At the UN General Assembly: Aid, charity not working for us .. President raps global leaders

President Akuffo Addo

President Akuffo Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday where he told the global leaders of Ghana’s determination to wean itself of foreign donor support.

While expressing appreciation to foreign donors for their support over the years, he said the development trajectory based on aid and charity was not working for the country and its people.

“We are determined in Ghana, and, increasingly, in more and more parts of Africa, to chart our own paths to prosperity, and pay our own way in the world.”

“We are no longer interested in being a burden on others. We will shoulder our own responsibilities and build societies and nations that will be attractive to our youth.”

“We have the necessary sense of enterprise, creativity, innovation and hard work to engineer this transition. Hence, our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.

It was President Akufo-Addo’s second address at the General Assembly since he assumed office as President of the Republic early last year.

President Akufo-Addo spoke on a wide range of issues affecting the continent and highlighted the opportunities for countries to transition from poverty to prosperity.

He said Africa should no longer be the place that required peacekeepers and poverty fighting NGOs and stressed the need for continental bodies like the AU to continue to work towards peace and stability.

The President touched on the need to reform the UN, particularly the Security Council, to make the world “a better place” and urged powerful nations to be willing to support such changes.

“After all, we all inhabit the same planet, and we all owe the same duty of care to ensure its survival,” he added.

He said when the world gathered in San Francisco 73 years ago, and signed the landmark document that created the organisation, it was a very different world from present day.

“I do not refer only to the difference in the numbers in the room on that occasion, nor the difference in the mode of travel that brought the leaders to that meeting and the jet planes that have brought us all to New York this week.”

“Nor do I refer to the tweets by which we communicate now, and the elegant handwriting that they employed back in 1945. I refer to the theme we have drawn up for this General Assembly, and wonder if it would have been comprehensible to that group in San Francisco.”

“It is a different world we currently live in, and we should accept that this organisation must change to suit contemporary needs,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

Touching on Ghana’s development over the past year, he said the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals had been integrated into the country’s policies and budgets.

He said Ghana was working towards presenting a voluntary national review to share its successes and challenges, as well as opportunities.

“We know we must get our population educated and trained, and we are certain about it. We must address our infrastructural deficit,” the President said.

“The traditional methods of tackling this problem will not provide the answer. We are looking for new ways to resolve it,” he added.

“Ghana, like many countries in Africa, is forging relations with China to make arrangements to help address part of our infrastructure deficit,” he said.

The President told the world leaders that his country would continue to build roads, bridges, railways, ports, schools, hospitals, and create jobs to keep its young people engaged.

President Akufo-Addo thanked the global community for the support during the burial of Kofi Annan, the first person from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy the office of UN Secretary General.

“On behalf of the people and government of Ghana, I wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the United Nations Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres, and the whole world community for the outpouring of grief and condolences that we received on the passing of Kofi Annan.”

“We were deeply touched that so many world leaders and people took the trouble to come to Accra to bid him farewell.”

“Kofi Annan’s passionate and profound belief in the United Nations, and his certainty that a better organised and stronger UN would make the world a better place, is an ideal that should not be allowed to die,” he said.

By Times Reporter                                                      

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