Ghana will continue to defend democracy and constitutional rule, and uphold human rights in the country, and on the wider African continent, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
He indicated that Ghana would work “to strengthen the institutions that support democracy in our country and in our Region.”
Addressing the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America on Wednesday, the President noted that recent events in Mali and Guinea, in West Africa, have shown that not everyone in the region had accepted democracy as the preferred mode of governance.
He pointed out that the last two years had witnessed assaults on democracy around the world, sometimes in developed countries where it had been assumed that a consensus on the democratic form of governance had been established.
For that greater reason, he stressed that “we must defend democracy, constitutional rule and human rights in the world.”
President Akufo-Addo told the Assembly that though the political situation in Guinea and Mali have undermined democratic governance in West Africa, the regional bloc, ECOWAS “is unreservedly committed to maintaining democratic governance in the Community.”
“That is why both Guinea and Mali, foundation members of the Community, have been suspended from its organisation, pending the restoration of democratic governance. We welcome the support of the United Nations for the measures taken.
“ECOWAS has given Guinea six months to do so, and requested the immediate release of President Alpha Conde,” he informed the Assembly.
“On my visit to Conakry last Friday, the military leaders indicated their willingness to see to his imminent release and it is our hope that they will keep to their word. The Authority has also made it clear to the military government in Mali, that it is not prepared to negotiate an extension to the February deadline for the holding of democratic elections, as the essential steps to be taken can, with political will, be effected within the ECOWAS-sanctioned timetable.
“It is better that a government, with a democratic mandate, be in place as soon as possible, to implement the necessary reforms for the future stability and growth of Mali, thereby enhancing capacity for the all-important fight against terrorism in Mali and in the wider Sahel.
“We shall continue to support the United Nations and other international organisations to help remind us that, indeed, no man is an island, entire of itself,” he said.
The President used the occasion to update the global community of Ghana’s economic resilience despite the ravages of COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure vaccine equity to enhance the recovery of world economies, particularly developing countries whose economies have been devastated by the disease.
He also called for the expansion of the G20 to include the African Union, to redefine global policy co-ordination that would enable the emergence of a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.