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Joint UN Human Security Conference Closes in Accra

“Human Security is a relatively new concept, which has emerged out of complex and cross cutting threats that affect survival, livelihood and dignity of human-beings. Human security addresses multi-dimensional aspects of life- through advocating and ensuring freedom from fear (peace), freedom from want (development) and freedom to live with dignity (human rights). It is a holistic and evolving approach which requires further knowledge and experience sharing. As a lot of efforts are being made in different locations from which we can learn, it is important to promote mutual learning for improving our understanding and actions towards human security”  – Organizers of the Human Security Conference 2013 in Ghana.

The United Nations in Ghana says its Joint Human Security Programme (HSP) with the Government of Ghana has contributed to changing lives of many residents in 19 partner communities in the three regions of Northern Ghana. It further states that though the programme is coming to an end this month – May 2013, it has left a lasting impact on many lives in that part of the country by addressing long-term challenges and promoting sustainable human security.

Launched in December 2009, the HSP sought to help create an enabling environment and empower local institutions, communities and individuals to manage and prevent conflict in most conflict sensitive areas in Northern Ghana – Bawku Municipality in the Upper East Region, Wa Municipality in the Upper West Region, Tamale Metropolis and Yendi Municipality in the Northern Region – as a means to ensuring sustainable human security. The programme supported the following interrelated five-prong interventions:

  1. Local Capacity development.
  2. Conflict prevention mechanisms.
  3. Income generation/Job creation.
  4. Food, health and nutrition security.
  5. Mainstreaming and advocating the human security concept.

The programme has been jointly implemented by six UN agencies, namely UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, UNIDO and UNU-INRA, in partnership with the Government of Ghana, civil society, academia, community members and other key stake holders. Funding for this programme has been made possible by the Japanese Government through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS).

As part of activities to mark the official closure of the programme and to provide a platform for sharing the outcomes of the HSP and exchanging innovative ideas among a wide range of stakeholders, an international conference was held on 22nd and 23rd May 2013 at the conference hall of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon- Accra.

The objectives of the conference were; To share the human security concept, approaches and practices applied in the HSP and progress/changes made in programme areas with a wide range of stakeholders; To facilitate mutual learning between HSP stakeholders- including the UN agencies, partner communities, local and national institutions and other non-programme stakeholders; To disseminate key knowledge from the learning process.

The two-day conference brought together participants from all works of life; stakeholders, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, media and other interested individuals- to share knowledge and experience in the area of human security from different perspectives. It is their hope that through mutual learning at the conference various forms of partnerships will be enhanced and together forge ways towards promoting human security in Ghana and across the globe. Certificates were awarded to the organizing team for their inputs in making the event a success.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Issues!

 

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ADVOCACY, SOCIAL MOBILIZATION AND CHILD LABOUR MONITORING SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE NSCCL TRAINED ON GCLMS.

As part of efforts to equip the National Steering Committee on Child Labour to function effectively in the cause to eliminate child labour, members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring sub-committee have received training on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System. The two day event held at the Greenland Hotel in Swedru was officially opened by Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations), she expressed appreciation for the opportunity to open the workshop aimed at equipping members of the sub-committee on the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring Child Labour to effectively offer technical advice to the district and community child protection committees.

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Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations)
Interacting with Sub-Committee members.

She formally informed members of the presence of a new minister at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (then Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare) – in the person of Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey. It was her expectation that the forum would take the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges facing the execution of the pilot projects on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS) tools and was hopeful that the challenges faced in the course of duty would inform decisions taken to provide effective solutions to address issues raised- “…this will guide the National Steering Committee in reviewing the GCLMS” she said. She acknowledged great strides made through collaborative efforts in withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labour and placing them in schools, equipping them with skills and parents trained and ensuring they are retained. She thanked donors for their consistent support in spite of the global economic and financial turbulence and members for being present to ensure Ghana’s children’s future development and growth.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring
in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

The Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour monitoring members were trained on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS); processes and methodology, its priorities, components, indicators, highlight of its report on operations so far, limitations, and recommendations- Mr. Atukwei Sam Quaye, (GCLMS Coordinator, National Programme for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa) delivered the presentation. Mr. Anthony Awotwe of the Employment Information Branch also took participants through “labour inspection and GCLMS”- he shared with all the powers and rights of labour inspectors, obligation of labour inspectors, building partnership, the link between labour inspection and GCLMS .

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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Children Must Be Seen and Heard!

