SUNDAY PUNCH, November 13, 2005
Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, on Saturday called for a total ban on nuclear weapons, as a safeguard against global insecurity.
Kufuor, who was guest lecturer at the inauguration lecture of Course 14 of the National War College, Abuja insisted on the imperative of halting nuclear proliferations as a condition for world peace.
Speaking on the theme, "Global Security; Our shared Responsibility-An African Response", the Ghanaian President said, "the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction must be halted, and a total ban on Nuclear Weapons should be imposed on all states"
He also urged world leaders to focus on the elimination of hunger and poverty as an important guarantee of world peace and security.
He noted that absolute poverty and its attendant woes such as diseases, hunger and illiteracy must be eliminated from the face of the earth.
"Peace must be allowed to reign throughout the world, especially in Africa. We cannot expect to integrate fully and successfully our economies, if conflicts are allowed to have free reign. We must therefore, rededicate ourselves to peace within our individual countries and constantly work for peace. Let us always let the larger interest, which is the interest of our peoples, remain supreme and dictate our actions," he added.
He also insisted on the need for the reform of the United Nations so as to accommodate divergent views of its member states.
According to him, "The nations of the world are demanding reforms of the UN, to strengthen the General Assembly as the true embodiment of the will of the world community, to enable it exact accountability and justice from the Security Council as the executive wing of the organization"
He also canvassed the democratisation of the Security Council, "to reflect the major component parts of the globe, with its permanent members fairly distributed on this basis"
At the continental level, Kufuor said issues of regional insecurity was deeply rooted in age long structural and historical imbalances and animosity.
He, therefore, advocated an African leadership that was just and governments that were founded on equity, tolerance and inclusion.
"We should recognise that there could be no global security without global social justice. Governments and political leaders on the continent should ensure that our policies and actions do not exacerbate intolerance and exclusion of different groups of people, on the basis of religion, gender and ethnicity," he said.
He urged African governments to continue to promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights and participatory democracy as well as the promotion of economic freedom and development of human capital, as a foundation for secured world."
In his remarks, President Olusegun Obasanjo, represented by Minister of State for Defence, Dr Roland Oritsejafor, described the lack of common definition of terrorism in the UN, as a major impediment in the fight against terrorism.
He noted that one of the obstacles had been the inability of the UN membership to agree on a common definition of terrorism."
He agreed with Kufour that, "radical changes in the UN Security Council, is vital for global security, and Africa has a vital role to play in this respect."
On the proposed reform of the Security Council, President Obasanjo said the Africa Union has proposed enlargement of the UN organ to 26,with 6 additional permanent seats.