Speaking at the UNSC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, he emphasized the urgent need to combat terrorism and violent extremism, saying, “Our common humanity and existence depend on countering terrorism and violent extremism.”
President Akufo-Addo referred to the most recent report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by Da'esh, the 2022 Global Terrorism Index, and the 2022 report of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, all of which highlighted the increasing incidence of terrorism and violent extremism across Africa.
He condemned all acts of extremism and terrorism and urged the civilized world to do the same, stating that “Our common humanity and existence depend on it.”
The President lamented the steady transformation of Africa into a hotbed of violent extremism and terrorism, highlighting the need for partnerships at all levels, from the local to the regional and global. He emphasized that the effectiveness of the United Nations now depends on deeper and more robust cooperation with regional organizations.
He pointed out that the rise of violent extremism and terrorism underscores the need for a collective response, saying, “No country, regardless of its might, is immune from the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, nor can one country alone respond effectively to such threats.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that the partnership outlined in Chapter Eight of the United Nations Charter has always been an important factor in preserving international peace and security and reinforcing shared aspirations for global peace and security. He drew attention to the fact that African nations had decided to fill the void by addressing the limitations of UN peacekeeping efforts and national capacities in dealing with the menace of transnational terrorist threats.
He cited the Accra Initiative, which groups together Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Mali, and Burkina Faso, as one such self-help regional security and intelligence mechanism designed to assist in the fight against terrorism.
President Akufo-Addo emphasized that defeating terrorist organizations and armed groups should be the Council's primary focus when addressing the security challenges currently confronting Africa.
He called for bolstering cooperation and collaboration between the United Nations and continental and regional organizations, leveraging existing strengths to enhance the development of a preventative approach based on regional early warning mechanisms.
The President stressed the importance of partnerships with regional organizations based on mutual respect and not attempting to impose preferred approaches on unique regional circumstances. He pointed out that where this is forced through, it can only be detrimental to the work of regional organizations and the global effort to defeat terrorism.
He called for collaborative and decisive action in line with respective mandates to defeat terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, stating that “Our collective security demands that we find the will to act collaboratively and decisively.”
President Akufo-Addo emphasized the need to reinforce the capacity of regional organizations for early warning and conflict prevention, requiring enhanced cooperation in the areas of intelligence, logistics, capabilities, training, and deployment, as well as innovative financing arrangements.
He said that the highest impact projects on the continent with the quickest turnaround results for people's lives and sustainable development should be given priority.