19 December 2012

Ghana: Mahama Roots for Alan

President John Dramani Mahama has called on the leaders of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries to support the candidature of Mr. Alan Kyerematen for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), because he had what it takes to make him suitable for the job.

"Hon Kyeremanten has proven competence in trade matters, extensive diplomatic skills, and negotiation pedigree," President Mahama told the ACP leaders, who attended the 7th Summit of ACP heads of state and governments in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

In his opening statement at the meeting, as the out-going ACP Chairman, the President urged the ACP countries to "demonstrate solidarity by throwing your support and significant weight behind the sole African candidate, who has been endorsed by the African Union."

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Mahama, who also called on ACP countries to work together to resolve the crisis in Mali, also dwelt on the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on development cooperation between the EU and ACP states, and the effects of climate change, armed conflicts, natural disasters, soaring food and oil prices on the livelihood and collective welfare of millions of ACP citizens.

President Mahama stressed the need for the full commitment of the ACP states to peace and prosperity, the establishment of strong institutions, the rule of law, the protection of civil liberties, and free, fair and transparent elections.

Touching on the theme of the summit, President Mahama called on ACP states to take advantage of their strategic partnership of 79 states, to enhance south-south co-operation and co-operation with emerging economic powers such as the BRICS, as a means of reinventing the ACP Group to make it a viable international player in a rapidly changing world.

Successive speakers at the summit commended Ghana on its credible, transparent, free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections, which have contributed to the enhancement of democracy in Africa, and appealed to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its presidential candidate to put the supreme interest of Ghana above any other, in determining the path to chart in the post-election period.

President Mahama handed over the mantle of leadership of the ACP summit to President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. According to the statement, the summit concluded with the Sipopo Declaration, though it did not elaborate on it.

The President used the occasion to hold meetings on the side-lines with a number of ACP heads of state and governments, and representatives of the United Nations and the European Union. The delegation also interacted with the Ghanaian community to address their concerns.

Other heads of state who attended the summit included President Yayi Boni of Benin and also Chairman of the African Union, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony of Saint Lucia and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Henry Puna of Cook Islands and Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum, President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and President Paul Biya of Cameroun.

Non-heads of state included the Director-General of UNIDO, the EU Commissioner in charge of Development, and the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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