President John Dramani Mahama yesterday, addressed the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to consolidate its democratic leadership status in Africa.
He assured the highest world body that Ghana’s impending December 7 general elections would be conducted peacefully and fairly, to further entrench democracy, especially in West Africa.
“Ghana is a leading democracy in Africa, and I stand before the world today to declare that, just as we have done in the past, the processes before, during and after the election will mark a further consolidation of Ghana’s credentials as a leading world democracy,” he said.
President Mahama, who touched on a wide range of issues in his address, which is his fourth to UN the General Assembly, said Ghana also remained committed to supporting the development of democracy in other African countries.
Touching on economic development, he called for increased global partnership for financial resources, policy advice and technical assistance to facilitate sustainable economic growth in African countries.
Ghana, he said, continued to make strides in economic development, adding that the country would continue to partner other nations and institutions to achieve growth for the benefit of the citizens.
With regard to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), President Mahama informed the Assembly that “Ghana has begun work in earnest to implement the SDGs, and we are putting in place the necessary national structures to ensure that policies and measures taken in that regard fall in line with our 40-year development plan”.
The President, who is also the Co-Chair of the SDG Advocacy Group, urged all countries to institute measures towards the achievement of the SDGs.
On the work of the UN, especially the Security Council, which remains an important source of legitimacy for international peace and security, he said it was regrettable that Africa remained under-represented on the Council.
“Africa accounts for close to one-third of the UN membership, and nearly two-thirds of the work of the Council, Africa remains woefully under-represented in the permanent and non-permanent categories of the Council.
Eleven long years after the African Union adopted the “Ezulwini Consensus,” we are nowhere near achieving equitable reforms on the UN Security Council.
“This will continue to remain a scar on the conscience of this world body if not remedied as quickly as possible,” he stressed.
With regard to global politics, President Mahama encouraged the United States to fully restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
While commending the two countries on their improved relations, President Mahama believes the move by the two countries to resume bilateral relations was welcoming and the blockade on Cuba must be fully lifted before US President Barack Obama leaves office.
Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic relations which had been severed in 1961 during the Cold War on July 20, 2015.
The U.S. continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, which makes it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba.
By Edmund Mingle