Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior on Monday swore-in an 11-member newly appointed members of the Ghana Refugee Board.
Administering the Official Oath, the Minister said Ghana was a relatively peaceful and safe country in a region of turbulence and therefore attracted more persons in distress within the sub-region.
“Ghana therefore hosts nearly 14,000 refugees who have escaped from ravages of war in their respective countries,” he said.
The Minister noted that with refugee matters becoming complex in recent years, there was the need to tackle its root cause within the sub-region in particular and the continent as a whole, adding that urgent collaboration among state parties was needed “to help to stem this growing menace”.
Mr Derry reminded the Board members, that the complexity of refugee problems had informed their appointments, adding that their in depth knowledge and expertise in refugee matters was therefore noteworthy and heartwarming.
He observed that whilst some of the provisions of the Ghana Refugee Law, 1992, were out-dated and needed to be reviewed, Ghana was yet to ratify the two UN Conventions relating to Stateless persons and “Statelessness”.
“I expect the Board, in collaboration with the Ministry to get these Conventions ratified. Indeed, out of the 15-member ECOWAS States, only two states including Ghana are yet to ratify these Conventions,” he said.
Mr Dery said if the conventions were ratified, the Board would also be expected to assume the new mandate and responsibility of seeking and finding measures for preventing “Statelessness” as recognised by the 1954 and 1961 UN Conventions.
He urged the Board to look at issues of durable solutions for refugees in Ghana saying, “I am confident, that you would rise to the occasion by giving deep thought to these issues, and offer the best advice to the Ministry on the way forward.”
Chaired by Professor Kenneth Attafuah, Executive Secretary of National Identification Authority, the Board also includes; Mrs Audrey Naana Abayena-Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Laud Kwesi Ofori Affrifa-Dep Commisioner-Ghana Immigration Service, and Mr Gavivina Yao Tamakloe, NADMO.
The others are Mr Clarence Kuwuornu-Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, Divine Ayidzou-Ministry of Education, Mr Anthony Ayensu-Asare-BNI and Mr Edmund Quartey, UNHCR.
The rest are Ms. Rosemary Abbey-Ministry of Interior, ACOP Frederick Adu Anim-Ghana Police Service and Mrs Frederica Owuani Department of Social Welfare.