Mr Charles Abani, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Ghana, has lauded Ghana’s role in UN Peacekeeping Missions.
He said Ghana had played a catalytic role in peacekeeping operations, setting an inspiring example for nations around the world; declaring that “out of the 122 contributing countries, Ghana ranks number seven with 2,756 peacekeepers as of February, 2023”.
Mr Abani gave the commendation in Accra during a flag raising and wreath laying ceremony in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on the theme “Peace Begins with Me: 75 Years of UN Peacekeeping.”
This year’s theme recognizes the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers, past and present, including more than 4200 who have given their lives under the UN flag.
It also pays tribute to the resilience of the communities that we serve, who continue to strive for peace despite many obstacles.
From the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara to the UN Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East, the UN is currently leading 12 peacekeeping operations throughout the world.
Mr Abani said since Ghana’s first involvement in UN peacekeeping missions in the 1960s, the country had demonstrated unwavering commitment, providing troops, police officers, and civilian personnel to numerous operations across different continents.
He noted that just earlier this month (May), 700 Ghanaian peacekeepers, including 68 women, were awarded the prestigious UN medal for their commitment to shaping a more peaceful and prosperous future for the people of the world’s youngest nation.
Mr Abani said one of the most remarkable achievements of the Ghanaian peacekeepers was their response to the catastrophic breach of the dyke surrounding the Bentiu, Unity State in South Sudan’s internally displaced person’s camp last year.
“On the note of women in peacekeeping, I would like to commend Captain
Cecilia Erzuah of Ghana who served as a peacekeeper with the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) for receiving the 2022 UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award for her advocacy role in gender equality and community engagement to better understand and address community concerns.” Mr Abani said.
Re-echoing the UN Secretary-General message during the award ceremony on Friday, 25 May, Mr Abani said: “Captain Erzuah is a stellar example of what engagement is all about: building trust and bringing everyone to the table – irrespective of rank, gender and age…” adding that, “such inclusive communication skills help UN peacekeeping defuse tensions, promote women’s participation and break gender stereotypes, and advance peace.”
The Resident Coordinator said this award rightfully reflects the immerse contributions of women peacekeepers, and Ghana was once more setting the pace.
He lauded all Ghanaian peacekeepers, both past and present for the roles in promoting global peace.
Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, reaffirm Ghana’s commitment to global peace 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 Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, in a speech read on his behalf urged member nations of the UN 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.