United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has praised President John Mahama for his wise, bold and timely decision as well as leadership to have Accra serve as the logistics hub for the fight against ebola and for the establishment of the United Nations Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) Mission.
The UN Secretary-General was speaking on Thursday evening at the Presidency in Flagstaff House, where he and a delegation top UN officials were received by the President. “I thank you for your very strong leadership in working together with the UN in addressing this unprecedented outbreak of ebola,” Mr. Ban said.
“Your decision and cooperation in establishing UNMEER here have helped the UN and the international community a great deal to address this issue. Thanks to Ghana, UNMEER has been able to deploy quickly to the affected countries. Ghana has played a key role,” he added. He commended the President for the role that ECOWAS has played under the leadership of President Mahama in the fight against ebola.
President Mahama welcomed Mr. Ban and his delegation and thanked him for everything that the United Nations has been doing to support people in the affected nations. “Your coming here to visit the affected nations is going to be a very strong sign of encouragement to them,” said President Mahama. He commended the fast manner in which the UN’s ebola mission was deployed.
President Mahama lamented that the ebola outbreak has caused a humanitarian disaster, displaced many people and created a wave of orphans, and also affected the economic fortunes of these countries and the sub-region as a whole.
The two leaders exchanged views on the resumption of flights by many airlines to the affected nations and the way forward. Mr Ban pledged that the United Nations will stand with the people in the affected nations until ebola is defeated. “We must make sure that the last case of ebola is identified treated and eliminated. The UN will stand with the people on the region – the affected countries – until such time that we make sure that there are no more cases of ebola.”
Present in the meeting were the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, Finance Minister Seth Terkper, Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Victor Bampoe, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, and Minister for Communications Dr. Omane Boama.
Mr.Ban was accompanied by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, (WHO), Dr Margaret Chan, Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, Dr David Nabarro, and the Head of the UN’s Ebola Mission, Mr Tony Banbury.
Mr. Ban leaves Accra on the morning of Friday, December 19, for Liberia, at the start of the four-nation visit that will also take him to Liberia, Guinea and Mali.