Persons living with disabilities ‘have very special abilities’, UN deputy chief
During her visit to Ghana on Monday, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed met with young people living with HIV and disabilities in the capital, Accra.
Chatting with them at the James Town Café, she was inspired by their thoughts and experiences, and delighted to see how they inspire hope in each other, despite the challenges they face: “When you are alone, look left and look right, and see that the community is there for you”, she said.
She encouraged them to strive to reach their fullest potential, noting that “persons living with disabilities have very special abilities”.
Recovering from COVID
The deputy UN chief also met with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to discuss pandemic recovery, sustaining peace and investing in African youth.
She commended Ghana for its consistent role in ensuring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), despite COVID-19 disruptions, and presented a document outlining the UN’s formal commitment to stand with the Government and other partners in support of the West African nation’s pandemic recovery efforts.
The document also pledges support to the country’s endeavors towards reaching the 17 SDGs by 2030, and in achieving its goal of becoming more resilient and self-reliant.
As the pandemic has taken a toll on Ghana’s health, economy, education, and agricultural sector, the UN Framework for immediate socio-economic response calls for protecting jobs, businesses and livelihoods and sets in motion a safe path for a more sustainable, gender-equal and carbon-neutral future.
Free and fair election
On 7 December, Ghanaians will go to the polls in their eighth general election since 1993 – an achievement that has earned the country kudos for its democratic strength and institutions.
Ms. Mohammed underscored the importance of free, fair and credible elections administered by strong, confident and reliable electoral institutions.
During her visit, she met with the leadership of the Electoral Commission (EC) to discuss how the UN can continue supporting the electoral process for the sustenance of peace in the country and, by extension, in West Africa and the continent overall.
She applauded the EC leadership for enabling an environment conducive to a free and fair election and also shared the concept of youth-manned situation rooms that would task young Ghanaians with disseminating accurate and reliable information over the election period, while also defusing concerns surrounding social media.
During a meeting with the National Peace Council, she said that “the enthusiasm and expectations of stakeholders and the people of Ghana are very high and [their] voice in keeping the people calm is critical to ensuring peaceful elections”.
At a press briefing at the end of her visit, the deputy UN chief acknowledged the country’s relative stability, which she said provided a good platform for attracting more investment to aid development and sustainable growth.