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Ms Claudia Lumor, the Honourary Ambassador of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Ghana on Thursday, November 28, 2019, launched the “Friends of UNFPA” to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda of the agency in Ghana.  The ceremony, hosted at the residence of the Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana saw attendance from members of the diplomatic community, traditional rulers, academia as well as journalists and business leaders, among others.

Welcoming guests to the launch, the Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Gunnar A. Holm said that Norway is ready to assist Ghana to achieve her developmental needs and ambitions. He reiterated Norway’s commitment to support the work of UNFPA in delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

 H.E. Gunnar A. Holm giving a welcome address
  H.E. Gunnar A. Holm giving a welcome address

Ms. Claudia Lumor, CEO of Glitz Africa and Honorary Ambassador of UNFPA Ghana acknowledged her responsibility to create awareness on UNFPA’s mandate issues which she however cannot do alone. “It is for this single reason that I am mobilising all who are interested and passionate about issues affecting women and girls as well as young people in general. Together we can advocate for an enabling environment and champion support towards realising the UNFPA transformative goals of ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.”- Ms Lumor.  

Claudia Lumor, UNFPA Honourary Ambassador presenting the purpose of establishing Friends of UNFPA Ghana

Making a presentation on the life-saving work that UNFPA does, the Country Representative of UNFPA Ghana, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, took the guests through a snap shot of the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action which guides the work of UNFPA and chalked 25 years this year. He linked this to the mission of UNFPA, the three transformative goals and concluded with a description the case of the 2020 Population and Housing census which UNFPA is supporting in Ghana.

The Canadian High Commissioner in her goodwill message commended UNFPA on their work in the empowering Adolescent Girls Programme which is being funded by the Canadian Government and also pledged continued support. She said the launch coincided with the observance of the 16 days of activism against GBV could not have happened at a better time.

Launching the ‘Friends of UNFPA’ formally, the guest of honour, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, a human rights activist and renowned scholar of African Studies at the University of Ghana, lauded the formation of the alliance, highlighting the prospects it held for the socio-cultural development of the country. She equally intimated the need for commitment by the “friends” to ensure that initiatives put forward by the group are sustained in the future.

Guest Speaker, Prof. Esi Sutherland

The ‘Friends of UNFPA’ will exist as a broad partnership of opinion leaders including development partners, traditional rulers, religious leaders, academics as well as celebrity influencers and members of the diplomatic community who are interested in championing the interest of women and girls, including young people for the defence of their human rights and maximization of their potential.

Ms. Josiane Yaguibou, UNFPA Representative in Togo who participated in the launch said “Friends of UNFPA Ghana was a resounding success and a bold testimony that the ICPD mandate is alive and well. It is a best practice that Togo may replicate soon and we will lean on you for guidance.” -Ms. Yaguibou.

Representatives of UNFPA Ghana and Togo, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape and Ms. Josiane Yaguibou with Queen Mothers