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General News of Saturday, 27 June 2020

Source: GNA

Ghana urges UN to speed-up work towards Security Council reforms

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Ghana has said the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter must engender the world body’s inter-governmental negotiations towards the much-needed reforms of the Security Council.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said the negotiations to reform the UN Security Council to make it more broadly representative, efficient and effective in addressing conflicts had been ongoing for many years.

She noted that having served on the Security Council for three terms as a Non-Permanent member, Ghana attached importance to these negotiations and had over the years supported ongoing initiatives for the reform of the Security Council to reflect geopolitical realities.

"Seventy-five years ago, when the Charter that we are commemorating today was signed, the world was distinctly different from what we know today," Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated in her address to Parliament, on Friday, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter.

"It is, therefore, imperative that the Security Council is reformed in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus, which advocate a fair representation of Africa on the Security Council," she said.

The African Union consensus demands that at least two permanent seats and five non-permanent seats be allocated by the AU.

In addition, the AU set forth that either all permanent members–including the new permanent members–must have the right to the veto; if not, then non-permanent members may have the right to the veto.

At present, the Council is composed of 15 Members: Five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with the end of term year).

"Ghana will thus continue to work with other African Member States towards a more representative and democratic Security Council to enhance its efficiency to address the current threats to international peace and security," the Minister said.

" Seventy-five years ago, some 50 nations convened in San Francisco to declare their commitment to peace, signalling an end to a six-year world war that had caused great destruction to mankind.

"As we commemorate this important milestone of the UN today, it is important to reflect on both the successes and lessons learned in implementing the UN Charter over the last 75 years".

She noted that conscious of the opportunity to examine how best to collectively overcome current and emerging global challenges, the Comity of Nations, unanimously agreed that the theme for this important commemoration should be “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

"Several years of global conflicts and strife, have taught us that our world was better-off when nations work together," she said.

She noted that the institutions and systems that were born out of the ashes of World War II, particularly the UN, had promoted social cohesion and allowed their societies to flourish.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said through shared responsibility and accountability, shared burden and costs, the UN had helped to reduce global conflicts, ensured significant reduction in famine and poverty, coupled with massive gains in development and the protection of human rights.

She recounted that Ghana became a member of the UN two days after attainment of independence on 8th March 1957.

"Since then, Ghana, guided by the commitment to the principles and ideals of the UN Charter as enshrined in our national foreign policy, has pursued balanced and principled positions on a wide range of issues on the agenda of the Organisation".

The Minister said Ghana’s active involvement within the UN spanned the period of decolonisation of the African continent, during which Ghana used the UN as a platform to advocate freedom from colonialism and formulate joint African positions.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the promotion of international peace and security remained a critical pillar of the UN, adding that the UN Peacekeeping remained the most effective tool available to the Organisation in the maintenance of peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter.

She said Ghana had since independence fully supported UN and Regional peacekeeping operations in Africa and around the world.

"Ours is an unwavering commitment to a world free from strife and instability."

She said Ghana remained resolute in the conviction that though daunting, the challenge to the Comity of Nations could be surmounted through innovative, bold, realistic and achievable decisions by Member States.

"As we deploy efforts to search for global solutions to global challenges, we must appreciate the fact that there is no entity that is more representative of global cooperation and multilateralism than the UN," she stated.

"It is, therefore, imperative that we continue to promote mutually reinforcing and coordinated efforts among the main organs of the UN to enhance and uphold the ideals of multilateralism," she said.

She noted that the international community had a responsibility to sustain the relevance of the UN in this era and the years ahead.

"The future we desire; the UN we need: can only be realized when the international community remains committed to multilateralism," she said.

"Ghana, alongside other countries, is determined to play its part in this noble endeavour to proudly leave a legacy for generations yet unborn."