Statement at Election of non-permanent members of the Security Council
Ambassador Harold Agyeman
Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations
New York City June 11, 2021
AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE ON THE 2020 REPORT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
Ghana thanks Estonia for the presentation of the 2020 Annual report of the United Nations Security Council. Ghana associates itself with the statement of Accountability Coherence and Transparency Group read by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Portugal as well as with the comments of previous speakers on the need for a more analytical and strategic report. We join previous speakers in thanking you for convening this very important debate on the 2020 annual report of the Security Council. The presentation of the report to the General Assembly for consideration, in accordance with article 24 (3) of the Charter demonstrates our collective commitment to maintain accountability for the decisions and actions of the Council and improve transparency in the important work that the Council carries out on behalf of all Member States.
My delegation is happy to note that despite the difficulties that were unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic by March 2020, the Council demonstrated adaptability in its working methods. We note that in total, for the year 2020, the Council held 81 in-person meetings, 269 video conferences, adopted 57 resolutions, and issued 13 presidential statements as well as 46 statements to the press. This compares favourably with the outcome of 2019.We therefore welcome the proactive measures that were taken by the Council to continue its work through remote participation in addressing global security challenges. The decision taken by the Council in resolution 2532 on 1st July 2020, for the immediate cessation of hostilities, in support of the Secretary-General’s call for global ceasefire to assist efforts in combating COVID-19 in vulnerable countries is commendable although its sanctity was broken on many occasions.
Ghana takes note of the breadth of the Council’s activities for 2020 which covered, among others the peace and security situation in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, some parts of Asia as well as several countries in Africa. We also welcome the work of the Council on thematic questions such as women and peace and security, civilians in armed conflicts and children in armed conflicts.
Regrettably, the files on Africa continue to take up a sizeable proportion of the Council’s agenda. Despite efforts to address the crises on the continent, challenges remain. The worsening situation of refugees and displaced persons during the pandemic as well as the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in some parts of West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin are of major concern. The recent attacks by unknown militants in the village of Solhan in Burkina Faso, leading to the killing of 160 people shows the fragility of the security situation in some countries on the continent and the need for further engagement in support of the fight against extremist and radicalised groups.
Ghana, therefore, welcomes the ongoing partnership between the Council and the African Union (AU) in addressing the crises on the continent and look forward to a deepening of the relationship with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union as was the case during the videoconference of September 2020. We note with appreciation the Council’s concern about the situation in the Sahel region and welcome its strong support for the ECOWAS mediation efforts in addressing the crises in the region. We, however, believe that there is scope to deepen engagement with regional arrangements through greater burden sharing in support of regional peace operations and missions.
As one of the top Troop- and Police- Contributing Country (TPCC), Ghana remains worried about the volatile operational environment under which the peacekeepers are deployed. We, therefore, welcome the Council’s adoption of resolution 2518 on 30th March 2020, which is believed to be the first of its kind on the safety and security of peacekeepers.
Additionally, we believe that the Council’s deliberations on integrating child protection into peace processes, inclusion of human rights components in peacekeeping mandates as well as its support for strengthening the collective efforts of stakeholders towards the meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping operations are relevant and appropriate, and should be encouraged. Ghana also calls on the Council to be more committed politically to strengthening the capacity of States, especially those of Africa, in countering terrorism and violent extremism. The current situation makes it imperative that unimpeded humanitarian access for displaced persons and refugees, in accordance with international humanitarian law should be supported as a matter of urgency.
In conclusion, let me thank all Member States for the very strong support for our candidature to the Security Council.
As Ghana looks forward to taking its seat on the Security Council on 1st January 2022, it is our fervent hope that we will be able to cooperate with all Member States and the entire UN body in “Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development”.
Finally, we congratulate Gabon, the United Arab Emirates, Albania and Brazil for their respective elections and look forward to working with them on the Council.
I thank you for your kind attention.