By Hannah Dadzie
Ghana and BENELUX countries have pledged their commitment to work together at the multilateral level to address challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, migration, among others that confront the world.
This was reaffirmed when the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, BENELUX paid a working visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for bilateral discussions.
Ghana was praised for her unwavering support for the fight against all forms of global aggression and for continuously upholding multilateralism and international laws. Areas discussed included strengthening engagement and the Netherlands’ strategy for Africa, Regional Security, Russia and Ukraine, and migration.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, commended the delegation for the enduring partnership that exists between the parties, saying this has yielded positive results. She said Ghana will continue to work together to bring to fruition the huge potential and opportunities that exist between the countries.
“We acknowledged the long-standing relations between Ghana and the BENELUX countries and lauded the shared efforts to expand the spheres of cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral fronts.” Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated.
Speaking on trade, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the two sides acknowledged a large number of companies from the BENELUX countries doing business in Ghana and welcomed their contributions to strengthening the private sector in Ghana in job creation and to Ghana’s socio-economic development in general.
“We noted the African market of 1.3 billion people, and extended an invitation to businesses in the BENELUX to partner with their Ghanaian counterparts to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the AfCFTA,” She said.
The delegation from the three countries is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Kingdom of Netherlands, Wokpe Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, the Grand Duch of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, and Ambassador and Special Envoy for the Sahel of the Kingdom of Belgium, Bart De Groof. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Wokpe Hoekstra who led the delegation, described Ghana as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region and vocal in expressing her displeasure over global security issues, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He reiterated their commitment to build a stronger bond and deepen the relations that already exist between the countries.
“I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Ghana and his people for its unwavering support in the fight against this aggression and its commitment to upholding multilateralism and international law. I believe the partnership will help solve challenges we are facing,” Mr. Hoekstra commended.
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, also stressed the need for a diplomatic solution to bring an end to the Russia-Ukraine war. He pledged the EU’s support for Ukraine to be able to protect her territory, describing the war as a “fight against democracy, rule of law and values.
Ambassador and Special Envoy for the Sahel, the Kingdom of Belgium, Bart De Groof commended Ghana for the role it was playing in addressing regional security situations in the subregion.
Present at the discussion was Minister of National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, BENELUX Union is a political and economic partnership established on September 5, 1944, between three neighbouring countries – Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg with the aim of promoting cooperation and economic integration among the member states.