World leaders must protect Humanitarians from harm – Guterres


World Humanitarians Day is an International day dedicated to recognize Humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for Humanitarian causes.

This day is commemorated each year on 19th August, and it dates back on 2003 when the UN headquarters in Baghdad was targeted by a large terrorist truck bomb, killing 22 people, including Sergio Uierra de Mello, the UN’s top representation in Iraq.

This year’s Focus salutes the efforts of women Humanitarian workers across the world who rally to people in need and are often the first to respond and the last to leave.

As the world marks the 2019 World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations also paid a special tribute in honour of all Humanitarian workers around the globe who were working to help people in need, by strengthening the role of Women Humanitarians.

The 2019 World Humanitarian Day was dubbed; ‘Women humanitarians, the achievements, challenges and the unfinished business, with regards to humanitarian solutions in Ghana.’

Ghana on Monday 19th August, 2019, joined the rest of the world to observe the World Humanitarian Day, by calling on the government, Philanthropists and other NGOs to embrace and support women humanitarians in the society.

Speaking at the celebration in Accra at the FAO Regional Office for Africa, the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) representative to Ghana, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, indicated that, women humanitarians are uniquely positioned to reach out and assist women and young girls in difficult situations across the globe.

Explaining that, “Women humanitarians constitute a large percentage of frontline responders who risk their own lives to give hope and save the lives of others.”

He also disclosed that, 25 years down the inception of the ICPD report, Ghana, is yet to give life to the report for the citizens to see its purpose.

Mr. Ojuolape emphasized that, “The ICPD, since 1994 has not received any proper implementation. Most of the countries have gone ahead of Ghana and so we are encouraged to recommit ourselves to it to address our challenges. In Ghana, we have so many fine policies with the potential to deal with a majority of the problems we face, but unfortunately we rarely implement them.”

According to him, the ICPD Programme of Action which was adopted in 1994 is the best blueprint for advancing human welfare and places human rights of individuals at the centre of the global development agenda. Adding, “It includes strengthening relevant legal and policy instruments, providing services to underserved groups, empowering women and promoting zero tolerance for gender-based violence and dealing with climate change.”

Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, however, called on all and sundry to gather to mark “ICPD @ 25th” in November, 2019 at Nairobi, to chart the way forward for the unfinished business.

In a statement read on his behalf, the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, disclosed that, the UN emphasises that, under International Law, all Humanitarian workers must be safeguarded.

He said “And yet, serious Violations of International Humanitarians and Human Right law continues around the world, which must be investigated and prosecuted.”

He therefore stressed that, world Leaders and all parties to conflict, must ensure that Humanitarians are protected from harm, as required under International Law.

On her part, the National Director of DOVVSU, Superintendent Evelyn Borbor, also underscored the need for societies to be educated on the importance of humanitarian activities. She bemoaned on how some people looked on the crucial roles of humanitarian workers across the globe on blindside of their eyes.

She however, charged women to be bold enough to take up humanitarian roles and shouldn’t entertain any false fears.

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