Ghana voted against Russia on principle — President
Ghana’s vote at the United Nations (UN) against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is in consonance with its long-standing principled stand against hegemonic tendencies of big countries that believe they can do whatever pleases them, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated.
Coming on the first anniversary since Russia invaded Ukraine of the latter’s attempt to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the President explained that Ghana as a founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement had consistently “resisted the idea that the big powers have the freedom to do what they like on this planet. We have never accepted that principle, whether it is the Americans, Russians, Germans, the French or whatever.”
President Akufo-Addo stated this when the German Ministers of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Labour and Social Affairs, Huberus Heil, as well as the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House last Monday.
Also at the meeting were the Ministers of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, and Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu.
“This is something I need to put on record,” President Akufo-Addo stated, and added that the country’s history had been against great power domination of the affairs of the world and that was the reason why Ghana led the fight for independence in Africa.
He explained that it was the same principle that made the country vote against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “and it is a position we will continue to hold. Great powers trampling on small nations is not something that we welcome. Within our modest means we will register our disapproval of that”.
President Akufo-Addo said there might be other considerations for Germany, Europeans and other countries “but these are the considerations that are of significance to us”.
The President also indicated that the country held the position that the planet existed for all people, the big powers as well as the small, and that hegemonic tendencies and roles of the world should be curbed as much as possible and it was a principle to do with the country’s history.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the hope that the war in Ukraine was going to end soon because it has had a pernicious impact on the country’s economy and many aspects of its national life.
President Akufo-Addo described Germany as a country that had become closer with Ghana and that it was a relationship that was built on concrete measures.
He said migration would continue for some time until countries got their house in order, especially how well African countries were governed and created opportunities for the young were critical for the young people to stay at home.
The President added that it was for that reason that his administration since its inception in 2017 had come up with policies and programmes geared towards providing education and skills training for the youth as well as creating a flourishing economy.
The German Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Huberus Heil, commended President Akufo-Addo for leading the country to stand on the right side of history when the country voted against
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He described it as a very important statement.
That, he explained, put Ghana on the side of the countries that believed and supported the Rule of Law and the fight for the respect of internal law.
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the invasion which was adopted on March 2, 2022.
It deplored Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demanded a full withdrawal of Russian forces and a reversal of its decision to recognise the self-declared People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The resolution was sponsored by 96 countries, and passed with 141 voting in favour, including Ghana, with five against, and 35 abstentions.
The invasion has caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and instigated Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II.
About eight million Ukrainians were displaced within their country by June last year, and more than eight million have fled the country as of this month.
The invasion began on the morning of February 24, 2022 upon Russian president Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "special military operation" seeking the "demilitarisation" and "denazification" of Ukraine.
The invasion has been met with widespread international condemnation. The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to suspend military operations and the Council of Europe expelled Russia.
Many countries imposed sanctions on Russia, and on its ally Belarus, and provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.