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General News
2007 is a test of Ghana''s democratic diplomacy 3/25/2007
Accra, March 23, GNA-Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Friday observed that this year, 2007 would be a test of the strength of Ghana''s democratic diplomacy because of a number of Ghana''s involvement in African continental and global events.

He mentioned particularly Ghana''s hosting of the forthcoming Summit of the African Union to be held in Accra from 25th June to 3rd July 2007.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the observation in a statement on the floor of Parliament to give a background to the Summit, and a report on the President''s recent trip to United Kingdom, Portugal and Algiers. He said the main theme of the Summit would be the direction of the Union on the sort of governmental system to regulate its affairs and lead it to a greater unity of purpose.

The Accra Summit would also discuss the composition of the commission of the Union on who constitutes its executive arm and the African Peer Review Mechanism process, which would culminate in the peer review of Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa.

Other issues on the agenda of the Summit are the unresolved conflicts in Somalia, the Darfur Region of Sudan and the renew tension in Cote d''Ivoire.

"The killings in Darfur, which appeared to have escalated are a great blot on the conscience of Africa, which the continent cannot afford."

The Foreign Affairs Minister used the occasion to inform the nation of the Africa-Europe Summit scheduled for Lisbon in December under the joint sponsorship of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union (EU) and Ghana''s chairmanship of the African Union.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the Summit promises to seek to elaborate the basis of a new transformed relationship between Europe and Africa. "The President took the opportunity of his presence in Portugal to engage the Portuguese leadership on the need to develop and expand the bilateral relations between the two countries," the Minister said, underlining the mutual advantage in terms of cultural exchanges that would be heightened between the two countries.

Nana Akufo-Addo said President Kufuor also participated in the meeting of the AU Heads of State and governments implementation on the New Partnership of Africa''s Development (NEPAD).

The meeting finally completed the streamlining of the NEPAD Initiative into the structures of the AU.

He said one year had been given to achieve this and announced that a NEPAD Development Agency is to be created that would be responsible to the Heads of State and governments implementation committee to be chaired by Ethiopia Prime Minister, Meles Zinawe after President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria leaves the position in May, this year. The Foreign Affairs Minister also informed the House of Ghana''s participation in the G8 Summit in Germany in June, in whose wake a Turkey-Africa Summit, which would be led by President Kufuor would soon take place in Instanbul.

"Prior to the G8 Summit in June, the President would co-preside with German President Kohler, the German-African Partnership Forum to be held in Berlin in May. It will review the development initiated here in Accra in January, 2007," Nana Akufo-Addo said.

He praised Ghanaians for manifesting strongly a desire to build a new Ghana on the basis of democratic accountability and respect for human rights.

"Let us make our contribution to the flowering of a new African civilisation, where freedom, democracy and prosperity are its hallmarks," The Foreign Affairs Minister said.

The Minority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin in a contribution called for early preparations for the forthcoming Summit and avoid eleventh hour activities like that, which happened in the wake of Ghana''s 50th anniversary celebration, saying; "we have to start now to make sure our brothers and sisters enjoy the best of Ghanaian hospitality.

"We want to stabilize with the energy crisis and water supply," Mr Bagbin said.

Mr Kwabena Okerchiri, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs noted that there had been a paradigm shift of the AU where decisions that used to be within only the Executive circles have now been brought to the representative of the people in Parliament for discussion.


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