Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has reiterated West Africa’s commitment to democracy.
Speaking at a panel discussion at a Democratic Governance Conference in Turkey, dubbed: “The Antalya Diplomacy Forum”, Madam Botchwey said regardless of the socioeconomic conditions in any country, there was no justification for a coup d’etat.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum is a high-level meeting where ideas and views on diplomacy, policy and business are exchanged by policy makers, diplomats and academics in Antalya, Turkey.
The Forum on the theme: “Recoding Diplomacy,” presents an excellent platform for regional and global actors from the spheres of diplomacy, policy, and business to exchange ideas and address international challenges.
Among the over 2,000 participants attending the three-day Meeting are Heads of State and Governments, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-level representatives of the International Organizations.
Madam Botchwey said there was no justification to stage a coup, especially a coup by the military in any country, because the military had a clear-cut role; stating that there was no need for them to enter the space of governance.
“Nothing can justify a coup; whether it’s an economy that is failing, whether it’s bad governance, whether it’s corruption and so on and so forth,” she said.
“And so, I think that must be made clear to all. We have all, and I use the example of West Africa, the ECOWAS Region, signed on to democracy, and in our case to a supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance.”
Madam Botchwey said the 15 countries in West Africa and even as African countries were committed to democracy, and often go to the polls to speak their minds.
“And that is where we decide that government “a” or government “b” is not performing to our expectations and therefore, we must change that government, and that is what we have all agreed through our various constitutions,” the Minister said.
She said although the West Africa Region was saddled with numerous challenges such violent extremism, terrorism, a very youthful population in the whole of Africa of which over 60 per cent were under 35 and the issue of jobs, there was no justification for coup d’etats.