Sec. Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, Oprah Winfrey, Malala, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Obama & Global Women Leaders from Over 14 Countries Sign an Open Letter Calling for UN Action Against Iran

The Open Letter, Published in Sunday’s New York Times, Calls for the Immediate Expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world’s preeminent women leaders in business, politics, advocacy and the arts published an open letter in Sunday’s New York Times calling for the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Signatories of the letter include Sec. Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Media Leader & Philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Education Activist Malala Yousafzai, Economic & Political Leader Christine Lagarde, former First Lady of the United States & Advocate of Girls Education Michelle Obama, former Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former head of UN Climate Change Convention Christiana Figueres DBE, former First Lady of the United States & Education Advocate Laura Bush, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Human Rights Activist Nadia Murad and women in leadership positions from 14 countries (and counting).

This global effort—a partnership between Vital Voices, For Freedoms and a coalition of Iranian women leaders—comes amid more than 40 days of worldwide protests launched and led by Iranian women and girls after the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini. The protestors are demanding justice after Amini died on September 16, 2022 while in police custody. Amini was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly not complying with mandatory hijab laws.

Reports of extreme punishments and harsh crackdowns against protestors by Iranian authorities have flooded international headlines and social media feeds in the weeks since Amini’s death, gaining worldwide attention and scrutiny.

The group of women leaders who signed on to the letter came together in solidarity with Iranian women and girls with a clear call to action: the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women.

Within the first few days of going live, the letter received more than 21,000 signatures and growing. Additionally, more than 130,000 petitioners have also signed a letter asking for the same outcome on Change.org.

The open letter states: “We condemn the brutal violence of security forces against peaceful protesters … Earlier this year, to the dismay of women’s rights advocates around the world, Iran began a four–year term on the UN’s 45–member Commission on the Status of Women. This preeminent global body is exclusively dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s long–standing, systematic oppression of women should have disqualified them from election to the CSW.”

The letter also laments the Islamic Republic of Iran’s record on women’s rights, citing gender inequality and legalized discrimination against women regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody cases and attire. These restrictions include the mandate that requires women to wear head coverings at the onset of puberty.

The signatories of the letter warn that the violence and loss of life will continue without global intervention at the highest levels, and that the Commission on the Status of Women will lose credibility each day the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a member.

“This is a critical moment for leaders in the international community to vocally and unequivocally demonstrate their support for women’s rights by standing in solidarity with Iranian women and girls,” states the letter.

Members of the public are invited to read the full letter here. To join the movement, sign on here.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Now celebrating 25 years, Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 women leaders across 184 countries and territories since its inception in 1997. Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and nations cannot move forward without women in leadership positions, Vital Voices has provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, prime ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. In an effort to advance and expand this work, in 2022 Vital Voices opened the doors to the world’s first global embassy for women, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership. It is a first-of-its-kind space that allows for convening, innovation, planning, and action—all in the pursuit of serving women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges.
www.vitalvoices.org

About For Freedoms
For Freedoms is an artist collective that centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation.

By wielding the power of art, we aim to deepen and expand our capacity to interrogate what is and imagine what could be.

Together, we seek infinite expansion.
www.forfreedoms.com

Attachments

Vital Voices Global Partnership
media@vitalvoices.org

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Ghana to assume Presidency of UN Security Council on Nov. 1

Accra, Oct 30, GNA – Ghana will on Tuesday, November 1, assume the Presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, which is a historic moment in the country’s two-year tenure at the Security Council.

The UN Security Council is the principal organ for the maintenance and furtherance of international peace and security.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in a media release, copied to the Ghana News Agency, outlined some programmes of activities in November towards Ghana’s Presidency of the UN Security.

It said on Tuesday, there would be a press briefing by Mr Harold Agyeman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations in New York, to the UN Press Agencies at 1630 hours.

On the same day at 1900 hours, Mr Agyeman would also brief the Wider UN Membership on the

2 / 3 Programme of Work and Ghana’s priorities during the month.

On Thursday, November 3, there would be an Open Ministerial debate to be chaired by Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

It will be on the topic: “Integrating Effective Resilience Building in Peace Operations for Sustainable Peace” from 1400 hours to 1700 hours and 1900 hours to 2200 hours in the UN Security Council Chamber.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would chair a debate at the Heads of State level on the topic “Counter-terrorism in Africa: An Imperative for Peace, Security, and Development”, on the following Thursday,  November 10, from 1400 hours to 1700 hours.

