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General News Sat, 24 Jun 2006

Ghana-Benin to convene Joint Commission for Co-operation

Accra, June 24, GNA - Ghana and Benin are to convene the eighth Session of their Joint Commission for Cooperation in Cotonou before the end of 2006 or latest by the beginning of 2007. This comes in the wake of renewed commitment by the Heads of State of the two countries, to collaborate in the effort to create conditions for accelerated development through joint projects in priority sectors like agriculture; tourism; energy; education; health; industry; trade and services.

Additionally, the two Leaders, President John Agyekum Kufuor and President Dr Yayi Boni, have expressed firm commitment to cooperate in the fight against organised crime.

These were contained in a joint Communiqu=E9 issued at the end of the two-day official State visit to Ghana by the Beninois President. It said both Heads of State re-affirmed their determination to ensure the resolution of conflicts and the consolidation of peace throughout the West African Sub-Region.

In this regard they expressed satisfaction with the progress being made with regard to the processes for identification and disarmament in Cote d'Ivoire, to help to restore durable peace and to facilitate the conduct of democratic elections in that country by the end of October, 2006.

The Communiqu=E9 said President Kufuor and President Boni also welcomed efforts at consolidating peace and democracy in Sierra Leone and Liberia and called on the International Community to mobilize more resources to support the process.

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They further called for an early resolution of the crisis in Guinea-Bissau; The Sudan; Somalia; the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It said the two, reiterated their unflinching support for the transformation and integration processes within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union as well as their commitment to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

Besides, they agreed to collaborate effectively to address the current challenges confronting the people of Africa such as poverty; illiteracy; disease; unemployment; corruption and HIV-AIDS and to endeavour to meet the targets of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They again re-affirmed their faith in the restructuring and the reform of the UN to ensure equity and fairness in the international system.

Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD and Mr Albert Agossou, Minister of State for African Integration and Beninois in the Diaspora, jointly signed the Communiqu=E9. 24 June 2006

Source: GNA
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