Promote Common Security Through Dialogue and Cooperation

Harold Adlai Agyeman

Mr. President,
At the outset, I would like to thank your delegation for organizing this important meeting to promote common security through dialogue and cooperation. We also thank the Secretary-General, H.E Antonio Guterres for the depth and clarity of his statement as well as Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, President of the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons for his insightful briefing. Seven decades after the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations, the world is increasingly witnessing strains to the structures of the global order not only because there are new and emerging global threats whose resolution lie in individual national actions but also because, distanced in time from the brutal images of the wars of the now distance past, countries are beginning to consider, ever more readily, the threat of and the use of force as an instrument for pursuing policies in the international arena.

For many smaller countries, however, while there is an awareness that the rulesbased order has not always been fair, the affirmation of the order is nonetheless firm as it remains a key necessity in holding the stability of the modern international system. Most of us are only too well aware of the acute risks of a Hobbesian imagery if the international system of governance we have built in the post-War era should be fragilely maintained.

As we therefore reflect over prevailing risks to the global system from threats such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the risks of nuclear conflict or its use by terrorists groups, terrorism, violent conflict, pandemics, climate change, cyber-attacks, disinformation, migration crises, and food and energy insecurity, we must be resolved to walk our respective commitments to the Charter as well as to the other commitments that we have made, including, more recently, in the 75th Anniversary Declaration.

Mr. President,
In considering how we can promote common security through dialogue and cooperation, Ghana seeks to share five main points. Firstly, as an overarching requirement, we must collectively work towards the strengthening of multilateralism in ways that makes it to serve the needs of all and not the wishes of the few that are powerful or influential. The dialogue required for sustaining multilateralism must therefore change and outcomes of decisions must reflect the common aspirations of all Member States and be based, among others, on principles such as solidarity. In our mind, a strong multilateral system that upholds fairness and justice remains necessary in pursuing the common goal of maintaining global peace and security.

Secondly, there have been far too many derogations in the obligation of some Member States, in relation to their own Declaration at the point of joining the United Nations, to accept the obligations of the Charter especially as it relates to the purposes and principles. When this has happened with more powerful States, the Organisation has been constrained from acting. We therefore believe that in the present circumstances it may be necessary to
initiate a consensual process for Member States to formally recommit to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, especially its key purpose, which is to ensure international peace and security, based on the pacific settlement of disputes, the non-use of force in international relations except under very limited and defined conditions, the development of friendly relations, and the pursuit of international cooperation in resolving international problems.

Thirdly, while the development of friendly relations among Member States was envisaged as one of the key tools in advancing a pacific world order, we are only too aware of past actions that have been carried out by some States that undermine the territorial integrity and political independence of other States. Such actions create mistrust and weaken the common security we all seek. It is important to recognize that while more powerful States may have extensive security concerns, those concerns cannot by any stretch be subordinated to the domestic interests of other States, no matter how small they may be. This is the requirement of the principle of sovereign equality of States and this is a principle necessary to be safeguarded in practice if we seek a more stable world. We therefore encourage deliberate diplomatic actions, consistent with the Diplomatic Convention, to build mutual trust, including by emphasizing dialogue in order to objectively assess the strategic intentions of countries, and obtain a clearer understanding of national policy objectives and strategies. This is critical for dealing with misjudgments, and avoiding unhealthy competition, especially among major powers.

Fourthly, in the midst of prevailing geopolitical rivalries, the elevated risks over the deliberate or accidental use of nuclear weapons are a strong concern that the nuclear-weapon States should cooperate to resolve. While, nuclear nonproliferation is an important agenda that we must continue to work on, whether on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East or elsewhere, the fundamental concern is that the idea of nuclear weapons itself is objectionable to humanity and we should therefore work assiduously towards achieving a nuclear -weaponfree world. This demand requires us to strengthen dialogue and cooperation so that successes such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which has helped to manage non-proliferation even though challenges remain and the 25 years
moratorium on nuclear testing can be built upon.

Finally, there are many situations of conflict, especially in parts of the African continent where small arms and light weapons in the hands of financed terrorist and violent extremist groups have in effect been wielded as weapons of mass destruction. Such security threats of our time, cannot be left only to regional and national actors to manage. The burden must be shared equitably and renewed efforts and investments made in interventions that would accelerate progress towards the realization of the 2030 sustainable development goals.

In concluding, Mr. President, Ghana believes that the common security that we are all yearning for is possible and can be achieved. We therefore look forward to further engagement on the Our Common Agenda report, particularly as it related to the New Agenda for Peace. While recognising the importance of regional arrangements in advancing our common security, we also underscore the crucial role of the UN in promoting dialogue and cooperation for our common
security and believe that the equal platform provided by the UN, enables States to develop common understandings on the application of international law and norms, rules and principles for responsible State behaviour. We need to guard it religiously.

I thank you for your attention