Ghana: Ghana Stands for Sweeping Reforms in UN

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana remains firm in its advocacy for sweeping reforms in the United Nations (UN) to enable it to address the numerous challenges confronting the global community.

“We belong to the side that are advocating radical reforms, especially of the United Nations and, of course, of the global financial institutions so that they can, if you like, be more democratic and take into account the preoccupation of countries like our own,” he emphasised.

President Akufo-Addo said this when a delegation of professors and students from the Harvard Business School called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra on Wednesday.

He explained that the agreements and understandings that were created after the Second World War, leading to the creation of the UN, had largely been disrupted.

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In addition, he said the understanding that also came after the collapse of the Soviet Union had been displaced, leading to a number of uncertainties about how the global community was to proceed.

President Akufo-Addo said the need for the reforms to take place had become more imperative now than ever because in 1945, when the organisation was established in San Francisco, the entire countries of the African continent, apart from Ethiopia and Liberia, were under colonial rule and as such were not factored into the structure.

“That is my understanding but the rest of us were all under British, Portuguese, Spanish and French domination and rule, and were not there. Therefore, the organisation that was created wasn’t an organisation that was created with a place for us as it were,” he added.

The President noted that the current structure meant that the powers that dominated the organisation through the Security Council were victors of the war, adding, “China, UK, USA, Russia and France were the principal victors of the war and they are those who control virtually the UN framework.”

He said on the Security Council, these countries had veto, a situation which meant that large swathes of humanity were excluded from that level process of decision making.

“We’ve seen it in the last couple of years where the UN has proven to be impotent in dealing, for instance, with the crisis in Europe, in Ukraine, largely because the aggressor, the country that has been responsible for the disruption of the peace, itself is a member of the Security Council with a veto and prevents everybody from being able to bring up that matter,” he stated.

Similarly, he said there was the need for such reforms to be extended to international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Touching on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), he said it was one of the measures being adopted to address the economic challenges confronting the African continent.

He said with the market size of more than 1.3 billion Africans trading among themselves, it would not only spur growth, but also help address the challenge of unemployment, which had made it a catalyst for many African youth to embark on the perilous journey in search of greener pastures in the West.

The head of delegation, Professor Hakeem Belo-Osagie, said the visit formed part of courses mounted to enable students pursuing them to visit Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia as part of their experiential learning.