[Full Speech] Akufo-Addo address at United Nations Security Council High-Level Open Debate on maintenance pf International Peace and Security

Headlines Full Speech Akufo-Addo address at United Nations Security Council High-Level Open Debate on maintenance pf International Peace and Security
SEP 25, 2023 LISTEN


Mr. President,
I thank you for making me a part of this important meeting on how we can uphold better the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, with the unfortunate events in Ukraine serving as the backdrop.

I am grateful to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for making a compelling case of the shared benefits we derive as Member States when we choose to be peace-loving, as required by the Charter.

Mr. President, none of us here, in this Chamber, can claim not to be aware that our world is in a troubled place. The sharp differences in geopolitical competition among major powers, and the intense convergence of the crises in the world, particularly of conflicts, climate change, and unsustainable development, have undermined global trust and solidarity, and unraveled the common logic that has prevailed since 1945, which is, it is better to suffer the inadequacies of the multilateral system for the greater good, than to pursue the chaos of the unknown for national advantage.

In this context, and being mindful of the reality that neither geographic boundaries nor political ideologies have been able to isolate any State from the burden of the prevailing crises, Ghana continues to hope, in earnest, for an end to the war against Ukraine, and for the construction of a future marked by peaceful co-existence, mutual cooperation and brotherly relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Indeed, the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine is wrong, and we have said so on many platforms. The war has had an increasingly devastating toll on the people of Ukraine, and the rest of the world, particularly for those of us in Africa, and has challenged our shared values of international peace and security. The turnings of the war have constrained collective efforts in reinvigorating multilateralism, and impeded common approaches to confront effectively several complex challenges of our time.

For those of us in Ghana, however, the unfolding situation is not a lost cause. Whilst we are rightfully distressed by what is happening around us, we believe that, together, we can still mitigate the challenges of the unknown if we are prepared to co-operate for a careful managed process of the reform of global institutions, that would redistribute fairly responsibilities and authority to reflect the present realities of our world.

We also believe that history has a lesson to teach, and the painful lessons of the two previous world wars inspired the solemn commitments made by the founders of the United Nations to refrain from the use of force in their relations among States. That common understanding to replace force and might, with the rule of law, co-operation and the peaceful settlement of disputes, underpins the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and remains valid if we are to avoid a Hobbesian state of affairs in inter-State relations.

We must, thus, work together strongly to reverse the growing fragmentation of our world, and the elevation of nationalist ideologies and actions above commonly accepted rules. Violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, and attempts to normalize such violations or selectively apply the rules of international law and the Charter, would only undermine the promise of the past and the hope for future generations.

It is in this regard that Ghana continues to be a firm advocate for dialogue and diplomacy in resolving the Russian war against Ukraine. We do not do so because want a resolution of the dispute at any cost but, united in our belief with many others, we believe the only pathway for a comprehensive, peaceful and sustainable resolution of the dispute is one that must be just and based on the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

In taking a principled position on the conflict in Ukraine, Ghana has been concerned about the ramifications of the war on the global community and multilateralism. We, therefore, welcome the opportunity that the “New Agenda for Peace” provides, which is to reset our common understanding on how, among others, we relate with each other as States, can reinforce the preemptory norms of international law that have provided us stability for almost eight decades, and find new ways of addressing old challenges that continue to undermine States and the sovereignty of nations.

Mr. President, in support of the choices we need to make for a renewed and inclusive multilateralism, I would want to share three (3) key messages.

Firstly, many of the organs and institutions established by the Charter, such as for the Security Council, continue to be relevant, but the Council's composition and working methods need renewal through the completion of the long outstanding reforms. In support of the Common African Position on Security Council reforms, contained in the Ezulwini Consensus, Ghana urges a transformation of the dialogue among Member States to envisage an end point that delivers a Security Council that is representative, and which also addresses the historical injustice done the continent of Africa.

To overcome knotty discussions around the veto, we encourage the ongoing efforts to limit its use, and the subsequent placement of a moratorium on its use that would lead progressively to its removal over a reasonable period of time. We cannot continue to have a Security Council that is structurally limited from being effective, and yet demands universal acceptance for its decisions. As with many other things in life, with changes, we need to adapt, and, with authority, comes a responsibility that must be kept.

Secondly, the peace of the world is indivisible and integrated with all other global arrangements beyond our collective security. Our efforts at preventive diplomacy must be comprehensive and broad-based. We need to be aware that, for instance, inimical economic and financial policies have an enduring impact on peace, and that global policies and the structure and functioning of international institutions cannot remove the centrality of peace from their raison d'ètre. We must strengthen, in a comprehensive and integrated manner, our efforts in preventing the outbreak of violence or resurgence of new conflicts.

Thirdly and finally, multilateralism, at the global level, must be accompanied by effective regional partnerships – partnerships that help to anticipate better threats to our common humanity, which prioritize pacific means for resolving differences, and which cuts across regions to enhance its effectiveness when required. When we fail to leverage fully the potential of regional bodies, we can only have ourselves to blame when multilateral efforts at the global level are unable to deliver.

In ending, I call again for peace in Ukraine and emphasize, as my delegation has often done in this Council, that there is no alternative to winning the peace in Ukraine. We hope the Council can help this United Nations to assume an enhanced role in support of peace efforts around the world, but in particular in Ukraine, for the benefit of all peoples.

I thank you, Mr. President.
President Akufo-Addo