In its capacity as President of the UN Security Council, Ghana is focusing on enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development, particularly on the continent of Africa.

This will be by fully addressing underlying causes and drivers of conflict linked to the growing youth bulge, poverty, climate change and the absence of resilient institutions.

Ghana rejoined the UN Security Council from January 1, 2022.

It is the third time Ghana is holding a non-permanent seat on the Council.

Ghana was first given the opportunity to serve on the council in 1962 to 1963, and was back for the period of January 2006 – December 2007.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

President Akufo Addo urges traders to be measured in the profit margins they seek on their goods

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA – President Akuffo Addo has asked traders not to try to make utmost profits out of the Ghana’s economic challenges.

He said: “We must all keep an eye out for the greater good, and not try to make the utmost profits out of the current difficulties.”

“We are aiming to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability within the next three (3) to six (6) years, with a focus on ensuring debt sustainability to promote durable and inclusive growth while protecting the poor. “

President Akufo-Addo made the statement when he addressed Ghanaians on the current economic crisis, admitting that the economy was in great difficulty.

” In Ghana, our reality is that our economy is in great difficulty. The budget drawn for the 2022 fiscal year has been thrown out of gear, disrupting our balance of payments and debt sustainability, and further exposing the structural weaknesses of our economy.”

President Akufo-Addo said Government was working to secure reliable and regular sources of affordable petroleum products for the Ghanaian market. It is expected that this arrangement, when successful, coupled with a stable currency will halt the escalation of fuel prices and bring relief to us all.

“The success of our efforts at diversifying the structure of the Ghanaian economy from an import-based one to a value-added exporting one is what will, in the long term, help strengthen our economy,” he said

We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, President Akufo-Addo said

President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to desist from talking down our currency, saying, “If you talk down your money, it will go down. If you allow some unidentifiable person to talk down your money, it will go down. (Sika Mp3 dede)

“All of us can play a part in helping to strengthen the cedi by having confidence in the currency and avoiding speculation. Let us keep our cedi as the good store of value it is.”

The President said government was determined to restore stability to the economy, and provide relief

“We are not afraid of hard work.  We will triumph, as we have triumphed many times before. Let us unite, and rally around our Republic, its institutions and its democratic values, and insist that, under God, we will emerge victorious from our current difficulties,” the President has said.

President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaians that no individual or institutional investor including pension funds in Government treasury bills or instruments will lose their money as a result of the ongoing IMF negotiations. There will be no “haircut”, so I urge all of you to ignore the false rumours

He said government will review the economic situation in May 2023, “I will be coming regularly to keep you updated about the measures your government is making to move our country forward and tackle our economic challenges.

“It is obvious, fellow Ghanaians, that you have a government that cares” – President Akufo-Addo said

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Climate Change Project launched at Ahanta Mampong basic school in STMA

Ahanta Mampong (W/R), Oct. 30, GNA- The Sekondi-Takoradi and Palermo Municipality of Italy have launched the Twin Cities in Sustainable Project aimed at a green, inclusive and culturally sensitive integrated urban development.

The targeted beneficiaries are school children at the Ahanta Mampong Basic School and the Methodist Senior High School in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

The three-year holistic environmental project is aimed at stimulating an inclusive and culturally-sensitive urban landscape for vulnerable groups and contributing to a sustainable and climate-resilient city.

It is being funded by the European Union and the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) with the STMA as the lead implementer.

Mr Abdul Mumin Issa, the MCE for the STMA, whose speech was read for him by Mr Michael Adjei, emphasized that the project was in line with the 2030 agenda of sustainable development interventions to ensure climate and Urban climate change resilience.

He noted that human activities have been the main driver of global climate change due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas making the last decade the warmest resulting in an increase in temperature by 1.9 degrees Celsius.

The MCE said intensive Agricultural practices such as the application of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and deforestation had led to climate change and destroyed soil fertility.

He also said the illegal artisanal mining, popularly called galamsey, has impacted the environment negatively resulting in land degradation and water pollution.

