Government is committed to find solutions to illegal migration, to facilitate the safe return and re-integration into the society of Ghanaians caught in the migrant crisis in Europe and elsewhere, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Thus, government, apart from leveraging on Ghana’s relations with its European allies to find the solutions to minimise the impact of the phenomenon, is pushing to invest in the creation of sustainable livelihood in order to create opportunities that would decrease the cause for migration.
President Akufo-Addo said this on Wednesday at a joint press conference with the visiting Maltese President, Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, at the Flagstaff House in Accra, after a bilateral discussion among the ministerial teams.
Mrs Preca is on a three-day landmark official visit to Ghana, the first for a sitting Maltese leader south of the Sahara. She is accompanied by her husband, Edgar Preca, and a high-level business delegation from her country.
President Akufo-Addo disclosing the outcome of the discussions said his Maltese counterpart and her delegation made a commitment to champion the need for humane treatment of illegal migrants as well as the protection of their human rights in accordance with international law, both at home and on EU platforms.
He said Ghana had been included in the list of beneficiary countries of the EU’s Emergency Migration Fund that was designed to assist in the return and re-integration of citizens into the society.
The President said discussions highlighted the need to solidify cordial relations between the two countries, and the necessity of exploring other areas of co-operation, particularly driving investment in trade and tourism, for the mutual benefit of the people of Ghana and Malta.
“Our discussions centered on the improvement in the volumes of trade between Ghana and Malta, mutual support for candidates from our two countries vying for positions with international organisations, issues of migration, and the deepening of political consultations on matters of mutual interest to the two countries, among others,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that both countries shared similar aspirations and values and had collaborated effectively on a number of matters over the years, particularly at the meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
He disclosed that a major outcome of the meeting at the Presidency was “the reaffirmation of our commitment to collaborate further and provide mutual support at both bilateral and multilateral levels.”
As a result, President Preca and her team committed to give voice to Ghana’s cause and interests at the European Union, whilst Ghana pledged to also help to facilitate the provision of a platform for enhanced economic engagement between Malta and the member countries of ECOWAS to boost the trade volumes between the Mediterranean nation and the sub-region.
He said Ghana reiterated its commitment to the reforms of the global political order, but however made it clear that the inability of the United Nations to undertake the reforms of institutions that would reflect the realities of our times, and not the realities of the post-war world, represented a manifest injustice against the peoples of Africa.
“We, on this continent, are an integral part of the global order, and global institutions should reflect this fact. For a handful of states who emerged as the dominant powers in the world after the Second World War of the 20th century to continue, in the 21st century, to be the sole arbiters of international security remains, to us, is a structural deficit, which the world community should no longer tolerate,” he noted.
He said the Ghanaian team stressed the importance it attached to the process of UN Reform, especially of the UN Security Council, as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, and solicited the support of Malta for this position.
“It is time to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa. Her Excellency and her delegation shared this sentiment and expressed its desire to collaborate with Ghana to this end,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo said the two countries agreed to support candidates from their respective countries vying for positions in international organisations and indicated that Ghana had given support to Malta’s bid for membership of the Council of International Maritime Organisation elections, scheduled to take place this year.
President Preca, said her country had resolved to give voice to Ghana’s cause and interest at the EU and expressed her country’s commitment to support Ghana’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council from 2020 to 2021.
Malta has also pledged to support the candidature of Prof Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC).