Ghanaian News

Ghana supports calls for change in global financial system — Foreign Minister

Ghana is advocating strongly for a change to the structure of the international financial system to protect vulnerable nations.

Particularly, it is supporting a proposal by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley who is pushing for a global financial policy reform. Addressing a forum of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said Ghana was in support of the proposal because that was the way to go.

“Ghana is committed to the fight of the SIDS because it is right, it is necessary and because we have the moral duty to do so. “Ghana urges support for the 2022 Bridgetown Initiative for the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture,” Ms Botchwey told the gathering which included UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and leaders from all over the world.

Apart from addressing the gathering, Ms Botchwey also held bilateral meetings with some leaders and ministers from Mauritius, Maldives, Nauru, Tsonga, Tuvalu, Antigua and other countries.

There are 39 countries categorised under SIDS, with 18 associate members. They constitute one per cent of the global population but are at the receiving end of disproportionate battering by climate disasters and stark economic conditions due to their geographical remoteness, small populations, land size and their citizens’ dependence on the ocean for their livelihoods.

The Bridgetown Initiative suggests a desperate and widely acknowledged need for adequate funding for climate action, which would simultaneously close the large infrastructure gaps that plague low- and middle-income countries, to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

SIDS were recognised as a special case both for their environment and development at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil 32 years ago. The group also faces high import and export costs for goods and irregular international traffic volumes.

“Yet, they must rely on external markets for many goods due to the narrow resource base,” a UN office, dedicated to SIDS, Landlocked and Least Developing countries, explained on its website.

Ms Botchwey said aside from the vulnerabilities there was also the need to support the SIDS’ call because they had been most affected by climate change, emphasising that the success that advocacy would be the success of the entire world.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs further said Ghana supported the call for debt relief by creditor countries and increased concessional finance and investment in SIDS. She reminded her audience that a large number of SIDS was linked by blood with Africa, including, in particular, those in the Caribbean which had been categorised by the African Union (AU) as one of its six regions.

Ghana was heartened by the significant deepening of partnerships with the Caribbean, including through bilateral trade and investment agreements, technical cooperation and exchange of best practices and membership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Afreximbank, the Foreign Affairs minister said.

The key policy lesson from recent records of how the most vulnerable countries had performed is that “business as usual is no longer a viable option,” Ms Botchwey said.

“Continuing to apply the past models of development will not usher in the achievement of new outcomes. Building the economic resilience of developing countries and SIDS in particular is the imperative of our time.”

On behalf of Ghana, Ms Botchwey expressed condolences to the government and people of Papua New Guinea, following a landslide that killed and displaced thousands of people last month,

The Barbadian Prime Minister, Ms Mottley, in her remarks, supported Ms Botchwey’s address and stressed that “we must build a more responsive, fairer and more inclusive global financial system and we must do so with pace and with scope. Speed and scope are what is missing.”

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