Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has congratulated Captain Cecilia Erzuah of the Ghana Armed Forces for winning the 2022 United Nations (UN) Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.
Captain Erzuah, 32, is an accomplished Ghanaian peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA), who has served in Abyei (which is contested between the republics of Sudan and South Sudan) since March 2022 as the Commander of the Ghana Engagement Platoon.
She received the Award from UN Secretary-General António Guterres during a ceremony marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday, 25 May, 2023.
Created in 2016, the United Nations “Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” recognises the dedication and efforts of an individual military peacekeeper in promoting the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.
During the flagraising ceremony in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in Accra, Mr Mbomba said: “We also recognise the indispensable role of women in peacekeeping and support efforts by the United Nations to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping.”
The UN Day was on the theme: “Peace Begins With Me: 75 Years of UN Peacekeeping”.
This year’s theme recognises the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers, past and present, including more than 4,200 who have given off their lives under the UN flag.
He said Ghana had increasingly been fielding female peacekeepers, both from the military and police units, who were committed to improving gender parity and integration for effective peacekeeping.
“Permit me to take this opportunity to congratulate Captain Cecilia Erzuah of the Ghana Armed Forces who has been awarded the 2022 United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.”
“This is in recognition of her role in mainstreaming gender issues in her peacekeeping duties in accordance with UN SCR 1325.”
The Deputy Minister used the occasion to reaffirm Ghana’s commitment to peace building and pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of peacekeepers around the world.
“May their unwavering dedication and resilience inspire us all to take action, to build bridges, and to strive for a world where peace and prosperity prevails,” he said.
Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said Ghana had played a catalytic role in peacekeeping operations, setting an inspiring example for nations around the world.
Out of the 122 contributing countries, Ghana ranks number seventh with 2,756 peacekeepers as of February, 2023.
He reaffirmed that the UN would continue to be a reliable partner in the agenda of peacekeeping adding: “I call on everyone; man, woman, young and old, to join the global movement for peace.”
“Let us become the catalyst for peace and change makers. Achieving peace is a goal for all.”
Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, urged member nations to recommit themselves to the noble ideals of the UN and forge a future where generations to come could live in a world of lasting peace.