Include Africa in G20 - President advocates at UN General Assembly

BY: News Desk Report
Presidednt Akufo-Addo  speaking at the UN General Assembly yesterday
Presidednt Akufo-Addo speaking at the UN General Assembly yesterday

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advocated the inclusion of the African Union (AU) in the G20 to redefine global policy co-ordination.

He contended that adding Africa to make it G21 would ensure the emergence of a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

President Akufo-Addo made the call when he took his turn at the 76th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in the United States of America yesterday.

“Admitting the AU to an expanded G21 will have the same galvanising effect within Africa that the EU's participation in the G20 has within Europe, strengthening policy co-ordination and coherence across the 54 African economies,” he said.

G20

The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union. It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

It is composed of most of the world's largest economies and collectively accounts for around 90 per cent of gross world product.

Positive addition

President Akufo-Addo noted that with the AU at the table, the group suddenly would have representation for 54 more countries, 1.3 billion more people and $2.3 trillion more output.

He said that an extraordinary increase in representation would add just one seat to the table, and about 10 minutes to the discussion.

Climate change

The President reiterated the commitment of Africa to the fight against climate change and maintained that “the fight is better-advanced if we are able to maintain the crucial balance among economic, political and environmental imperatives”.

Those positions, he stated, would be articulated at the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which should form part of the new Global Compact.

Democracy

President Akufo-Addo reiterated Ghana’s resolve to continue to defend democracy and constitutional rule and uphold human rights.

He said Ghana “shall work to strengthen the institutions that support democracy in our country and in our region. We shall continue to support the United Nations and other international organisations to help remind us that, indeed, no man is an island, entire of itself”.

Mali and Guinea

On recent events in Mali and Guinea, the President said the developments had shown that not everybody had accepted democracy as the preferred mode of governance in West Africa.

“We must defend democracy, constitutional rule and human rights in the world. In the last 24 months, we have witnessed assaults on democracy around the world, sometimes in developed countries where we had assumed that a consensus on the democratic form of governance had been established,” he said.

He told the General Assembly that ECOWAS had given Guinea six months to return the country to democratic governance and requested the immediate release of President Alpha Conde.

“On my visit to Conakry last Friday, the military leaders indicated their willingness to see to the imminent release of President Conde, and it is our hope that they will keep to their word.”

“The authority has also made it clear to the military government in Bamako, the capital of Mali, that it is not prepared to negotiate an extension to the February deadline for the holding of democratic elections, as the essential steps to be taken can, with political will, be effected within the ECOWAS-sanctioned timetable,” the President said.

He said it was better that a government with a democratic mandate be in place as soon as possible to implement the reforms that were necessary for the future stability and growth of Mali and thereby enhance the all-important fight against terrorism in Mali.