President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has issued a clarion call to Commonwealth parliaments, urging them to enact robust legislation aimed at curbing the illicit cross-border trade in weapons as a key strategy in the global fight against terrorism.
Speaking at a six-day conference hosted by Ghana’s Parliament and held under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), President Akufo-Addo passionately implored legislators to propose stringent sanctions against those found guilty of participating in the illegal arms trade. His remarks underscored the urgency of addressing this critical issue to safeguard global security.
“Combating terrorism requires a coordinated effort by all nations and stakeholders.
“Terrorism and violent extremism remain a phenomenon that threatens our very existence as individuals and collectively as nations,” the President told the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Accra yesterday.
The conference, which commenced last Sunday, encompasses a diverse range of topics encompassing security, human rights, environmental concerns, economic matters, gender equity, and other pressing cross-cutting issues. The event serves as a forum for lawmakers and decision-makers from across the Commonwealth to engage in constructive dialogue and exchange ideas.
It is being hosted by Ghana’s Parliament under the patronage of the Speaker, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, who doubles as the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). More than 500 parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and decision-makers from across the Commonwealth are participating.
The conference is on the theme: “The Commonwealth Charter 10 years on: Values and principles for parliaments to uphold.”
The President expressed worry at the unconstitutional changes in governments in parts of Africa, especially West Africa, through a series of coup d’etats and military interventions.
He said it was in the interest of democratic growth that “these developments are reversed as soon as possible.”
Further, the President called for maximum support for ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) in their efforts to restore democratic institutions to the affected countries of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Gabon.
“The Commonwealth should join ECOWAS and the AU in demanding the immediate and unconditional release from unjustifiable detention of the democratically elected President of Niger, Mohammed Bazoum.
“Democracy and stability, which generally accompany democratic governance, are essential for the future prosperity of the African continent,” he said.