UN 75th Anniversary: Time For Sober Reflection

The United Nations (UN) 75th Anniversary is a time for introspection and sober reflection on the capacity of the Organisation to provide solutions to the challenges that the world face.

Mr Charles Owiredu, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said the UN had achieved remarkable successes in the 75 years of its existence but “there is the need for all Member States to recommit to the UN and to pursue measures to heal fractures that threaten the multilateral system and undermine our collective efforts towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Mr Owiredu said this on Monday at the official launch of the UN 75th Anniversary Celebration in Accra.

“We have the chance to re-energize and deepen international cooperation to ensure that our world recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and builds back better and stronger for the achievement of the “future we want”.

The event was on the theme: “Shaping the Future Together: Ghana and the United Nations,” and attended by Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana; Mr Dominic Nitiwul, a Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammad Habibu Tijani, a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; and members of the diplomatic community in Ghana.

Mr Owiredu said in line with her commitment to multilateralism, Ghana, since March 8, 1957, had consistently pursued balanced and principled positions on a wide range of issues on the agenda of the UN, guided by the principles and objectives of the UN Charter.

He said against that background, the chosen theme for this year’s UN Day celebration would define the parameters of the review of Ghana’s engagement with the UN, while charting a path towards the future they wanted.

The Deputy Minister said the world at the beginning of the year 2020 was feverishly preparing for a grand celebration of the 75th anniversary but unfortunately, those plans were derailed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving them all feeling unsafe and in a state of uncertainty.

“No nation on Earth has been spared the devastating effects of the pandemic, thereby underscoring the importance of cooperation among all States, irrespective of size, might or wealth, in the face of a common threat to our very existence,” he said.

Mr Owiredu said Ghana’s active involvement with the UN commenced from the period of decolonisation of the African Continent, during which Ghana used the UN as a platform to advocate freedom from colonialism and to formulate joint African positions.

He said 63 years thereon, the African Continent had transformed significantly and Ghana’s role in that regard was not lost on all.

Mr Owiredu said on the agenda of promoting international peace and security, Ghana had continued to provide critical support for the UN and other Regional peacekeeping operations in Africa and around the world.

He said Ghana’s role in that endeavour had been further enhanced by the sustained levels of troop contribution to peacekeeping operations and the distinction and excellence exhibited by compatriots, who served in various fields in pursuit of the goals of the organisation.

“On this important occasion, we pay glowing tribute to the late Mr Kofi Annan, who, during his tenure as the Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, contributed immeasurable to the shaping and pursuit of the global agenda for peace, security and development,” Mr Owiredu said.

“I also take this opportunity to pay homage to our uniformed men and women, who have and continue to exude Ghanaian excellence and discipline in fostering peace and security in conflict areas around the world.”

Mr Abani said he was proud of the progress made in Ghana and commended the country for its pioneering and other related work on the SDGs, which provided a springboard for further progress.

He noted that for instance, the Government had mainstreamed the SDGs into the national medium-term development plan, thereby providing a long-term vision of aspiration with an impetus for a sustainable and resilient future.