President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described Ghana’s experience on the United Nations (UN) Security Council as sad and disappointing. This is because the big powers of the UN do not practice what they preach.
Ghana is currently serving the second out of its two year term on the Security Council as a non-permanent member.
Addressing the 78th UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, the President said, “This is the third time in the 66 years since we joined the UN, the first post-colonial African nation to do so, that we have had the privilege of serving on the council. “Mr Chairman, it has been a sad and disappointing experience for us.”
President Akufo-Addo said over the period, Ghana has witnessed at first hand, over and over again that the big powers of the UN might be preaching democracy, fairness and justice around the world, but are happy to practice the opposite at the UN.
He stated that the big powers have been prioritising parochial interests over those of humanity. “We cannot continue to preach democracy, equality and good governance around the globe; we cannot insist on peace and justice in the world, when our global organisation is seen by the majority of its members and the people of the world as hampered by an unjust and unfair structure,” he submitted.
The President said the General Assembly properly chose the rebuilding of trust as critical in restoring stability and prosperity to our world.
But, he added; “We cannot rebuild that trust when the organisation that should bind us is seen by many as helping to perpetuate an unfair world order, which is reinforced by an inequality, dysfunctional global architecture.”
Failure to reform
President Akufo-Addo said the credibility of the UN is being undermined by the failure to reform. “There is no doubt that the organisation has achieved a great deal in its 78 years of existence of which we can all be justifiably proud.”
“But it is also true that the reluctance of the nations, that were the major powers at the formation of the organisation, to agree to any reform to reflect present realities has led to the undermining of the credibility of the United Nations and some of its organs, in particular the Security Council,” he stated .
Illegal financial flows
Touching on illegal financial flows from Africa, he referred to the report of the panel chaired by the highly respected former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, on the illicit flow of funds from Africa, which states that Africa is losing, annually, more than eighty-eight billion United States dollars ($88 billion) through illicit financial outflows.
“Yes, those monies too must be returned to the continent. It is difficult to understand why the recipient countries are comfortable about retaining such funds, and are happy to call those countries from whom the monies are taken as corrupt,” President Akufo-Addo indicated.
He was of the belief that a joint taskforce of the African Union Commission and the OECD Secretariat, under the auspices of the UN, should be charged to find ways of stopping the damaging outflows.
On the matter of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the President stated that, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana, like many other parts of the world, were making progress with the 17 SDGs, and she had good reason to believe she would achieve the 2030 target.
“Today, the picture we have on our performance is not very bright. Most of the 21 targets designated for achievement by 2020 have not been met, and we are not on track to achieve many other targets by 2030,” he said.
Indeed, according to the 2023 SDG report, just 12% of the SDGs targets are on track to be achieved.