President Akufo-Addo faced a virtually empty hall at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday when he took his turn to address the 76th Session of the Assembly.
Even though a total of 102 leaders are in attendance at the Assembly, when the Ghanaian president took his turn at the isle, the people in attendance appeared to be less than 15. And videos footages indicate that the attendees were mostly made up of the President’s own entourage, with Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey cutting a forlorn, crestfallen picture in circulating videos.
Apart from what appeared to be members of the President’s entourage in the audience, officers of the General Assembly, including its President, Volkan Bozkır were in attendance, obviously as a matter of duty.
It is not clear as to why the General Assembly was empty when the Ghanaian leader took the podium, but already the rumor is that his peers did not think it was worth their while to spend time listening to Mr. Akufo-Addo.
Rather, they spent their time elsewhere attending meetings and pursuing other things more important to the interests of their countries.
Even so, the Ghanaian President delivered beautifully. His trademark cockney accent and smooth baritone carried beautifully as he addressed the empty chairs of the great hall of the General Assembly in New York when he made a case for an African bloc to be incorporated into the G20.
“Admitting the African Union to an expanded G21 would have the same galvanising effect within Africa that the EU’s participation in the G20 has within Europe, strengthening policy coordination and coherence across the 54 African economies,” he told the chairs.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “with the African Union at the table, the group suddenly would have representation for fifty-four (54) more countries, 1.3 billion more people, and $2.3 trillion more output. This extraordinary increase in representation will add just one seat to the table, and about ten minutes to the discussion.”
He said he was confident that the inclusion of Africa will redefine global policy coordination to enable a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world to emerge.
In the matter of Africa’s stance on climate change, he said “the fight is better-advanced if we are able to maintain the crucial balance between economic, political and environmental imperatives – positions that we will be articulating in Glasgow, at the COP 26 Conference, which should form part of the new Global Compact.”
President Akufo-Addo said the current structure of global economic cooperation, designed some 77 years ago, has proven inadequate to finance infrastructure and economic transformation in developing countries.