Ambassador Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has disclosed that the ascension by the late Mr Kofi Annan to the position of the Secretary General of the United Nations was a momentous occasion in his career.
He made this comment during a recent edition of the “Fireside Chat” Series hosted by the Institute of International Affairs Ghana (GhIIA.org).
The GhIIA Fireside Chat Series is a platform that provides key players in Ghana’s International Affairs landscape an opportunity to share their experiences and reflections on their storied careers with the members of the Institute and the public. The event was moderated by Mrs Apiorkor Ashong- Abbey of Citi FM, a member of the Institute.
Shedding light on his long illustrious career which spans four decades, across the fields of diplomacy, governance, banking and communication, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah revealed that the ascension of Mr Kofi Annan to the position of UN Secretary General was both a reflection of Ghana’s international heft and the thawing of relations between Ghana and the West at that time.
It could be recalled that Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah was Ghana’s ambassador to the United States during the Clinton administration, which put him in a pivotal position to influence the bilateral relations between the two nations during this important period of Ghanaian foreign policy. Key events during this time included the first-ever visit of a sitting President of the United States to Ghana as well as the history-making appointment of Kofi Annan as the Secretary-General of the UN.
Touching further on the relationship between Ghana and her international partners, he revealed that, in his opinion, Rawlings has had the greatest impact on Ghanaian international relations, bar Kwame Nkrumah.
He noted that “President Rawlings’ pragmatic political philosophy provided him with the strength to put the interest of the country above political ideology and alliances. Thus, in consideration of Ghana’s best economic interests, he swung Ghana towards the West, despite his reservations.’
He also observed that the good relationships that Ghana has maintained with the United States since then could be credited as one of the reasons for Ghana’s decades of democratic stability.
The event which was attended by members of the Institute and a virtual audience concluded with a question-and-answer session.
The next edition of the event is scheduled for December 2020.
The conference was organized by the KNOWLEDGE TEAM at the Ghiia.org. A recording of this can be viewed on the Institute’s platforms at GhIIA.org.
GhIIA.org is an Accra based, independent non-partisan think tank, with a core focus on Ghanaian and ECOWAS international relations. It analyses issues in core thematic areas including International Trade and Economics, Foreign Policy, Diplomatic Practice, Diaspora Affairs & Strategic Studies and International Law.