By Bolaji Ogundele, Accra
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government has vowed to join other members of the global community t achieve a reformed and rights-balanced United Nations.
Chairman of the ECOWAS’s Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, made the vow on Saturday in his opening speech during the 59th Ordinary Session of the regional body in Accra, Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo noted with delight the planned UN reforms, as he stated the need for balancing of the membership of UN Security Council in order to have African representatives on the council as permanent members.
“Africa’s common position on UN reforms, based on the Ezulwini Consensus, is one matter we will work hard to add on the global agenda, to solicit the backing of countries around the world for this long-needed reform.
“We believe it is time to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represents for the nations of Africa,” the ECOWAS Chairman said.
He, however, used the occasion to thank all African countries for supporting the candidacy and election of Ghana into the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member.
He also lamented the continuous threats of terrorism, violent extremism and COVID-19 among others, to the development of the African continent.
President Akufo-Addo also assured that the ECOWAS’s Authority of Heads of State and Government would continue to sustain democracy within the region, through the conduct of successful elections.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who used the occasion to appreciate the support he has received so far from his colleagues, Presidents of countries within the West African region, called for more collaboration, in order to move West Africa forward.
He, therefore, used the opportunity to commend the efforts of African leaders towards sustaining democratic tenets, as he congratulated the Presidents of Niger and Benin Republics, for their recent successes at the polls.
“Let me congratulate warmly, our brothers and colleagues, Mohammed Bazoum and Patrice Talon, who have been elected as Presidents of the Republics of Niger and Benin, since our last summit.
“I offer them my and the community’s best wishes for their success during their terms of office.
“I commend also the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Cape Verde for the conduct and outcomes of their latest legislative elections. Our region continues to strengthen its democratic credentials through the holding of successful elections.”
While thanking African leaders for supporting the election of Ghana as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, assured the continent of a worthy representation.
“On behalf of the government and people of Ghana, I thank all ECOWAS and AU member States for the support of Ghana’s recent successful candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the years 2022 and 2023.
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“Ghana received the highest number of votes on the day, with 185 out of 190 votes and it would not have been possible without your active support. I assure you that Ghana will make sure that Africa’s voice is heard loud and clear in the deliberations of the Security Council, both for matters affecting our region, the African continent and on global issues and we will consult properly to define Africa’s interest,” he said.
In his remarks, the Representative of the UN Secretary General’s office in West Africa and the Sahel, Annadif Saleh, pledged to support the effort of ECOWAS to restore political stability in Mali, as he welcomed what he called positive developments in Cote D’Ivoire and Cape Verde.
Also, Secretary of the organization of Francophone countries, Louise Mushikwiwabo, gave a goodwill message at the event, as she expressed her organization’s support for the steps so far taken by ECOWAS to restore political stability in Mali.
Former President of Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan, who is the ECOWAS Mediator in the Malian crisis, also briefed the summit on the progress made so far, in resolving the crisis in Mali.