I smiled when I received the finished masterpiece and even better the link to the music video came through, It was indeed amazing work by the children and all who had helped make this possible; the coordinator of Curious Minds (Children and Youth In Broadcasting), Mr. Kingsley Obeng Kyereh -KOK for short and facilitators from the organization Binta Alhassan and Cecil Ato Kwamean Dadzie, with help from Edmund Laryea and Tabitha Naa Akuyea Addy…Ayekoo ee eee.

“Respect the Childrens Rights”

Of course yes to  Musiga for hosting us all through the sessions and inspiring the Children – Prez. Obour I say Akpe ka ka ka ka….lols! Kyekyeku –  for the love and time you dedicated through to expose these Children on Musical Instruments and how to compose and arrange songs well, Including you Sewor Okudzeto  – I say God Bless You loads. I look forward to being on a track with you soon…

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!

 

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Parliament to Pass Right to Information before 2013?

The Rights to Information Bill (RTI), which was laid before Parliament in February, 20I0, has generated controversy, with the RTI Coalition blaming Parliament for feet-dragging in passing the bill into law.
There had been a lot of media bashing against the august House recently after the Majority Leader Mr Cletus Apul Avoka told an Accra-based FM station that the House gave preference to the passing of the Petroleum Revenue Management, the Petroleum Commission and the Presidential (Transition) bills last year as against the RTI due to the urgency that was attached to those bills.

But addressing the media in Parliament Wednesday, Mr Avoka debunked the assertion by the civil society and rather blamed the RTI Coalition for failing to submit the expert legal opinion on the bill that it was commissioned to do. He, however, assured Ghanaians that the House was committed to passing the bill into law before the lifespan of this Parliament expires on January 6, 2013.

“Contrary to the perception that the House is dragging its feet towards passing the bill into law, Parliament is doing what it can to provide a solid law that can stand the test of time”.
“Let me also indicate to you that the government is also committed to the bill and has not done anything to suggest that it is not interested in the bill since it was presented to the House”.

According to him, since the country had at that time started commercial production of oil there was an urgent need for a legal framework to be put in place on how revenue accruing from the oil should be used.
Mr Avoka said the civil society and an Accra-based newspaper which published their concerns took him out of context when he stated that the House gave the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, the Petroleum Commission and the Presidential (Transition) Bill a priority.

He said the House had shown its commitment to pass the bill by organising regional fora, under the sponsorship of the World Bank, to collate views from the general public. Those fora, according to him, were held in Tamale, Kumasi, Koforidua, Ho, Takoradi and Accra in addition to the gathering of information from other countries for best practices. He said that all those steps were taken because the civil society prevailed on Parliament to tread cautiously and allow them to have copies in order to make inputs before passing the bill due to its importance to the society.

Mr Avoka explained that before the House went on recess in March, this year, the Joint Committee on Communication and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs organised a workshop to wrap up discussion on the bill. He said now that the wrap-up workshop had been done, what was left was for the joint committee to write its report taking into consideration suggestions made by the general public and the civil society and present same to the House for debate. He said during the wrap-up meeting the coalition of NGOs on the bill was to present proposals aimed at beefing up the bill but as of now they had failed to do so.

Mr Avoka said even at that meeting, the World Bank indicated its readiness to sponsor a trip by the leadership of the joint committee to some of the countries that had already passed the RTI to enrich the quality of the bill.
“Against this background it is unfair for people to criticise Parliament that it has delayed in passing the bill into law. I find these criticisms quite unfortunate”.

He promised that within the next two or three weeks, the report of the joint committee would be presented to the plenary for it to be taken through its second reading stage.

“Parliament has a tight schedule, this is an election year, but within the time constraints, we will work hard to pass the bill before this Parliament is dissolved”, he assured. Responding to Mr Avoka’s concerns, however, the Convener of the RTI Coalition, Nana Oye Lithur, said it was the responsibility of Parliament to pass bills, adding that Mr Avoka could not, therefore, “pass the buck”. “These are excuses that he cannot run away from. It is his responsibility as the Majority Leader to lead Parliament to pass bills into laws”.

She questioned why Mr Avoka did not hide behind excuses to delay the passing of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, the Petroleum Commission Bill and the Presidential (Transition) Bill. She said the coalition had supported the bill right from its drafting stage till now because it was committed to transparency in the governance process. Nana Lithur explained that the World Bank (Ghana Office) commissioned a representative of the coalition to draft an expert legal opinion on the contentious clauses in the bill.

That, according to her, had been completed and submitted to the World Bank, adding that the coalition would, therefore, seek the bank’s authorisation to submit the expert legal opinion to Parliament.
“We will continue to support Parliament to pass the bill because it is in the interest of the country”, she said.

graphic.com.gh

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Issues!

 

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