Ghana on Wednesday, lauded the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) effort in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration commended the UN system, in particular the WHO, for the leadership it had provided by coordinating global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister made the remarks in her address during the Forum of Small States’ (FOSS) High-Level to the virtual event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Signing of the UN Charter.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey reiterated the view of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the recent UN high-level event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.
She noted that at the event the President called for a new narrative and paradigm shift that reflects a more inclusive and sustainable path to recovery, one that was aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Madam Ayokor Botchwey said the international community was currently at an important crossroads in history.
She said the economic, social, and humanitarian crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic was a poignant reminder of the need for the UN Member States to agree on the defining elements of their shared sovereignty, collective security, global solidarity, and global concerns.
She said Ghana shared the view that this was the moment to energize and deepen international cooperation to ensure that we recover together and rebuild better.
“Indeed, theme adopted for the 75th Anniversary of the UN: “The Future we want, the UN we need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”, is both apt and timely, given the challenges confronting the multilateral system amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted economic and social activities and fractured global governance structures and systems,” she said.
“Remarkably, since the signing of the Charter, the UN has scored significant successes and has been instrumental in maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for international law, and in advancing socio-economic development for all.”
The Minister acknowledged the strength of the Organisation, in not only facilitating political independence of several countries in Africa in the late 1950s and 1960s but also rendering critical responses to various humanitarian crises, pandemics, and other global health needs.
“There is no gainsaying that the fundamental principles of the UN have stood the test of time and remain relevant in tacking contemporary global challenges,” she said.
“However, we remain challenged by existing and emerging threats, including complex and protracted conflicts, terrorism, cybersecurity threats, climate change, shrinking biodiversity, financing sustainable development, and bridging the digital divide”.
She said the 75th Anniversary of the UN should, therefore, be a time for sober reflection on the ability of our Organisation to provide solutions to these issues and to make it fit for this 21st Century.
She said Ghana readily welcomes issues raised by The Elders in their report and commends them for the wisdom and perspectives that they offer for global discourse.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey noted that indeed, Ghana appreciates the contributions of the Eminent Group, which was previously chaired by the seventh Secretary-General of the UN, the late Mr Kofi Annan.
“The future we want can only be realized if Member States demonstrate renewed support for the UN and move away from indifference and cynicism,” the Minister said.