The Chairman of the ECOWAS and President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for restructuring of the global financing architecture to enable access to fresh capital by developing nations in the face of the covid-19 pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on their economies.
“The restructuring of the global financing architecture to enable access to fresh capital by developing nations, now more than ever, is of immediate necessity if the gains chalked in transforming the economies are not to be eroded and the standards of living of the peoples not to be dangerously lowered,” he said.
In a virtual address to the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo called for a speedy reform of the world body to reflect Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, as set out in the Ezulwini Consensus.
“The time has come for the adoption and endorsement of Africa’s common position on UN reform as set out in the Ezulwini Consensus so we can create a modern United Nations fit for purpose in our time,” he said.
The Ezulwini Consensus is a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations, agreed by the African Union. It calls for a more representative and democratic Security Council, in which Africa, like all other world regions, is represented.
President Akufo-Addo apprised the Session on the political situation in the sub-region and called on the UN and all Member States to lend their support to the efforts being made by ECOWAS to restore normalcy to Mali and defeat the scourge of terrorism.
He also reflected on Ghana’s significant role in marking the 400th Anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 2019, at which the country welcomed Africans in the diaspora back to their roots, adding: “We owe it to their descendants to find the safe haven in Ghana if they should need it.”
He assured the United Nations of a transparent, free, fair, safe and credible elections in Ghana in December, which the continent would be proud of.
“At the end of the elections, we shall be proud of ourselves, Africa will have good cause to be proud of us, and the rest of the world will find lessons to learn from us,” he said.
The President told the world body that it was a matter of great pride that in spite of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Ghanaians had agreed to work together to ensure the elections came on as constitutionally scheduled.
He said the people of Ghana had resolved to make the elections, the eight since constitutional rule in 1992, a peaceful and credible exercise.
He said each of the elections had seen improvement on the previous and Ghana was looking forward to holding this year’s exercise in a peaceful manner.
“We are keenly aware of the reputation Ghana has built as a tolerant and working democracy, and we have every intention to nurture and improve upon it,” he stated.
Touching on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Akufo-Addo noted that the disease had affected, one way or the other, everyone and the world economy, but technology had been a useful tool in alleviating some of the challenges it had brought.
“Indeed, all our best laid plans have turned out to be of no use when faced with the ravages of an unknown virus’ the President said, pointing out that “the virus has taught us that we are all at risk and there’s no special protection for the rich or a particular class.”
“The lessons are clear. We all fell together and looked into the abyss together. Even as we closed our borders and shut airports, the reality dawned on all of us that we had to rely on each other to be able to get out of the trouble we were in”.
He said if the answer to the pandemic was in finding a vaccine, that vaccine should be made available to the whole world; rich and poor alike, developed and developing, all races and all beliefs.
“For as long as the virus exists, whatever medical solutions that might be found should be made available for all in aid of our common humanity,” he said.
The Session was on the theme: “The Future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – Confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.”