Accra, Feb. 3, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor said on Friday that Ghana is determined to use its election to serve on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to influence the cause of global peace. "Government will use this position positively to promote peace and security not only in our part of the world but also globally". Ghana would also continue through the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, The African Union (AU) and the UN, to play an active and instrumental role in conflict prevention, conflict management and mediation efforts in the sub-region, Africa and the world, President Kufuor said, at a new year reception for Members of the Diplomatic Corps at the Castle Gardens, Osu.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Vice President, the Foreign Minister, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD, some Members of the Council of State and Traditional Rulers also attended.
He said in addition, the country remained committed to working to realize the Millennium Development Goals within the stipulated time frame.
"It is a daunting task but with resolve at home and the goodwill of our supporters, I believe these goals can be realized". President Kufuor raised concern about the need for fair and equitable international trade policies, which would allow developing countries to gain unimpeded access to global markets, a prerequisite for their healthy development.
He called for the establishment of genuine multilateralism and mutually beneficial international co-operation, which would act as the primary mechanisms for global governance and inter-dependence and said this must be pursued sincerely in international relations.
"This is the only way to establish the requisite political will without which the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will remain in doubt." President Kufuor suggested an accommodation within the WTO for a transitional period within which aid would be applied strategically to strengthen the competitiveness of the Third World countries so that they could meaningfully participate in a liberalized international market region.
This, he said should be seen as a necessary first step. Touching on Ghana's submission to be peer reviewed, he said, it provided the opportunity "for self-assessment, to establish and confirm that the policies, standards and practices that we have adopted will lead to the realization of our vision for the country, a vision of political stability, high economic growth and general improvement of the society on sustained basis.
Indeed, our avowed positions and principles gladly coincided with the continent's desired objectives of accelerated sub-regional and continental economic growth integration.
He said successful implementation of the outcome of the review would enable the country to blaze a trail for other African States to come to accept that the process was productive and worthy of emulation.
President Kufuor used the occasion to expressed Ghana's appreciation for the 100 percent multi-lateral and bi-lateral debt cancellation, saying this had made the economy better off. "It has increased the space for Government to work purposefully and systematically towards the desired objective of attaining middle income status within the next decade."
Mr Ibrahim Khalil Omar, Ambassador of the State of Palestine and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, said the decision by the country to submit to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) demonstrated the courage of President Kufuor's leadership and its commitment to open and democratic governance.
He called on all the political and social forces in the country to come together and to focus on the central issues of democratic governance and economic well being of the people.
Mr Omar said it was their hope that the international community would work closely together to ensure a safer and more prosperous world, free from hunger, diseases, oppression, racism and exploitation among others.
He expressed the desire of the diplomats to see that the bond of friendship between Ghana and their respective countries and organizations would continue to grow.