President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Ghana’s full support on India’s well-deserved assumption of the G20 Presidency.
“Like others in this organisation, we, in Ghana are hopeful that India’s presidency will consciously help to provide solutions to the development imperatives of the Global South and the rest of the world,” Nana Akufo Addo stated over the weekend.
He was speaking at the virtual session of the Voice of The South Summit, a two-day event meant to discuss the future of partnership in view of the spiraling economic challenges which disproportionately affect countries of the Global South.
Held on the theme: “Way Forward For The Global South, Unity of Voice, Unity of Purposes” It had more than 120 heads of state and government participating in the event which was the initiative of the Prime Minister Modi and the Government of India.
President Akufo-Addo said there has never been a time where malevolent forces have combined in such a manner to bring hardships to the world, “We are indeed, operating in the most challenging and difficult of times. The interlocking challenges and the convergence of crises we face pose existential threats that require our immediate solidarity and collective action.”
One of such challenges we must address collectively, he said was the issue of climate change that undoubtedly has become the defining issue of our time, which threatens the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it brings in its wake significant consequences if no action was taken.
He continued: Every part of our world, today, is experiencing the drastic effects of climate change, such as severe precipitation and floods; prolonged droughts and heat waves are happening all over the world, both in the developed and developing worlds.
These manifestations of the change in weather patterns have serious security implications, which cannot be ignored stressing that “We have a sacred obligation to respond now and act decisively.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo said as part of a national strategy to deal with the menace of climate change, Ghana has developed 19 policy actions in 10 priority areas to realise “our nationally determined contribution goals in the next decade, to help curb climate related issues, as well as creating a pathway to development that is sustainable and resilient to climate change.”
Although, the world experienced remarkable progress in healthcare delivery in the last half of the 20th century, global health inequalities persist for instance, in some developing countries, several of which are in Africa, life expectancy is between 37 to 40 years, much lower than in most developed countries.
Also, maternal and infant mortality is high, and there is a lack of access to basic preventive and life-saving medicines, as well as high prevalence of neglected diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the entire world was in the grip of the largest food crisis in modern history where some 828 million people face hunger, and, since 2019, the number of people experiencing severe food insecurity has increased from 135 to 345 million.
The current structure of the UN Security Council represents a long-standing injustice toward the countries in the Global South, and the time has come to address it.
It is only through reform that the Security Council can be effective in addressing the challenges of our time. And it is only through its effectiveness at maintaining international peace and security that the Council can remain credible, legitimate and relevant.
BY NORMAN COOPER