeepers, and many advances made in the A4P Initiative so far.”
Mr. Abani, who acknowledged Ghana’s consistent major role in UN Peacekeeping, said as the ninth-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping, Ghana currently deployed nearly 2,600 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central Africa Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Mali, Middle East Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.
He said with 850 soldiers alone, out of which 115 were women peacekeepers, Ghana was the largest contingent of women Peacekeepers and should be lauded for this achievement.
Mr. Kofi Amankwa-Manu urged the UN, member states, and international agencies and organisations to continue to partner with each other to attain global peace and security.
“Peacekeeping is a collective enterprise and partnership, and it is critical to securing sustainable peace and security, especially for the vulnerable areas. Standing alone we can never succeed. Together we are strong and can continue to change lives for the better.”
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