Ghana will push for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines at UN Security Council – Minister
Ghana will use her position at the United Nations Security Council to push for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for Africa, Ms Shirley Ayorko Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said on Monday.
She said it was a shame that Africa, with a population of 1.2 billion, had received less than 15 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, despite having financial resources to purchase them, while the advanced countries in Europe and the Americas were having access to inoculate their citizens.
She said Ghana would, therefore, push for Africa to have the intellectual rights to produce her own vaccines for inoculation of her citizens and to deal with future health pandemics.
Ms Botchwey said Ghana was chosen by the European Union during its recent meeting in Brussels to host the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing base in Africa while President Akufo-Addo had already constituted a team of experts to ensure the realisation of the agenda.
She announced this at the Minister’s media briefing in Accra on Monday, following Ghana’s election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Ghana was the endorsed candidate for ECOWAS to the UN Security Council and obtained 185 votes out of the 190 votes cast by the member states present.
The theme chosen for the two-year tenure at the Security Council, is: “Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development,” which reflects the vision of ECOWAS in ensuring peace and a resilient environment.
The Minister said Ghana’s tenure at the UN Council run from January 2022 to December 2023 and would bring her values, experiences and expertise to bear on the UN’s conversations towards ensuring global peace and development.
Ms Botchwey said Ghana would use her position at the Security Council to influence discussions on peace and security, especially on matters affecting Africa and find solutions to them.
Seventy per cent of issues on security at the UN Security Council related to Africa, therefore Ghana would strengthen and deepen cooperation and complementability with the UN and other regional bodies towards enhancing coordinated actions in resolving the security challenges, she said.
Additionally, it would strengthen burden sharing arrangements to mobilise financial support for Africa’s regional and continental peace and security initiatives, Ms Botchwey said.
It would also work tirelessly to address violent extremism, terrorism, malicious cyber activities and trafficking of arms towards ensuring sustainable peace and security in Africa, particularly in the Sahel and the West African sub-region.
Other important matters the nation would work towards addressing include climate change challenges, youth unemployment and women empowerment, Ms Botchwey said.
Ghana is ranked 10th globally as the United Nations’ Peacekeeping force, therefore she would work towards ensuring better welfare and effective peacekeeping operations for her soldiers on peacekeeping missions.