“Our common humanity and existence depend on countering terrorism and violent extremism” – Prez. Akufo-Addo

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On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic, asked the United Nations Security Council and the international community to prioritize the battle against terrorism and violent extremism.

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reaffirmed Ghana’s dedication to the fight against the global canker while speaking in the UN Security Council Chamber at the UN Headquarters in New York. He also stressed the urgency of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

The 2022 Global Terrorism Index, the 2022 report of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, and the most recent report of the Secretary General on the threat posed by Da’esh to the international community, all speak about an increase in the incidence of terrorism and violent extremism across Africa with an accompanying evolution in their modes of operation, according to the President. In fact, the information on fatalities on the mainland is especially depressing.

“It is for these reasons that Ghana reaffirms her condemnation of all acts of extremism and terrorism and urges the civilised world to do the same. Our common humanity and existence depend on it’’, he stated.

He also lamented how Africa was being steadily turned into a hotbed of terrorism and violent fanaticism.

In order to achieve this, President Akufo-Addo emphasized the need for partnerships at all levels, from the local to the global, and emphasized that, more than ever, the efficacy of the UN depends on a deeper and more powerful level of cooperation with regional organizations.

Thus, he brought up a few ideas that could be useful in the struggle against terrorism and aggressive fanaticism.

“First, the rise of violent extremism and terrorism underscores the urgent need for a collective response. No country, regardless of its might, is immune from the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, nor can one country alone respond effectively to such threats. In a rapidly changing world, enhanced co-operation between the United Nations and continental and regional organisations is needed to combat these emerging threats to international peace and security. The partnership, outlined in Chapter Eight of the United Nations Charter, has always been an important factor in preserving international peace and security, and reinforcing our shared aspirations for global peace and security’’.

He continued, “Secondly, in Africa, we have decided to fill the void by addressing the limitations that United Nations peacekeeping efforts and national capacities have in dealing with the menace of transnational terrorist threats. In order to combat insurgencies in their respective regions, African regional organisations, such as the SADC and ECOWAS, have developed their unique operations, which include both military and diplomatic initiatives. The Accra Initiative, which groups together Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso, and, hopefully, soon, Nigeria, is one such self-help regional security and intelligence mechanism, designed to assist in the fight against terrorism’’.

The desire for these named countries to contribute their quota to the fight against terrorism and violent extremist, there are, nonetheless, some constraints he outlined which are militating against these efforts.

“Yet, capacity limitations and a lack of financial resources have become significant obstacles in the fight against terrorists. Previous experiences with peacekeeping in Africa have shown us the difficulties in delivering ambitious but under-resourced mandates. Defeating terrorist organisations and armed groups should be the Council’s primary focus when addressing the security challenges currently confronting Africa’’ he said.

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo also said that bolstering co-operation and collaboration between the United Nations, continental and regional organisations should leverage existing strengths to enhance the development of a preventative approach, based on regional early warning mechanisms. Efforts in conflict prevention and mediation have demonstrated how working together increases our powers of persuasion to press parties to make peace and diffuse tensions in localities.

‘’Fourthly, it is important that partnerships with regional organisations are based on mutual respect and must not attempt to impose preferred approaches on unique regional circumstances. Where this is forced through, it can only be detrimental to the work of regional organizations and the global effort to defeat terrorism. Indeed, our collective security demands that we find the will to act collaboratively and decisively, in line with the respective mandates, to defeat terrorism and violent extremism in Africa. The activities of the United Nations, the African Union and other regional organizations should complement each other’’ he pointed out.

The President also said that it is important to reinforce the capacity of regional organisations for early warning and conflict prevention. This, he said, requires that we enhance cooperation in the areas of intelligence, logistics, capabilities, training and deployment, as well as innovative financing arrangements, for the highest impact projects on our continents with the quickest turnaround results, for peoples’ lives, and for sustainable development.

“Finally, Mr. President, let me place on record my gratitude for your leadership during this high-level meeting, which has established further the urgency needed to enhance co-operation between the UN and Regional Organisations in a meaningful way’’.

He also applauded the Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his thought-provoking address on this very important subject.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/presidency


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