Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, concluded today a three-day working visit to Accra, Ghana.

During his visit, Mr. Simão was received by His Excellency, Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, with whom he discussed various issues pertaining to peace and security in the sub-region, including the continuous threats of terrorism and maritime security, and ways to strengthen partnership between the UN and the government and people of Ghana. The Special Representative commended Ghana’s leadership role in the advancement of security in the sub-region through continuous commitment to the Accra Initiative. Mr. Simão, additionally, met with the Special Adviser to the President on the Accra Initiative, Major General (Rtd) Francis Adu-Amanfoh, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and the United Nations country team.

Mr. Simao also participated, on 28 February, in the third edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum (KAPS Forum), a high-level event under the theme “Migration and Societal Resilience in a Multipolar World Order: Addressing Conflicts and Building Peace in Africa”.

Speaking at the KAPS Forum, the Special Representative expressed his concern “for the young women and men who live in transborder areas across the Sahelian states of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger and the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea, and who are more and more confronted with the dilemma of choosing between living a life exposed to danger or eventually migrate under extreme duress not to carry the burden of one day joining ranks of terrorist groups roaming those areas.” Mr. Simao highlighted the centrality of partnerships to address the challenges that undermine progress on peace, security, and sustainable development, and reaffirmed UNOWAS commitment to further engage with national partners and with regional and sub-regional organizations, including the African Union and ECOWAS, the Accra Initiative, among others.

The Special Representative, further emphasized that a renewed commitment to good governance, respect for the rule of law and stronger partnerships between States, their citizens, and regional organizations, is necessary to achieve security and development in the region and beyond in the continent. “This renewed collective commitment will greatly assist us to successfully manage migrations and build up resilience in our societies,” he stated.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

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