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Vice-President addresses UN Security Council; Calls for action on domestic inequalities

BY: Political Desk Report
 Vice-President Bawumia arrives at the UN headquaters for the Security Council meetings
Vice-President Bawumia arrives at the UN headquaters for the Security Council meetings

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has participated in a United Nations (UN) Security Council debate in New York, and called for action to prevent domestic inequalities that lead to urban migration and create fertile grounds for conflict.

“The issue of poverty, which is an important element in urbanisation, will need to be addressed. National initiatives will need to be supported to equalise access to economic opportunities in all parts of a country,” Dr Bawumia stated.

That, the Vice-President explained, would help manage the factors that drove migration, led to unplanned urbanisation and nurtured the environment for conflict.

Dr Bawumia was speaking on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a debate yesterday on: “War in cities: Protection of civilians in urban settings.”

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr Jonas Gare Støre, presided over the debate.

Ghana assumed a seat on the UN Security Council in January this year as a non-permanent member for a two-year term.

Bilateral discussions

Dr Bawumia also met with the UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, before travelling to Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America, to hold discussions with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Molly Phee, today.

They are expected to discuss the security situation in the Sahel, and political instability in West Africa whose regional body, ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo chairs.

Growing threat

During the debate, Dr Bawumia expressed concern about the threat posed to civilian populations by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Magreb, organisations whose activities have become a growing threat in the West Africa.

The roles played by civilians in such wars demonstrated the complex nature of modern warfare, the Vice-President pointed out.

Dr Bawumia said the world had witnessed what he called “the horrific effects of urban conflicts” in places such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen; but also much earlier in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire where the civil wars were fought in cities.

Vice-President Bawumia addressing the Security Council meeting of the UN

He said urban conflicts created opportunities for violent extremist groups to radicalise young people.

Background

Ghana is serving on the Security Council alongside two other African countries, namely Kenya and Gabon.

Kenya’s term elapses at the end of this year, having been elected a year earlier.

In November, Ghana will take over the Presidency of the Security Council on which it is serving for a fourth tenure since independence in 1957.

Among other concerns, Ghana wants to galvanise the council’s attention to address violent extremism in the Sahel and growing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.