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Ghana begins a 3-year mandate on the UN Human Rights Council
Global expectations are high as Ghana commenced in January 2024 a three (3) year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). This follows elections held by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 12th October 2023, during which Ghana received an overwhelming endorsement of its candidature to the HRC. Ghana’s previous tenures on the HRC were from 2006 – 2008, 2009 - 2011 and 2015 to 2017. Ghana has chosen as its theme ‘Promotion and Protection of Global Human Rights for Peace and Development’ for the present term. Linked to the theme is Ghana’s vision of contributing to global peace and development through the promotion and protection of the human rights of all persons, in accordance with its international obligations. As a Member State of the United Nations (UN), Ghana has been committed to multilateralism, which serves as an effective guarantor of the post-1945 rules-based international system. For Ghana, human rights are essential for the creation of a peaceful and prosperous world in which no one is left behind. Since Ghana assumed its responsibilities as a Council member at the beginning of 2024, it has effectively participated in the 45th and 46th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) sessions, as well as the 55th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). During the 45th and 46th sessions of the UPR, Ghana was a troika member for Jordan and Cambodia, respectively, and contributed substantively to the preparation of their UPR reports, while at the 55th HRC session, voted on various resolutions as required of every member of the Council. In all these sessions, Ghana upheld the established standards in promoting and protecting human rights through the application of its national guidelines of non-politicization and objectivity, enhancement of international cooperation, inclusive and consultative process with key stakeholders in addressing human rights situations or concerns, and sovereign equality of states. Ghana is determined to use its membership of the HRC to advance priorities relating to the enjoyment of human rights globally, particularly matters pertaining to the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers, by advocating transformative changes favouring racial justice and equality. Ghana is also firmly committed to using its expertise to support the HRC in diverse ways. Currently, H.E. Emmanuel Asiedu Antwi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative is representing the African Group on the Consultative Group of the HRC. The Consultative Group is responsible for identifying prospective candidates who possess the highest qualifications, meet the general criteria and particular requirements for appointment as mandates holders. The Consultative Group conduct interviews to shortlist candidates and thereafter recommend to the President of the HRC the successful candidates deserving of appointment. Ghana’s delegation to the HRC would participate actively in all the regular and special sessions of the HRC, including intersessional meetings slated for the mandate period, notably, the 56th and 57th Sessions of the HRC, which are scheduled to take place from 18th June to 12 July and 9th September to 9th October 2024.

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