The UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, has welcomed the agenda and priorities set out by Ghana to secure one of the non-permanent seats in the Security Council.
He said Ghana’s agenda should resonate strongly with all UN member states.
Mr Guterres stated this when the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, paid a courtesy call on him at the UN Headquarters in New York last Tuesday.
The visit was part of Ghana’s campaign to secure support from UN member states for the country’s candidature on the Security Council
The election will be held tomorrow.
Mr Guterres wished Ghana well in the election.
Ghana and ECOWAS
The secretary-general also applauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the chair of ECOWAS for his mediation efforts to resolve the crises in Mali
While stating that ECOWAS, under the chairmanship of the President Akufo-Addo, had taken the right approach with addressing the conflict in Mali, he emphasised that an all inclusive government in Mail should be the target in steps towards lasting peace.
Mr Guterres admitted that there was the need for solidarity among nations to address the COVID 19 pandemic
He acknowledged Ghana’s efforts at calling on the international community to address the financing gap as far as COVID was concerned
He also acknowledged Ghana’s exemplary role at promoting the SDGs, with President Akufo- Addo as the co-chair of the secretary-general’s SDGs Advocates.
Briefing the secretary-general of her visit, the Foreign Minister stated that the purpose was to discuss with him Ghana’s vision and priorities as a prospective non-permanent member of the Security Council, as well as exchange views on pertinent global security challenges, including the situation in the Sahel, particularly Mali.
She explained that in furtherance of the country’s commitment to enhancing global peace and security,the country was seeking, for the fourth time, a non-permanent membership of the Security Council for the period 2022-2023.
Ms Botchwey opined that Ghana was hopeful of being elected to the Security Council.
She said the country had adopted as the theme for its agenda on the Security Council, “Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development”.
Peace and security
The minister noted the nexus between peace and security, and sustainable and inclusive development, particularly on the continent and advocated the need to strengthen the close alignment of the work of the UN in those two areas in order to assure a reinforcing effect.
She stated that the country intended to leverage its previous and current experience as the chair of ECOWAS and an active member of the AU to prioritise on the Security Council, the issues of conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and the strengthening of partnerships between the UN and regional arrangements in dealing with conflict situations.
Mali, Chad situation
Briefing the secretary-general on the current situation in Mali, Ms Botchwey stated that the situation was most unfortunate and a setback to the efforts of the international community and the region to restore democracy and rule of law in that country, and also consolidate the internal military capacity of Mali in the regional fight against extremists and terrorists on the fringes of the Sahel.
She indicated that Ghana was troubled by the growing spate of insecurity in the West Africa region in recent times, manifesting in terrorist attacks, political instability, piracy, as well as the negative socio-economic impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic (called for the equitable distribution of vaccines)
She also noted with concern the security situation in Chad following the demise of President Iddris Deby and its impact on the war against extremism;
The minister welcomed the secretary-general’s recent appointment of Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif as his Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), as well as Mr Abdoulaye Mar Dieye as a Special Coordinator for development in the Sahel.
She observed that the appointments were a demonstration of the secretary-general’s commitment to addressing the crises in the region in a comprehensive manner as is required.
She stated that President Akufo-Addo, who is the Chair of ECOWAS, would ensure that Ghana worked with the United Nations and its agencies, including UNOWAS, the Peace-building Commission and the UNODC in strengthening institutions and building capacity to effectively deal with the crises in the region.
Ms Botchwey assured the secretary-general of Ghana’s continuous commitment to promoting multilateralism as the best means of achieving a safer, peaceful and prosperous world
Six member states—Albania, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates—are running for the five available seats at the UN Security Council.
The DRC, Gabon and Ghana are contesting the two African Group seats, while the other three candidates are running unopposed.
Five out of the six candidates have served on the council previously: Brazil has served ten times; Gabon and Ghana both three times; the DRC twice and the United Arab Emirates once. Albania has never served on the council.