Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has disclosed that Ghana intends to use her membership at the United Nations (UN) Security Council to among other things deal with terrorism in West Africa.
She made this known in an address to an ECOWAS group in New York, US.
According to her, “Given that 70% of the Security Council’s agenda is centered on Africa, Ghana intends to use her membership of the Council to advocate for and build support for effective responses that enable us to deal with terrorism, protracted conflicts, cyber threats, maritime piracy, food insecurity as well as climate change.”
She added that “Ghana also intends to pursue a number of priorities including conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and strengthening of governance, leveraging on our previous and current experience as Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as our active membership of the African Union (AU).”
The minister observed that addressing security threats in the West African sub-region was one of the key challenges confronting ECOWAS in raising the living standards of all its peoples.
“This is why our meeting this afternoon is so important.
A few days from now, member States of our United Nations will be casting a crucial ballot for the election of non-permanent members to the Security Council. As you are aware, Ghana is the official, uncontested candidate of ECOWAS and one of the two endorsed candidates of the African Union for the term 2022-2023.”
“Ghana is committed to cooperating with all Member States and the entire UN body in “Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development”, which is the theme for our tenure on the Council when elected. The security concerns of our region will therefore be very much at the centre of our focus. This will include focusing attention on the situation in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin Area. We need to mobilize the international community, through the leadership of the Council, to reverse the deteriorating security situation in that part of our continent and foster the conditions for economic progress.”
“The evidence shows that global challenges, including insecurity, can be better managed when placed within their specific regional contexts. In this regard, we will encourage the further deepening of cooperation between the UN and continental and regional organisations to help achieve effective results. We support the ongoing partnerships between the UN and other regional arrangements such as the AU and ECOWAS in tackling security challenges. We will call for more of such complementarity,” she said.
“The recent upsurge in maritime piracy in the West Africa region as well as the situation in Mali and Chad are of immediate concern and goes to show that more concerted effort is required to stabilise governance systems in our countries.”
“As co-chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates for UN SDGs, the President of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo intends to use Ghana’s tenure on the Security Council to re-emphasize the urgency in accelerating progress towards the attainment of the SDGs. Consequently, the continuous support for initiatives that empower women and youth in particular, and the creation of the right opportunities for their meaningful participation in development will help in the realization of Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS) as well as Resolution…on Youth, Peace and Security.”
“Furthermore, if elected to the Council, we are committed to highlighting the effects of climate change on the economic, human and security situation in many parts of the continent, including the Sahel and Lake Chad.”
By Melvin Tarlue