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General News of Thursday, 19 February 2009

Source: GNA

Mills: Govt to have vigorous foreign policy

Accra, Feb. GNA - Ghana will continue to be engaged vigorously with the world beyond the African Union, President John Evans Atta Mills said on Thursday.

"We intend to maintain an active role in the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as in other multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement in order to shoulder our share of the responsibilities devolving on us as member of the international community," he said in his maiden State of the Nation Address to Parliament in Accra.

President Mills noted that it was a matter of considerable satisfaction that Ghana's foreign policy had continued to follow the principled paths delineated by the Founders of the Nation, in spite of the occasional changes in nuances over the years. "And so the foreign policy of this administration will continue to be defined in its detail by the traditional features of very strong bilateral and multilateral ties, international treaty obligations and a firm commitment to the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter."

President Mills said the government would participate in international affairs with a strong penchant for championing the causes of economic integration, continental unity and Pan-Africanism, causes that our people have desired for so long. "In that regard, our immediate focus will be on activities within ECOWAS which are likely to stimulate a more vigorous interaction at the people's level.

"The concept of the free movement of persons and goods throughout our respective countries must progress from mere slogans to result oriented actions that will encourage integration and economic development in our sub-region." The President said the government would honour all legitimate international treaty obligations while it sought its objectives among friendly countries that shared its commitment to good governance, peace and democracy.

"We make such a declaration because our governance model and service to the international community will continue to be defined by an unflinching support for world peace as well as social and economic justice for all." President Mills said the government was currently engaged in re-assessing Ghana's diplomatic representation around the world in order to make Ghana's diplomacy efficient and cost-effective.