Statement at the 60th anniversary meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana
Belgrade, Serbia October 11, 2021
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, AT THE SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF THE 1961 BELGRADE SUMMIT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM), ON MONDAY, 11TH OCTOBER 2021, IN BELGRADE, SERBIA.
I am honoured by the opportunity to make these brief remarks at the 60th anniversary of the holding of the 1961 Belgrade Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The Ghanaian delegation is grateful to the President of the Republic of Serbia, His Excellency Aleksandar Vučić, and his government, for their warm reception and hospitality.
Since the days of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, one of the five (5) historic founding fathers of NAM, together with Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Ahmed Sukarno of Indonesia, Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt, and Josip Broz Tito of the then Yugoslavia, who launched the Movement in this famous city of Belgrade, sixty (60) years ago, Ghana has remained a faithful adherent of its principles, i.e. respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, non-interference in the domestic affairs of States, and non-aggression against States. We believe that the strength of this Movement is determined not just by its numbers, but, more significantly, by the attachment to the principles that founded it.
At the 1961 Summit, Kwame Nkrumah raised a matter that was topical and on the front burner at the time – the threat of nuclear weapons and the imperative to disarm. He said, and I quote “this Conference should call on the powers of the world to disarm. They must disarm to ensure that they are unable to strike against each other… if you want peace, stop preparing for war.”
Sixty (60) years later, the great powers have not disarmed, neither has the threat of nuclear war receded. They are still as powerful as they were then, and this has been highlighted by the COVID pandemic, and the unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism we are currently witnessing.
We are observers of global power play, and are subject to the benevolence of powerful countries, who give out their hoarded supplies at their own pace, not necessarily in tandem with our realities. The need for self-reliance today in the global south is as important as positive neutralism was in the era of the Cold War. The impact of the pandemic on our populations has been severe. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and be resolved to ensure that we are better prepared for future pandemics.
We must not miss the opportunity of this occasion to take far-reaching decisions for a more equitable and balanced world, based on the principle of the equality of sovereign States. We should continue to work towards the global objectives of peace, development and inter-dependence.
Let me, in conclusion, Chairperson, reiterate Ghana’s firm conviction that the Non-Aligned Movement is as relevant in this 21st century as it was in the 20th century, in protecting the interests of the developing world. There will be challenges but, working hand-in-hand, we can move ahead together, and, indeed, much further, more so, when, through our co-operation and solidarity, we achieve the restructuring of the global financial system to facilitate the rapid development of our economies. The next sixty (60) years of our Movement must mark its empowerment to meet the wishes and aspirations of our peoples for development, dignity and diversity.
I thank you for your attention.