The Ghana Commission for UNESCO Bill, 2022, which intends to assist the nation in achieving the goals and objectives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has been approved by parliament.
The purpose of the bill is to create the Ghana Commission for UNESCO, which will carry out UNESCO’s goals and objectives.
The mission of UNESCO is to promote intercultural understanding, sustainable development, poverty reduction, and peacebuilding.
UNESCO employs National Commissions, which are national cooperating entities, to accomplish its goals and objectives among member nations.
Each member state was required by Article VII of the UNESCO Constitution to make arrangements for the association of major organizations interested in educational, scientific, and cultural matters with the work of the Organization, preferably by creating a National Commission that was largely representative of the Government and the major organizations.
The proposal to adopt the Ghana Commission for UNESCO Bill was made by Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo, the deputy minister of education in charge of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
In his report to the House, Mr. Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, noted that with the passage of the bill, the Ghana Commission for UNESCO would become a fully-fledged Government agency and receive funding from the Consolidated Fund and other sources of funds
identified under Section 38 of the bill.
According to him, the Commission’s operations and programs were supposed to be funded by yearly UNESCO-assessed contributions, which the member nations were required to pay as a result of their membership in the organization.
According to him, the scale of assessment was based on UN contributions, with appropriate changes made to account for the two organizations’ different memberships.
Mr. Asiamah stated that the committee was informed that in addition to the annual subscription, funds must be provided for the cost of maintaining the Secretariat of Ghana’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris, France, which includes paying rent for office space at UNESCO, paying compensation, and spending money on other related goods and services.
He added that the committee had also noted the need for adequate funding for the costs associated with the Ghanaian Delegation’s attendance at UNESCO’s mandated intergovernmental meetings, as well as for the development of government agency capacity and orientation on UNESCO issues and initiatives.
The chairman stated that the committee thought financing for the commission needed to be prioritized and ring-fenced in order for Ghana to fulfill its legal commitment under the UNESCO Convention.
When Ghana joined UNESCO as an Associate Member in 1953, the Committee for UNESCO Affairs was transformed into the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO (Ghana NATCOM).
On April 11, 1958, Ghana was granted full membership in UNESCO.
Cabinet subsequently authorized the Committee’s reorganization under the new name, “Ghana National Commission for UNESCO.”