Ghana and Norway have stressed their commitment to ensure a collective response to maritime security during their tenure on the UN Security Council.
The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, and the Foreign Affairs Minister of Norway, Ms Anniken Huitfieldt, expressed the commitment when they launched the “Stable Seas Report on the Cost of Piracy off the Gulf of Guinea” at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA, yesterday.
Mr Kan-Dapaah represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey.
In January next year, Ghana will take a seat on the United Nations Security Council for two years and use the tenure to galvanise multilateral attention and action, including resolutions and Presidential statements, to help address the insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
The launch of the report was co-sponsored by Ghana, Norway, Nigeria and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC).
“Piracy and robbery at sea are, indeed, a great threat to global security, and Ghana, as well as other countries in the Gulf of Guinea region, is no exception,” Mr Kan-Dapaah said.
The areas covered in the report include the direct and indirect costs suffered by states in the Gulf of Guinea region due to pirate attacks which hurt regional economies, including Ghana’s.
Mr Kan-Dapaah emphasised that fighting piracy formed part of Ghana’s priorities to advance sustainable development through enhanced global peace and security.
“The increase in the activities of piracy and robbery at sea in the region from 64 in 2011 to 106 in 2020 is very disturbing,” he said.
Out of 28 kidnappings at sea globally in 2020, 27 occurred off the Gulf of Guinea, the minister added.
On the margins of the launch, Mr Kan-Dapaah also held a bilateral meeting with Ms Huitfieldt to exchange ideas on additional areas of cooperation during Ghana’s tenure on the Security Council.
Norway, which has nearly completed the first of its two-year tenure, will serve its second year together with Ghana in 2022.
Mr Kan-Dapaah also highlighted other priority areas in which Ghana would seek cooperation and action.
They included insurgencies and violent extremism, the roles of women and the youth, climate change, peace and security in Africa, as well as effective mandates for peace support operations, he said.
Ms Huitfieldt, for her part, pledged Norway’s commitment to work closely with affected countries to address maritime insecurity and combat crime in the Gulf of Guinea.