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General News of Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Let’s position Africa to benefit from international protocols – Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

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The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has charged representatives of African Minerals Development Centre to, through its undertakings, position the African continent to benefit from the international protocols and regimes that various African governments subscribe to.

Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the Africa Group Deep Seabed Mining Policy workshop in Accra, Hon Ayorkor Botchwey stated that the International Seabed Authority is at a critical stage of developing appropriate legal framework to govern the exploitation phase of the activities in the area.

This, according to her will safeguard, in fulfilment of the underlying principle of part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the common heritage of mankind.

“I entreat you all to show commitment to the issues on the agenda and make contributions that will enable us to come out with an outcome document that will help shape an effective and efficient exploitation of the marine resources in the area so as not to destroy the marine environment on which we rely for our livelihood,” she said.

She added that “it is only by making informed choices that we can make real progress in the sustenance of our oceans for ourselves and generations unborn.”

Hon Ayorkor Botchwey noted the 1992 constitution of Ghana highlights key foreign policy objectives for the country to seek the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order for all manner of persons.

“It is to this end that Ghana has keenly participated in the activities of the Seabed Authority since its inception. Issues pertaining to the protection of our oceans are now taking centre stage globally as a result of the threats posed to the oceans, a major source of our economic survival,” she said.

Hon Ayorkor Botchwey is of the view that eliminating the pollution of our water bodies in Ghana has been difficult and it is even a more daunting task to manage those risks in areas beyond our national jurisdiction.

She reiterated that “Ghana attaches a lot of importance to the current negotiations to protect the maritime space beyond national jurisdiction.”

The Africa Group Deep Seabed Mining Policy workshop is to prepare the African Group for participation in the first part of the 25th session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) council.

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