Allow me first to express my warmest congratulations to Your Excellency for your election as President of the current session of the UNGA.
I am indeed honoured to convey the following message of President Isaias Afwerki to this august assembly.
Seventy-eight years have elapsed since the historic establishment of the United Nations on 24 October 1945. This historic event occurred on the ashes and aftermath of the Second World War which had caused unprecedented loss of life and devastation to humanity.
Unfortunately, the poignant lessons drawn from this ferocious war did not usher in an era of enduring peace rooted on legality, justice, and sustainable equilibrium in global terms.
The Cold-War that lasted for the subsequent 45 years incubated a spiral of incessant conflicts and instability in many parts of the world with all its detrimental consequences to enduring and inclusive prosperity.
More ominously, the futile attempts to impose a uni-polar world order in the last thirty years or so, and in particular, the crises spawned in these times aimed at reviving defunct alliances and military blocs, are increasingly pushing our global community into the precipice of a much more perilous catastrophe.
Within this calamitous global reality, the African continent has been, and remains, marginalized; compelled, as it is, to shoulder the brunt of these destructive policies.
In this perspective, it must be recognized that the resistance movements unfolding in Africa – manifested in different variants – are expressions and continuation of the struggle against colonialism.
They are defiant reactions to “modern slavery”, unremitting plunder, and domination.
Another dimension that is often glossed over is the fact that “Al-Qaeda”; “Daesh”; “al-Shebaab”; as well as other offshoots and franchise terrorist groups, are criminal enterprises propped up and funded by the same forces of domination for political ends. They are ruthlessly instrumentalized to foment crises and provide plausible pretexts for military intervention.
I have dwelt, at some length, on the legacy of the acts of destabilization unleashed by the forces of hegemony because my country too has not been spared from its fall-outs within the overall global context.
I am not referring to the distant past, or the 1950s, in which Eritrea’s inalienable right to decolonization was sacrificed on the altar of geo-strategic interests of these powers. We must recognize that the sanctions imposed on Eritrea from 2009 until 2018 was another recent act of transgression and deceit which requires full redress and accountability.
Vigorous and persistent resistance – even if amorphous – by the peoples of the world have deterred the emergence and prevalence of the intended uni-polar world order for global domination and hegemony.
The vibrant trend – the invigorated resistances that are mushrooming in different parts of the world – indicate that we are on the cusp or threshold of a new reality; a historical crossroads that will augur a new world order.
Obviously, this will not transpire tomorrow.
Inexorable as it is, the path will not be easy or attainable in a short span of time. But there is no doubt whatsoever that the destiny will ultimately be reached.
The new, desired, global order will have to be accompanied and cemented by far-reaching structural changes in the global governance architecture as well as various international and regional organizations.
An avoidable pitfall in this indispensable collective effort would be a tendency for “cosmetic and nominal measures” that will only engender false hope and apathy on the peoples and countries of the world who seek and aspire for genuine changes for enduring peace, stability and prosperity.
In tandem with this, the United Nations will be impelled to undergo through the requisite structural changes and profound reforms.
The desired changes will hopefully be commensurate to the aspirations for justice and the rule of law; the respect for national independence and sovereignty; the advent of a new epoch of genuine partnership and shared prosperity.
As the principal international platform, the United Nations must indeed be elevated – in terms of structure and mandate – to a cherished umbrella organization that can fulfill its historic mandate with efficacy and potency.
In this perspective, the much-vaunted reform of the UN Security Council should not be perceived as nominal tampering that is merely limited to increasing the number and geographical representation of new members.
The architecture of veto power and other institutional distortions that incapacitate the UNSC from exercising its responsibilities on the basis of international law with impartiality and objectivity must be examined with the historical track-record as a guiding template.
As Your Excellencies will agree with me, political horse-trading and the misuse of UNSC membership to advance narrow national interests are not compatible with the solemn responsibility that they are entrusted with, and that are expressly stipulated in the UN Charter.
The criterion of membership should not be confined to, and determined by, mere political and economic clout; population size, etc.
Membership in the UNSC must reflect the wide spectrum of Member States in the UN.
In this spirit, we hope that the deliberations of the UNGA this year, and in the period ahead, will examine these and other associated complex parameters in all their dimensions and depth.
I thank you