Pre-emptive int’l support key to counter terrorism -Akufo-Addo tells UN

President Akufo-Addo has said that the structure and approach of international support in countering terrorism, including in the Sahel, has to be pre-emptive, rather than reactive.

As such, he believes there is the need, therefore, for the United Nation Security Council and the wider international community to address the underlying drivers of the instability.

This, he opined, should be done through the building of resilience in conflict-prone regions, including in the areas of promoting democratic values, development and state services.

President Akufo-Addo said this yesterday, when he chaired a high-level debate of the Security Council on “Counter-terrorism in Africa – An imperative for peace, security and development.”

His statement was one of three key points he shared for consideration by the Council.


The first of his key points was the need to leverage the role of the African Union (AU) in addressing the threats relating to terrorism in Africa.

He believed the AU and its regional economic commissions could help in raising a robust and resourced force to confront terrorists and other armed groups alongside other peace operation initiatives.

President Akufo-Addo welcomed the ongoing joint strategic assessment of the security, governance, and development issues of the Sahel, and encouraged the high-level panel, led by the former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, to leverage the best elements of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Accra Initiative and others, but urged “the Council to be supportive of such efforts.”


The second key point President Akufo-Addo shared was that the burden of confronting terrorism could not be borne by those in the region alone.

According to him, it required strong collaboration between the UN, the AU and ECOWASs to address the question of adequate, predictable and sustainable financing for regional-led operations.

He acknowledged that the AU has demonstrated its commitment and capacity to manage effectively such financing, and to comply with the required human rights standards in such operations.

“This Council and the wider international community must play their part, if there is a desire to have a continuing relevance,” he added.


The third point he spoke about was the structure and approach of international support to countering terrorism, including in the Sahel, which, he opined, has “to be pre-emptive, rather than reactive.”

He said that international support must be placed fully behind deliberate interventions to promote, inclusive governance, and the extension of effective state authority in several parts of the territories.

He further explained it was in order to meet the expectations of the largely youthful populations, which, in some instances, had fallen victim to the radicalised messages of extremists.

President Akufo-Addo was emphatic that the Council’s support for adequate, predictable and sustainable financing of African-led operations would be an important starting point if it was to continue to assume its responsibility as the primary actor for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“And, in concluding, I would strongly urge members of the Council to revisit the vexed issue of the reform of the United Nations system, especially of the Security Council, and to do so on the basis of the African Common Position on UN Reform, as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus, if, indeed, the authority of this Council which, in recent times, appears to have been devalued, because of its anachronistic structure, is to be restored.”


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