Ms Ruby Sandhu Rojon, United Nations Resident Representative in Ghana, on Tuesday stressed the importance of Ghana’s partnership with the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping in various parts of the world.
She said Ghana had been a key partner in UN peacekeeping activities, ranked among the top ten largest contributors of personnel to peacekeeping operations over the years.
“It is important to recognize Ghana’s role in peacekeeping activities, the high calibre of men and women that Ghana has contributed to peacekeeping missions and the high level of professionalism and leadership exhibited by these people,”
Ms Rojon said this at the official launch and press briefing on the 2012 international day of UN Peacekeepers in Accra.
She also commended Ghana’s contribution to the training of peacekeepers from other countries through the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra.
She said the theme for this year’s celebration in Ghana, “Peacekeeping as a Global Partnership: The Role of Ghana,” was very appropriate as no one institution or organization could be responsible for peacekeeping.
“It would take the inputs of all involved, including the military, police, civilians, host countries local and regional actors to ensure peace in conflict areas,” she said.
Mr. Chris Kpodo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who launched the Day, said the theme could not have been better, given the significant role that Ghanaian peacekeepers continued to play.
He said Ghana’s steadfast commitment to the UN Peacekeeping, dates back to the 1960s when Ghana became one of the first countries to contribute troops to the then Congo.
“Ghanaians have since then served in well over 30 UN Peacekeeping missions around the world in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East; and have also participated in the ECOWAS Monitoring Observer Group in Liberia and Sierra-Leone,” he noted.
Mr. Kpodo said Ghana had lost over 100 personnel in the service of peace and conveyed condolences to the bereaved families of peacekeepers who had lost their lives in missions or been injured or maimed permanently while ‘sacrificing for the betterment of humanity’.
He also commended some people who had played active roles in UN Peacekeeping in various capacities including Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and current UN Arab League Special Envoy to Syria; and Lieutenant General Emmanuel Alexander Erskine, first Ghanaian military force commander of UNFIL.
Others are Major General Henry Anyidoho, Head of Ghana’s UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda as well as other security personnel both serving and retired.
Mr. Kpodo stressed that the participation of Ghana’s troops in international peacekeeping had impacted positively on national security as security service personnel were using the experiences gained to contain and maintain peace in certain parts of the country.
He called on Ghanaians to treasure the peace that they enjoyed and work towards maintaining and sustaining it especially as they prepared for the elections in December 2012.
Activities outlined to mark the day include Adult education programmes on peacekeeping in five local languages, screening of documentaries on the subject and radio programmes from May 21- 31, Photo exhibition from May 22-29 and a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony on May 29.**