The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Thomas Mbomba has announced that Ghana will host the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference in December 2023.
The conference would bring together leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities facing UN peacekeeping operations.
He disclosed this during a flag-raising and wreath laying ceremony in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on 29th May, 2023 in Accra on the theme “Peace Begins with Me: 75 Years of Peacekeeping.”
“The Conference will also provide a platform for sharing experiences, exchange best practices, and strengthen partnerships in the collective pursuit of sustainable peace and also focus on critical issues such as the protection of civilians, improving the safety and security of peacekeepers, advancing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, and strengthening the performance and accountability of peacekeeping operations,” he emphasized.
The Deputy Minister commended United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers for their vital role in saving lives, protecting civilians, rebuilding communities torn apart by conflicts and contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security.
He also paid tribute to Peacekeepers who fell in the line of duty.
Mr Mbomba stated that Ghana as one of the pioneering troop contributing countries of the United Nations peacekeeping efforts, recognises the key role that the United Nations plays in the maintenance of international peace and security and added that the country had volunteered approximately 100,000 uniformed personnel and civilians in various capacities in more than 35 UN Missions around the world to maintain peace and security.
“Our uniformed personnel have served with pride and distinction since the 1960s, working in diverse and challenging conflict and post-conflict situations, their contributions have not only brought hope to conflict-affected regions but have also brought honour and pride to our nation” he added.
Mr Mbomba said Ghana recognizes the indispensable role of women in peacekeeping and support efforts, and had increasingly been fielding female peacekeepers, both from the military and police units and was committed to improving gender parity and integration for effective peacekeeping.
He congratulated Captain Cecilia Erzuah of the Ghana Armed Forces who was awarded the 2022 United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year award, in recognition of her role in mainstreaming gender issues in her peacekeeping duties in the UN Interim Security Forces in Abyei (UNISFA) as commander of the Ghanaian Engagement Platoon.
The Deputy Minister for Defence, Mr Kofi Amankwa-Manu eulogized Ghanaian peacekeepers who have served selflessly, often in challenging and dangerous environments, and expressed appreciation to their families for their unwavering support.
He called for more support for peacekeeping operations through the provision of necessary resources, and empowerment of peacekeepers with tools they need to carry out their vital missions.
He also emphasized that, peace begins with each individual and not a responsibility solely entrusted to peacekeepers but a collective duty that all people should share by fostering a culture of peace in communities, promote dialogue, and address the root causes of conflict.
On his part, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Charles Abani commended Ghana for its unwavering commitment to United Nations peacekeeping missions since the 1960s, through the provision of soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel to numerous operations across the world.
He disclosed that out of the 122 contributing countries in peacekeeping, Ghana ranks number 7 with 2,756 peacekeepers as of February 2023.
Mr Charles Abani also paid tribute to WOII John Angmor Nartey who lost his life in the line of duty when he served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). WOII Angmor Nartey was among the 103 peacekeepers honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold medal on 25th May, 2023 during an official event in New York.
Patience Anaadem, ISD