“Africa today carries the largest share of the international peace and security burden, which in fact should be a global responsibility”.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration made Ghana’s position clear addressing the ministerial session of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in the margins of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
The ministerial session was also to develop modalities for strengthening regional organizations in efforts to combat and manage terrorism, violent extremism, and radicalization on the continent in New York.
She called for the strengthening of the capacity of regional institutions for peace and security and continental integration and economic transformation.
She said unless there was a paradigm shift Africa shall continue to fall short in building inclusive and stable societies and preventing recruitment and radicalization.
Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs who is the chair of the AU Peace and Security Council for the month of September 2022 revealed that Africa had rolled out a few initiatives toward arming itself to stand against terrorism.
She mentioned them as the 2020-2024 ECOWAS Action Plan for the Eradication of Terrorism in West Africa, the Accra Initiative; the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique, the Multinational Joint Task Force and the G5 Sahel.
Madam Botchwey was intimidated that budgetary constraints had limited the ability of these regional organizations thus making the prospects of success in taking on the terrorist menace and at the same time recovering from economic shocks seem bleak.
According to her, the fragility of systems in Africa and the lack of resilience of economies have been underscored by the impacts of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and the worsening impacts of climate change.
She said Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have emerged as the key players in responding to the terrorism and violent extremism that threaten countries in Africa.
She also called for strengthening the capacities of these regional bodies, which is a reflection of renewed determination to silence the guns and achieve the “Africa We Want”.
Madam Botchwey emphasized that it is time to ensure that the United Nations, especially the development partners on the Security Council, respond with commitments and support that are consistent with ambitions and needed for peace and security, and sustainable development.