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16.07.2004 General News

Nana Akufo-Addo briefs House on AU

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Accra, July 16, GNA - Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Friday said it was distressing that although Ghana enjoyed a high profile position in continental affairs, it was yet to ratify several African Union (AU) legal instruments, including important documents such as the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

"I certainly need the urgent assistance of this august House in rectifying this anomaly," he told Parliament when briefing the house in a statement he made on the just ended AU meeting in Addis Ababa held from July 6 to 8 and attended by President Kufuor.

Nana Akufo-Addo said "In a relatively short time, I expect to have all these instruments, which will be the subject of an omnibus memorandum to cabinet, laid before your good selves for ratification, to save ourselves the embarrassment that comes with being one of the last high profile countries to do so."

He said Ghana's delegation was able to utilise the medium of the summit to inform other countries of the hosting by Ghana in February 2005, the next African Region Preparatory Meeting for the Second World Summit on the Information Society, scheduled for Tunisia in November 2005.

The Minister said during the AU meeting the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, which met on the fringes of the meeting, expressed worry over inadequate funding for the disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and re-integration programme in Liberia, which threatened to "roll back the gains made."

On Cote d'Ivoire, Nana Akufo-Addo said all parties were called upon to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the current impasse." The Foreign Minister informed the House that the Organisation of African First Ladies Against AIDS had re-elected Mrs. Theresa Kufuor, the First Lady, as Vice President of the organisation to represent the western region of the continent.