He said studies to examine the water quality of all the river bodies in the eight endemic Regions of illegal mining, called for urgent attention to halt illegal mining activities in the country.

Mr Issa said human health was heavily impacted by a reduction in water quality responsible for more than two million deaths and billions of illnesses annually across the globe leading to water scarcity, air quality and a decline in quality foods leading to poverty.

The MCE appealed to traditional authorities and community leaders to champion the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 13 and contribute to realizing the visions of the Assembly to create a world-class city with modern infrastructure, social services, best governance, attractive business and a better living environment.

The Metro Director of Education, Mrs Sally Nelly Coleman, whose speech was read on her behalf by Madam Bernice Belinda Akwatia, said the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Education Directorate would embark on a climate change campaign in schools.

Mrs Nelly Coleman implored all schools to take up the fruit planting exercise seriously in fulfilment of the education programme of eating fruit a day to improve the health status of the learner in schools.

She entreated headteachers of schools, which have begun the exercise, to take a personal interest in ensuring that plants were taken care of to ensure maturity for the benefit of all.

Mrs Nelly Coleman called for education on afforestation and recycling, among others, to stem climate change.

The Headteacher of Mampong STMA Basic School, Madam Veronica Appiah, lauded the efforts of the Metro Education Directorate for choosing the school for the project.

She assured the education directorate of the school’s readiness to ensure the success of the project.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Black Sherif wins Artiste of the Year Award at GMA UK 2022

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA – Ghana’s rising musician, Mohammed Ismail Sherif Kwaku Frimpong, famously know as Black Sherif has won artist of the year award at the sixth edition of the Ghana Music Awards UK edition.

The awards took place on October 29, at the Royal Regency Palace Manor Park in London.

Black Sherif who has been making waves in the music industry for the past three years has caught the eyes of many people across the globe with his latest album ‘The Vallain I Never Was’.

As an outstanding songwriter and singer, he has made his music surface more in the UK music charts.

He came to light after he released his ‘First Sermon’ track and featured Nigeria’s super Star Burna Boy in a remix of his ‘Second Sermon’ track which has millions of streams on all musical platforms.

Black Sheriff’s most successful songs talks about his meteoric rise, using of drill beats to tell the true story of youth in the hoods of Accra.

His emotional and relatable choice of words alludes most people to listen and feel his song at heart, which makes him exceptionally a good artiste.

Black Sherif was nominated for Hiplife/Hip Hop artiste of the year, Hiplife/Hip Hop song of the year, Best Collaboration of the year, New Artiste of the year, Most Popular artiste of the year and Artiste of the year.

He competed in the same category with King Promise (Ghana), Akwaboah (Ghana), Celestine Donkor (Ghana), Denny (UK), Diana Hamilton (Ghana), DJ Martin (UK), Dosty (UK), JVS (UK), Kidi (Ghana), Kuami Eugene (Ghana), Mista Silver (UK) and Sarkodie (Ghana).

Various artistes from both countries received honours in 27 categories, including Group of the Year, Record of the Year, Male and Female Vocalists of the Year, and International Collaboration of the Year.

The Ghana Music Awards UK is largely a people’s choice award that seeks to champion and expand the development of the Ghanaian music industry both home and abroad, into an international market for global recognition of Ghanaian creative works.

The awards is to create an open market for collaboration, sales, new music trends, cultural exchanges, marketing opportunities and several benefits to be accessed by Ghanaian musicians in the United Kingdom.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Rexxx releases his second single titled ‘Promise’

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA – Fast rising Afrobeat sensation, Rexford Dwomoh Boateng, known in the entertainment industry as ‘Rexxx’ has released his second single titled ‘Promise’.

The song was produced by Kwabena Blakk, mixed and mastered by Metalbeatz, and currently signed to Dreammoore Entertainment with a whole catalog of songs to be produced.

The song ‘Promise’ talks about his personal struggle with heartbreak and how to empower love, heartbreak has steadily become a topic of mockery or weak among the youth.

Speaking to the GNA entertainment he said, his motivation towards his music career was purely love.

“I love to be felt and seen through every song of mine, whether its be among lovers, friends or family,” he said.

According to Rexxx, he had many upcoming projects and with time Ghanaians would appreciate his music.

