Ghana, Finland sign MOU to establish political consultations

Accra, June 15, GNA - Mr Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, H.

E Mr Pekka Haavisto to establish political consultations.

The MOU was signed at the end of the 2022 Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (NAFM) held in Helsinki, Finland to discuss the need to collaborate on a wide range of areas including circular economy, sustainable development, peace and security issues, climate issues, education (particularly TVET) and health.

A press statement issued by the Ministry said the highlight of the bilateral meeting between Ghana and Finland was the signing of a memorandum of understanding to help each other in the areas of circular economy, clean technology, agriculture, ICT, manufacturing, energy, digitization, education, health, among others.

The signing of the MOU was timely as it provided the framework for the two countries to engage in transparent dialogue and interaction and move relations between both countries forward in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.

The statement said Ghana held three bilateral meetings with Finland, Norway and Sweden to further deepen the cordial relations that exist between Ghana and the three respective countries.

Mr Sarpong led Ghana’s delegation to the 2022 Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (NAFM) held in Helsinki, Finland from 13th to 15th June 2022.

The Foreign Ministers’ meeting is an annual event that serves as an opportunity for an open and informal dialogue between African and Nordic countries on a variety of foreign policy and global issues related to peace and security, investment and trade and avenues for realising the potential of the youth.

The 2022 NAFM was held under three thematic areas namely peace and security, sustainable societies and cooperation in multilateral fora.

During the Forum, Ghana made several interventions on peace and security in the West African sub-region, maritime security and Ghana’s role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that in Africa, activities of Terrorist Armed Groups/Violent extremist Organizations (TAGs/VEOs) have become more widespread, frequent and deadly with their underlying dynamics growing increasingly complex and posing high risks to coastal countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

Mr Sarpong suggested the need to strengthen Early Warning Systems (EWS) by creating a system that constantly collects, monitors and analyses data that alerts decision-makers of the potential outbreak, escalation and resurgence of violent conflicts.

He said identifying Early Warning Systems alone were not enough to stop conflicts and it could only be useful if it was strongly linked to Early Response Mechanisms including preventive diplomacy, mediation and peace-making dialogues among others.

Mr Sarpong said the gap between Early Warning and Early Response was what has often escalated crisis situations into violent conflicts.