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General News of Friday, 16 November 2001

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Veep returns home from UN meeting

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The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama returned home on Thursday from New York after attending the 56th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The Vie President told newsmen at the airport that member countries reaffirmed their confidence in and commitment to the UN as the best hope for global peace and security.

He said, even though, the spotlight was on terrorism, it also discussed the debt crisis, disarmament, weapons of mass destruction and poverty.

The Vice President said the meeting urged member countries to abide by UN resolution 1373 passed after September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, which called for a global efforts at containing and defeating the menace of terrorism.

The issue of the definition and root causes of terrorism were discussed by the Assembly and agreed that generally terrorists exploited or hid behind the cover of marginalisation, poverty and the discrimination to perpetrate their acts.

This he said necessitated the call for action to be taken by developed countries to support and help developing countries that have weak economies.

The session also agreed that developing countries had not benefited from globalisation and that there was the need for advanced countries to open up their markets and remove unfair trade barriers.

The issues of good governance, respect for human rights, democratisation and the rule of law were seen as tools for prosperity, peace and security for developing countries.

Vice President Aliu also held discussions with UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan on a wide range of issues.

He also attended an award ceremony held by the African-American Institute in New York, where he received an Award on behalf of President John Agyekum Kufuor for the promotion of democracy. The Senegalese President Abdulai Wade was the other recipient from Africa.

The Foreign Minister Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said that Ghana signed the UN convention against the financing of terrorist acts as well as the OAU convention against terrorism that would soon be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

He the UN lauded Ghana for her peacekeeping roles in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi and expressed the hope that in future it might possibly send peacekeepers to Afghanistan.

He said the Vice President's speech to the General Assembly was also well received. The Vice President was met on arrival by Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister for Information and Presidential Affairs, Lieutenant General Joshua Hamidu, National Security Adviser and officials of the Office of the Vice President.

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