“But most importantly, I want people to know that Rexxx’s voice will shock the masses when they really take time to experience him”, he added.

When asked about his view on the Ghana music industry he said, the music scene in Ghana was evolving, and artistes must keep learning and opening up to newer ideas in music.

He urged all upcoming artist to press on, and to allow their music lead them to  find fulfillment.

“I always tell people that learning and positioning yourself with value opens you up for God to open doors for you to walk right through. Take chances, don’t be afraid of failure and more importantly, learn. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, challenge yourself,” he continued to say”, he said.

Rexxx decided to take up music professionally when he was in his third year at the university in 2018, he used to perform at restaurants on weekends as he sees it to be his passion.

Rexxx has found the ultimate joy in music and has named his fans “The Kingdom”.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Senegal’s Pape wins Afro Break Championship

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA – Senegalese, Pape, was declared winner of the Afro Break Championship held at the Dunk Grassroots Basketball Court at Jamestown in Accra on Saturday.

Pape went home with a cash prize of two thousand Ghana cedis, tittle belt and medals after beating Delkrim from Ivory Coast in the finals.

The theme for this year’s project was, “Break dancing to Combat Sexual Exploitation, abuse and harassment.”

The competition was a successful one as dancers and fans could not hide their excitement of the new dancing sport as Afrobreak would be featuring in the 2024 Olympic Games to be hosted in Paris, France.

Afrobreak International Championship was the first official international break dance and dancesport championship to be staged in Ghana bringing Dance athletes and Hiphop practitioners across the world together, to promote break dancing as an Olympic Sport and tourism.

Nana Tuffour Okai “Bboy lyricx” Pioneer of Afrobreak Concepts worldwide thanked the media for their support.

Participating countries were France, UK, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Ghana.

The Afro Break Championship started with a Hiphop Conference and Dance DJs Workshop at the Nima Maamobi Community Learning Centre, then a Community Showcase and Battle Exhibition at Jamestown.

The Project was supported by Embassy of France in Ghana through Dwabo project 2022, Bloomfest, Awo Global Family, Kaay Fecc Senegal, Senegalese Dancesport Federation, SPAN Nigerian, Street Off France, Battle of The Year France, Sitsofe Wellness and Hanfaani Art Association Benin.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghanaian football legends walk to galvanise support for Black Stars

Accra, Oct. 30, GNA – Scores of Ghanaian football legends on Saturday took part in a walk as part of pre-2022 World Cup activities in their bid to galvanise support for the Black Stars.

The “Walk with the Legends”, as it was dubbed, started from Ayi Mensah to the Aburi Hill Top with legends including Asamoah Gyan, Abdul Karim Razak, Sammy Kuffour, Richard Kingson, Derrick Boateng, Willie Kluste, Laryea Kingston, Isaac Vorsah, Prince Tagoe, and Tony Baffoe.

It was organised by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in collaboration with the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana (PFAG).

Mr Kurt Simeon Edwin Okraku, President of the GFA, in his address, expressed gratitude to the legends for coming in their numbers to partake in the walk and believed this would foster unity among the players as the Stars prepare for the World Cup.

He stressed the crucial role some of the legends have played in Ghana’s qualification for the World Cup, both in the present and past, lauding them for their efforts.

“I want to thank you for saying yes to this clarion call as we join hands in support of our dear nation. With the support from all the generations of Black Stars and unity of purpose, we are one of the 32 teams to play at this year’s tournament once again,” Mr. Okraku told the football legends.

He was optimistic that with the support from the legends, the Black Stars would be able to excel at the upcoming world football fiesta.

Mr Mustapha Ussif, the Minister for Youth and Sports, was grateful to the legends for showing up in support of the Black Stars.

“We are so proud of you legends for your commitment, dedication, hard work, and sacrifice for the country in the past, and you are still doing so by coming out in your numbers for your brothers as they embark on this World Cup journey. With the kind of support, I have seen today, the Stars of Ghana is going to shine in Doha, “the Sports Minister said.

Ghanaian football legend and former African Footballer of the Year, Karim Abdul Razak, affectionately called “Golden Boy”, lauded the initiative of the GFA for staging the walk, which was the first of its kind.

He was hopeful the initiative would foster unity and build a strong telepathy between the old and current crop of Ghanaian internationals.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency