US president, Joe Biden has threatened to sanction countries that are yet to make laws to accommodate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) people.
The Democrat issued a presidential memorandum aimed at expanding the protection of the rights of LGBTQI people worldwide.
Biden’s memo reads, “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.
“The United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle – speaking out and standing strong for our most dearly held values.”
The memo directs US agencies working in foreign countries to work harder to combat the criminalisation by foreign governments of LGBTQ status or conduct and directs the State Department to include anti-LGBTQ violence, discrimination, and laws in its annual human rights report.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (rtd) as the New National Security Co-ordinator. The new appointment comes on the back of the recent demise of Mr Joshua Kyeremeh, who held the position of National Security Co-ordinator in President Akufo-Addo’s first term of office
Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (rtd) is a well-known figure within Ghana’s intelligence community. He was appointed by Former President Kufour as Ghana’s Ambassador to Liberia.
Until his appointment as an ambassador, Major General Adu Amanfo was the Head of Defence Intelligence in the Ghana Armed Forces.
The Minority is demanding that the practice where military personnel are assigned to civilians as their body guards should stop. According to the caucus, that practice demoralizes the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Addressing the press in Parliament yesterday, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and not to be carrying bags of public officials.
“We are demanding that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, take immediate and necessary steps to demilatarise Ghana.
The vetting of persons nominated for ministerial positions begins today, with the Minister-designate for Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, and the Minister-designate for National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP).
The decision to vet these two nominees ahead of the other 33 nominated for various positions is to ensure that the government becomes functional to carry out the business of state.
“Priority will be given to some nominees, particularly for Health, because of the COVID-19 situation in the country, followed by those of National Security and Finance,” the Minority Leader and Ranking member of the ACP, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, had earlier explained.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sitting of the ACP will be under strict COVID-19 safety and preventive protocols.
This year’s vetting is billed to be different from previous vetting processes, as the 26-member ACP, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, will critically scrutinise and probe deeper into the backgrounds of the nominees.
Mr Iddrisu gave an idea of what to expect when he told the Daily Graphic that: “This year’s vetting and scrutiny will not be all about curriculum vitae or CVs.”
Ahead of the exercise, the Daily Graphic is reliably informed that the committee has received the handover notes from the various ministries.
In compliance with the provisions of the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) that requires ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to provide Parliament with their handover notes, the Table Office of Parliament has acknowledged receipt of the notes
Vetting process requirements
Prior to the commencement of the vetting process, the Chairman of the ACP writes to the various intelligence and security agencies to elicit information on nominees as to whether they have committed a crime before.
The agencies are to issue communication privately and confidentially to the chairman, who makes it known to the committee.
The chairman also writes to institutions where nominees had worked previously to find out about their conduct with regard to how they discharged their duties at post and whether there were issues of financial malpractice against them.
Besides, the chairman also writes letters to the various educational institutions nominees attended to verify if, indeed, they attended those schools.
It must be established that the committee will be less interested in ethical issues concerning nominees, as all human beings are potentially fallible in terms of values and virtues, except where those values may impact seriously on productivity, accountability and related values that are important for purposes of performing effectively as government appointees.
Petitions against nominees may also have been received from members of the public prior to the beginning of the vetting of the nominees.