By Frank Amponsah
His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President, has challenged world leaders to work towards reforming the United Nations (UN), especially the UN Security Council to be able to sustain democracy and fairness around the world.
According to the President, the time is long overdue for the correction of the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for African nations.
He said told the world that “We cannot continue to preach democracy and fairness around the world, we cannot insist on peace and justice around the world, when our global organisation is not seen by the majority of its members as having a structure that is just and fair. It is, indeed, seen by many as helping to perpetuate an unfair world order.”
President Akufo-Addo made the remarks when he addressed the 72nd Session of the United Nations’ General Assembly yesterday, Thursday, September 21, 2017 in New York.
He averred that the UN as an organisation provides the best vehicle for the world to manage its many varied problems, and that its credibility will be undermined if leaders fail in their duty if to reform the United Nations.
“We dare not let ourselves and future generations down. The time for reform has come,” he said.
The President also mentioned that Ghana became a member of the Organisation sixty years ago and believes it is time Africa comes of age and holds its rightful place on the world stage, and by so doing Africa will neither be a victim nor a doll but honest to itself and to the world, “and this Africa will shed its cloak of poverty, and become prosperous,” he said.
Touching on the SDGs and situations in Ghana, the President mentioned that after years of political turmoil and the accompanying economic chaos, a consensus has emerged in our Fourth Republic for a progressive democracy under a multi-party system where regular elections are now an accepted feature of the country’s governance.
“We continue to be a beacon of democracy and stability on the continent, our institutions of state are growing stronger, and we have made more progress with our economy than at any time since independence. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but we are determined to realise our potential and make Ghana a prosperous nation,” he stressed.
According to him, government is working to grow Ghana’s economy and open up opportunities for all citizens, and with the implementation of the Free Senior High Education programme, the SDG 4, which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all will be within reach by the target date.
“The programme will ensure that all our children will be educated to at least secondary level, and money, or the lack of it, will no longer mean a denial of education. This has already led to an increase of over 90,000 children, who have entered secondary school this academic year, who would otherwise have dropped out at this stage. We do not want to be a scar on anybody’s conscience. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts. Long and bitter experience has taught us no matter how generous the charity, we would remain poor,” he added.
He also indicated that his government would build a Ghana that looks to the use of its own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth saying, “We want to build an economy that looks past commodities to position our country in the global marketplace. We are not disclaiming aid, but we do want to discard a mind-set of dependency and living on handouts; we want to build a Ghana beyond aid. It is an easier platform on which to build sustainable relationships.”
The SDGs he indicated “are a worthwhile set of goals for the world, no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and topped up with partnerships for the goals. We should work hard to achieve these goals. The world will be a much better place.”
He also admitted that Ghana remains committed to remaining a nuclear weapon-free continent. This he said, led to the removal of highly-enriched uranium flown out of Ghana back to China, signalling the end of the removal of all such material from the country.
“Our nuclear reactor has, subsequently, been converted to use low-enriched fuel for power generation. A world, free of nuclear weapons, must be in all our collective interest.
He reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to maintaining friendly and cordial relations with all the countries and peoples of the world.