By Gifty Arthur
Ghana joined the rest of the world last Saturday to mark the 74th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Day with a clean-up exercise in Accra.
The Saturday morning exercise, which was part of a number of programmes lined up for the celebration this year, was fully participated by the various security agencies, including the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prison Service .
Others were, students, including the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Nungua Senior High School, the Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly and other allied agencies of the UN.
At Nima, where a chunk of the clean-up exercise was held, participants desilted choked drains and swept the sweets, the market and sensitized residents, the need to keep their environment clean to free themselves from deadly diseases such as cholera.
The students, as part of the exercise, displayed placards with various inscriptions aimed at creating awareness and drawing the attention of Ghanaians to the importance of keeping their environment clean.
This year’s celebration was themed “A Clean Environment for a Healthy Living, our collective responsibility”.The theme was chosen to support UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal six, which talks about clean water and sanitation.
Deputy Director for International Relations and a member of the UN Day Committee, Deputy Chief Superintendent Fanny Aboagye, said the decision to clean Nima and its environs, was to help sensitize the people on the need to keep clean environment and also sustain the exercise.
She said collaborating with the Assembly, was one sure way to maintain and sustain the exercise. She was hopeful that the Assembly, would not relent on it responsibility but maintain the momentum even after the Saturday exercise.
Nima Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner, Abraham Akwei, maintained that, cleaning the environment, was a shared responsibility of Ghanaians.
According to him, Ghanaians need to adopt the habit of cleaning their surroundings at all times rather than waiting for an occasion or disaster to strike before doing the right things.
He also said, the assemblies need to enforce their bi-laws to get everybody to get involvedand also ensure that those who fall foul of the laws, are punished to serve as a deterrent to the others.
ACP Akwei, asked that the monthly national cleaning exercise, also be sustained to promote cleanliness among Ghanaians.
“It is a shared responsibility; we should not assign a specific agency for that role. I think we should clean at all times. We should not wait for the Ministry of Sanitation or the Ministry of the Interior, before we come out to clean. We must bear in mind that, it is a shared responsibility”, he said.
Earlier, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, expressed Ghana’s commitment to the principles and objectives of the Charter of the world body, which was once headed by her distinguished son, Kofi Atta Annan.
“The commemoration signifies Ghana’s time-honoured dedication to integrating the goals of the organization into the national political vision that places emphasis on peace and security, human rights, democracy and sustainable development,” the statement said.
“Over the years, Ghana has continued to play significant and leadership roles in the growth of the United Nations and to maintain peace, ensure global development and human rights.
“Ghana fully appreciates the importance of getting the United Nations closer to the people in their communities in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly on matters of good health, well-being and good environmental”.
The UN was founded by 51 countries, after the Second World War, with a commitment to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
The international organization has since been taking action on a wide range of issues, and providing a forum for its 193 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.
Its activities include peacekeeping, peace building, conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, economic and social development, counter terrorism and promoting democracy and human rights.