President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked the United Nations’ Security Council to support the sustainable financing of African-led operations in the global fight against terrorism and piracy.
Chairing a debate of the UN Security Council, Thursday, as Ghana took its turn to chair the Council for this November, President Akufo-Addo said terrorism has always posed a danger to international peace and security, and continues to threaten peaceful co-existence within and among nations.
In Africa for instance, the President said in the Sahel region of Africa, with a population of some 300 million people, has accounted for the highest incidents of recorded terrorist attacks between January and June this year, accounting for some 5,412 deaths across Africa.
Some Sahel and West African countries, he noted have been overrun by terrorists and other armed groups, motivated and emboldened enough to expand to their reach of influence to the coastal countries of West Africa, in an attempt to get access to the high seas, and create a vicious linkage between terrorism and piracy.
That, President Akufo-Addo challenged the international community, particularly the Security Council could not afford to be neutral in the design and implementation of specific responses required to confront the threat of international terrorism.
“We acknowledge that the fight against terrorism can be a protracted one that could take several years, but, with collective efforts, terrorism and those behind its evil acts can and will eventually be defeated,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo proposed solutions to curb the menace of terrorism in Africa, included leveraging the role of the African Union and its regional economic commissions to raising a robust and resourced force to confront the terrorists and other armed groups as well as peace operation initiatives.
Additionally, he stated that the burden of confronting terrorism could not be borne by those in the region alone, but required strong collaboration between the United Nations, the African Union and the regional economic communities, especially ECOWAS, to address the sustainable financing for the regional-led operations.
The African Union , according to President Akufo-Addo had demonstrated its commitment and capacity to manage effectively such financing, and to comply with the required human rights standards in such operations.
He challenged the UN Security Council and the wider international community to play their part, “if there is a desire to have a continuing relevance.”
The President told the Council that the structure and approach of international support to countering terrorism, including in the Sahel, has to be pre-emptive, rather than reactive.
“There is the need, therefore, for the Council and the wider international community to address the underlying drivers of the instability through the building of resilience in conflict prone regions, including in the areas of promoting democratic values, development and state services,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that international support must be placed fully behind deliberate interventions to promote inclusive governance, and the extension of effective State authority in several parts of African territories in order to meet the expectations of our largely youthful populations, who, in some instances, have fallen victim to the radicalised messages of extremists.
“I would strongly urge members of the Council to revisit the vexed issue of the reform of the United Nations system, especially of the Security Council, and to do so on the basis of the African Common Position on UN Reform, as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus, if, indeed, the authority of this Council which, in recent times, appears to have been devalued, because of its anachronistic structure, is to be restored,” he added.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD