JOINT STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE A3 (GABON, GHANA, KENYA)
H.E. HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN,
AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
During the Security Council debate on UNOWAS
10th January 2022
Security Council Chamber
It is my honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 members of the Security Council namely, Kenya, Gabon, and my own country Ghana.
We join previous speakers in thanking Mr. Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the United Nations Office for West Africa, and the Sahel (UNOWAS) for his comprehensive briefing to the Council and welcome his continuing commitment to utilise the Good Offices of the Secretary General in helping to consolidate the peace and stability in West Africa and the Sahel region.
We also welcome the participation in this meeting of Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of the UNODC as well as Ms. Cécile Yougbaré, who spoke on behalf of the People's Coalition for the Sahel, and commend them for their unique perspectives.
While welcoming the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in West Africa and the Sahel, we would want to underscore the importance of preventive diplomacy in the mandate of UNOWAS and believe that an enhanced preventive diplomacy engagement in the region would help achieve even broader outcomes. In this context, we acknowledge the progress made since the last report to the Council in the consolidation of democracy in Cabo Verde and The Gambia, through the recent successful holding of their periodic general elections.
We nonetheless note the persisting political, security and humanitarian challenges in some parts of West Africa and the Sahel and welcome the conciliatory gestures by the Presidents of Benin and Côte d'Ivoire which contributed to lowering of political tensions in the two countries. We also welcome the ongoing dialogue in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo aimed at building consensus on political and security matters.
In considering the report of the Secretary-General before us, there are three issues of concern that the members of the A3 would want to highlight.
(a) The first issue that is of paramount concern is the rollback of the democratic values and constitutional culture of West Africa and the Sahel through the unconstitutional change of governments that first occurred in Mali, twice, and then in Guinea. The political situation in Mali and Guinea go contrary to the governance architecture of ECOWAS, as expressed in the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and constitutes a sources of division and instability in those two countries, with implications for the entire region. The prevailing situation does not reflect the political aspirations of the people in those two countries. Indeed, the people of West Africa and the Sahel, from their now distant history of coup d’états, have come to a clear conclusion that these unacceptable assaults on democratic governance have not served them well.