Apr 6- 2022
Her Excellency Ambassador Anna Bossman delivered Ghana’s policy statement at the 214th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board, held at its headquarters in Paris from 30th March to 13th April 2022.
In her speech The Ambassador commended UNESCO for interventions it is putting in place to ensure the right to education for Ukrainian students, support to teachers, strengthening distance and digital learning as well as providing psycho-social support in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
The opportunity was used to highlight the discriminatory treatment of refugees and internally displaced people, especially African students, as collateral damage of the conflict and urged the organization not to shy away from its mandate: the elimination of racial discrimination, racial hatred and racial hate crimes in the world. In that regard, special thanks were given on behalf of the Government of Ghana, to the Government of Grenada for its unconditional acceptance of about 200 Ghanaian medical students to continue their studies which were disrupted by the war in Ukraine. An appeal was also made to host countries of displaced people to integrate students into their educational system to ensure learning continuity and building back faster.
Her Excellency informed the Executive Board that Ghana in partnership with member states will be hosting an Africa Informal Dialogue of National Commissions for UNESCO from 19th to 21st September 2022 in Accra. The goal, bringing together key stakeholders to rethink Africa’s collective actions towards a renewed impetus and strategies for funding the Global Priority Africa Program. Through this initiative, the Government of Ghana and partners hope to contribute to addressing some of the key developmental challenges of the continent such as education and knowledge sharing; harnessing new and emerging technologies for sustainable development; Climate Change and environment; Africa’s Cultural Renaissance, Heritage and History; as well as peace, good governance and democracy.
Madam Ambassador thanked UNESCO for its support through the WHC International Assistance program, in developing an integrated Management Plan for the Forts and Castles in Ghana, and its training of heritage site managers towards an effective implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention. She also indicated Ghana’s happiness to be included in the pilot phase of UNESCO’s new initiative to accelerate Africa’s progress on SDG 4, the ‘Spotlight Report Series’ on universal basic education completion and foundational learning, which will provide a good opportunity for African countries to accelerate systemic changes in the education space.
To conclude, Her Excellency reiterated the need for all members of the Executive Board to work for global peace and security, and reminded all that the board’s collective obligation is not only to the current generation, but also its indebtedness to all who laboured and were lost in both world wars. She stated, “We really need to take it seriously when we said never again in our lifetime and in future generations will the world suffer the scourge of war”.