The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI), Thomas Mbomba, has called on members of the Commonwealth to establish a new and effective strategy to address economic gaps and to maintain Commonwealth ideals in the face of rising populism.
He made this call on Tuesday during the flag-raising ceremony to commemorate Commonwealth Day, which also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Commonwealth Charter.
He stated, “As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Commonwealth Charter, which expresses the commitment of member states to the development of free and democratic societies and the promotion of peace and prosperity to improve the lives of our Commonwealth people, there is the need to develop a new and effective Commonwealth strategy to address economic gaps and maintain our Commonwealth ideals in the face of rising populism,”
He noted that Ghana was a committed and active member of the Commonwealth.
“Having joined the Organization as a young independent nation in 1957. The country’s firm belief in the Organization’s fundamental principles and shared values such as development, democracy and peace were a pull factor for joining what many at the time considered a club of former British Colonies. Our Commonwealth is undergoing profound transitions and changes, not just in leadership but in membership as well. We cherish the memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who played an important symbolic and unifying role in reinforcing the links by which the Commonwealth unites people across the globe“.
“In the same breath, we usher in a new dispensation with His Majesty King Charles III as the new Head of the Commonwealth. Undoubtedly, the leadership of His Majesty will witness renewed solidarity and cooperation that will bring peace, hope and prosperity to our people amid immense global challenges. We live in a modern and expanding Commonwealth, and I would like to extend a sincere and hearty welcome to our friends -Togo and Gabon -to the family. Our continuous expansion is a reflection of the value of Commonwealth membership and the strength of our association,” he stated.
He further disclosed that Ghana and other member countries reaffirmed their commitment to the Commonwealth’s values and agreed on actions and policies to improve the lives of all their citizens at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kigali in 2022.
“CHOGM is committed to working to deliver a common future by connecting, innovating, and transforming to facilitate a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, CHOGM is committed to responding to conflicts and crises in ways that increase resilience and progress in delivering a common future, underpinned by sustainability, peace and prosperity, to improve the lives of all the people of the Commonwealth,” he added.
Mbomba noted that this year’s celebration was timely because countries, particularly African countries, were still experiencing the adverse effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, the distant Russia-Ukraine war, slow economies, rising inflation and debt burdens, disruption of supply chains and rising commodity prices.
The theme: “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future,” is significant as it amplifies the need for urgent coordinated global action to recover from all present challenges and build a resilient and prosperous future for all,” he stressed.
To achieve a sustainable economy, he said, Ghana would continue to pursue its flagship programmes such as “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One-Village-One-Dam”, and “One-District-One-Factory”, designed to decentralize industrial development to ensure an even and spatial spread of development across all districts of the country as well as promote industrialization and rural development.
He also revealed that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme’s inception.
“The special designation of the Year of Youth stems from the declaration made at the Commonwealth Heads of Government 2022 meeting, to empower young people, stakeholders, and governments to accelerate the progress on youth-focused issues,” he stated.
Mr Mbomba urged Commonwealth members to reaffirm their commitment to forging a sustainable and peaceful future.
He stated, “Let us work together, in the spirit of cooperation to build a more resilient world against the future. And let us also celebrate the rich diversity of our Commonwealth, a community that is united in purpose and bound by shared values.”