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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05ACCRA1282 2005-06-30 18:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Accra
Cable title:  

GHANA: VIEWS ON UN REFORM AND G-8 DEBT

Tags:   AORC ECON EFIN GH KUNR PGOV PREL 
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FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8823
INFO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC 0445
MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
					UNCLAS  ACCRA 001282 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC ECON EFIN GH KUNR PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: GHANA: VIEWS ON UN REFORM AND G-8 DEBT

REF: A. STATE 111657

B. STATE 111637

C. STATE 114051

D. STATE 115596



1. Summary: The Ambassador met Ghanaian Foreign Minister
Nana Akufo-Addo on June 28 to deliver demarches on UN
reforms. Akufo-Addo said Ghana supports most of the USG
priorities in UN reform, including creation of a Democracy
Fund, reform of the UN Human Rights Commission, the creation
of a Peacebuilding Commission, budgetary/management reform,
and the Convention on Terrorism. He expects a coordinated
African initiative on UNSC reform. Ghana understands our
views on ODA and development, he said. He had expounded on
the GOG's view of G-8 debt/aid issues in a meeting with G-8
Ambassadors on the previous day, June 27, arguing that debt
relief should be extended to all African countries and all
aid should be channeled through multilateral institutions.
End summary.



2. On June 28, the Ambassador met with Ghanaian Foreign
Minister Nana Akufo-Addo to deliver demarche on USG
priorities for UN reform and to review the USG position on
debt prior to the G-8 meeting. (Note: This demarche was not
delivered earlier because of the Ambassador's absence from
post. End note.) Ambassador orally presented and solicited
feedback on the talking points from reftels A-C, and provided
a copy of detailed background points on the G-8 Finance
Ministers' Agreement on 100 Percent Multilateral Debt Relief,
explaining that this had USG support (ref D).



--------------------------


The UN Demarche


--------------------------





3. Akufo-Addo had the following response to the UN reform
points:

Overall comment: The Minister expressed his appreciation for
our articulation of the U.S. views. Ghana has significant
common ground with the USG on the issue of UN reform. The
time has come for serious reforms. There should be
significant progress in September, "not more delay and
discussion". This is not only Ghana's view, but reflects a
wider African consensus. The UN has served its purpose well
in the past but "we need to look forward".

Development: The GOG understands the USG position on ODA and
our emphasis on mobilizing domestic resources through trade
and investment.

Support for Democracy Initiatives and the Democracy Fund:
The GOG welcomes the Democracy Fund as a good idea.

Budget, Management and Administrative Reform: There is broad
support for the need to reform the management of the UN. The
GOG supports this effort to "tighten up" management.

Creation of a Human Rights Council: The GOG clearly accepts
the need to reform the Human Rights Commission and supports
the Secretary General's idea of a Human Rights Council. The
GOG does not support universal membership and endorses
representative membership from responsible countries. (In
addition, in a June 20 meeting, MFA Supervising Director for
Legal and Multilateral Affairs Nana Bemi Kumi told PolChief
that Ghana would have no problem changing the name of the
Commission to a Council and that the GOG would be consulting
other African governments about Human Rights Commission
reform, including at the African Union meeting in Libya.)

Creation of a Peacebuilding Commission: The GOG is "keen on"
this idea and recognizes there are issues to be worked out
regarding the correct mandate of the Commission and its
location.

Adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism: There
is broad support for this convention. The debate about
defining terrorism cannot continue. He hopes there will be
broad support in September to move this convention forward.

UNSC Reform: The USG needs to be clearer about how it will
respond to competing demands for Security Council
representation. He said the GOG and others are all waiting
for the U.S. to make its decision (or articulate its views).
The GOG is aware of the USG's support for a Japanese UNSC
seat and our support for the concept of expansion. A
coordinated African initiative on this issue has strong
support and is likely to move forward.



--------------------------


G-8 Issues



--------------------------





4. The demarche followed a meeting on June 27, in which the
Foreign Minister convoked the Ambassador, her G-8 colleagues,
and representatives of many African countries invited to the
G-8 to the Foreign Ministry to discuss the G-8 agenda.



5. Akufo-Addo said Gleneagles was the most important G-8
meeting for African nations in history, calling it a
"watershed". He expressed gratitude for the debt relief
decision which was reaffirmed in the recent meetings in
Washington between Presidents Bush and Kufuor. It is seen as
a significant gesture from rich to poor nations, giving
nations a chance to begin again without the burdens of the
past. He appreciated Ghana's inclusion as one of 18 eligible
HIPC countries.



6. However, he argued that Ghana and the other African reps
believe that this debt forgiveness should be continent-wide,
not just for the 18 HIPC nations, and he said President
Kufuor had made this point to President Bush. Akufo-Addo
raised the concern that the debt relief announcement did not
make clear the cutoff date. African countries prefer it to
take effect as of the time of the announcement in May, and
will seek this at Gleneagles.



7. Akufo-Addo understood that future assistance from G-8
countries would depend on good governance and said African
countries accept their responsibility on governance issues,
citing recent events in South Africa and Nigeria. He praised
the International Finance Fund as innovative and encouraging.
While he welcomed debt relief, there was also a a need for
additional resources, saying this will be a priority for
African countries at Gleneagles. President Kufuor made it
clear in Washington and in Abuja at the NEPAD meeting that
whatever assistance is forthcoming should be centralized and
administered by multilateral institutions. According to the
Foreign Minister, Kufuor told President Bush in Washington
that the 0.7 percent ODA target for the developed world
should be honored immediately -- not in 10 years time.
Developing countries need this assistance now and will
hopefully be more independent in ten years, he stressed.



8. Akufo-Addo's remarks in the G-8 meeting mirrored comments
made by President Kufuor on June 16 upon his return from
Washington. Kufuor used an airport press conference to note
that he had asked President Bush for debt relief for every
African country, handled through the World Bank and IMF to
"de-politicize the process". He said that in his meeting
with Secretary Rice he had asked for increased assistance to
Ghana, and that the Secretary had told him to "keep up the
good work."
YATES


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