UN Security Council High Level Open Debate: Promote sustaining peace through common development


Ambassador Harold Agyeman
Permanent Representative
Ghana Permanent Missionto the United Nations
New York City November 20, 2023




Mr. President,
Let me thank China for organizing this important open debate and for, once again putting in the spotlight, during its presidency, the importance of common development and a holistic approach for sustainable peace, especially in conflict-affected countries. We thank Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his thoughtful statement and all the briefers for their unique and insightful
perspectives. As the founders of this universal Organisation rightfully envisaged, equal attention to the inter-related pillars of peace and security, development, and human rights is necessary to preserve succeeding generations from the scourge of war and maintain global stability. Without a commitment towards common development and its shared benefits, peace is imperiled and where human rights of a people are constrained by their own State and leaders, instability usually follows not too far in its train.


Across several parts of the world, today, we see a strong correlation between the lack of development and fragilities and conflict. Indeed, without the financial resources that equitable global development brings, many of such countries have little or no capacity to create resilience and contain the proximate factors and triggers of conflict. At the centre of this challenge of course is the ineffective State –States that for the most parts have also suffered greatly from previous decades of internationally imposed one-size-fits-all policies to roll back their role and service to their citizens and which continue to endure the practices of an unfair global financial and development system that limits their access to resources and constrains their capacity.


As President Nana Akufo-Addo stated at the 2023 Paris Peace Forum 10 days ago, inequalities have implications beyond economic development and for international peace to be sustained, each citizen must have an equal opportunity to develop their potential and contribute to global stability and prosperity. Deteriorating socio-economic conditions alienate any citizenry and can turn them against their government, and as we have also seen in many contexts, exclusion, marginalisation and ineffective governance creates State deficits that contribute to instability and conflicts.
We must therefore prioritise interventions to tackle the root causes and underlying drivers of conflicts and seize the opportunity of the Secretary-General’s policy brief on the New Agenda for Peace and the Pact for the Future to re-think our approach to conflict prevention, management and resolution. Embracing inclusive development as the fore-guard of the prevention agenda would be an important means for ensuring long term peace and prosperity for all.


Mr. President,
In response to the guiding questions raised by the concept note, Ghana will make the following additional points:
(a)First, multilateralism remains critical to serving our collective and individual national interests. Without multilateralism we risk the violent collision that seeking national advantage brings. However, multilateralism cannot be treated as a la carte – taking what one likes and ignoring or trampling on aspects that is disliked. We therefore strongly hold that the commitment of Member States to the full respect of the Charter of the United Nations remains pivotal to global stability. That is the predictable way, we believe, for enhancing trust and addressing the mutual concerns of all.


(b) Secondly, the dominating influence of the international financial architecture on the fortunes and capacity of States means that we are well past the time for a genuine reform of the international financial system. It is evident that the architecture is not fit for purpose and has thus far been incapable of addressing inequalities among countries and supporting the efforts of States to resolve inequalities within their nations. As we focus on reforms across the financial system, we also urge the IFIs and the MDBs to prioritize the provision of well-tailored and long-term support to vulnerable countries for macroeconomic stability, strengthened resilience, and sustainable and inclusive growth, in a manner that makes their debt stock sustainable.


(c)Thirdly, and in recognition of the contribution the sustainable development goals can make to global stability, we urge the timely and full implementation of the SDG stimulus package to correct the deterioration in progress that we are seeing across many countries at the moment. We also encourage national governments to ensure equitable distribution of national development, to address the specific concerns of the youth and women, to sustain State presence and the provision of essential services without discrimination, and to ensure the inclusive participation of all segments of society in the effort to sustain peace and guarantee security.


(d) Fourthly, urgent cross-pillar action by the United Nations, especially at the country and regional levels, is required to deepen the efforts to develop resilience and sustain peace. In this regard, it is necessary for Member States to consider carefully how we fund the UN development system and reflect further on how we can use the reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System to get the UN to truly act as one in support of the efforts of national governments to sustain peace and create inclusive prosperity.


(e)Lastly, the role of the Peacebuilding Commission and the synergy of its actions with those of the Council would continue to be important in building the peace, including within the context of
transitions in peacekeeping. We also see an advantage in networked multilateralism through the strengthening of partnerships with regional arrangements such as the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, like ECOWAS to detect at an early stage, warnings of conflict and mobilization of actions to prevent them.


Mr. President,
In concluding, it is our conviction that prevention and peacebuilding should be a key part of our shared commitment under the New Agenda for Peace. Sustaining peace and advancing economic
development is also a facilitator for global stability and peace. Listening closely to today’s debate, Ghana is convinced that the challenges that the lack of a common development pose for peace
and security are clearly understood. We must therefore generate the necessary global support and resources to make the most vulnerable nations resilient by translating our understanding of the challenges into a clear commitment with programmatic implications to address them.


I thank you for your attention.