via ‘We’re done waiting for UN reform’ | The Herald April 25, 2015
AFRICA and Asia must look at alternative ways of getting their voices heard in global affairs in the wake of the continued obstinacy by global powers to accede to the developing world’s call for a reform of the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral agencies, President Mugabe has said.
Addressing the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference here yesterday, President Mugabe said Africa and Asia cannot continue waiting when the UN, which turns 70 this year, continues reflecting the geopolitics of 1945 in the 21st Century.
‘‘We have consistently clamoured for our rightful place at the table through a reform of the UN Security Council and the strengthening of the most representative body of the United Nations, the General Assembly.
‘‘Equally consistently, our demands have been resisted through all manner of subterfuge and procedural manoeuvrings.
“The UN is turning 70 this year. For how long shall we, or must we, wait for the fulfilment of our just demand for the democratisation of this institution?’’ President Mugabe asked.
The United Nations was formed on October 24, 1945 to promote international co-operation in the wake of the collapse of the League of Nations that had failed, on two occasions, to save the world from war.
The UN was thus created, soon after the end of the Second World War, with the lofty ideal of, among other things, striving ‘‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.’’
Because of this weakness in the UN, African and Asian leaders convened in Bandung 10 years later, 60 years ago, to deliberate on ways of making their voice matter on the international scene.
The result was the 10-point Bandung Declaration, whose core principles were political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs and equality of nations.
Africa’s position on the reform of the UN Security Council is enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus that wants at least two permanent seats, with veto power, and five non-permanent seats on the Security Council for Africa.
‘‘I believe time has come for us to revive the spirit of Bandung in order to more effectively push the agenda of the South on all fronts.
‘‘Time has also come to look at alternatives, to consider other options of securing our place in global affairs. We see evidence of this in the in the recent decisions taken, for instance, by the BRICS countries, three of whom are part of our gathering here, in establishing a development bank.
“Or the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank championed by China. These are examples of the manner we ought to forge ahead if the voice of the South is going to matter in the international arena,’’ President Mugabe said.
At the 2014 BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa expressed the need for reform in the Bretton Woods institutions.
They announced their impatience with the failed reform within the IMF, saying it was negatively impacting on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness.
They thus proposed the establishment of a BRICS Development Bank, given that they account for nearly $16 trillion in GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population.
Pursuant to this, the summit thus marked the establishment of a $100 billion dollar liquidity reserve and a $50 billion New Development Bank in Shanghai.
China also recently announced the formation of an infrastructure development lender that experts say would shake up the traditional American-led global financial order.
The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank will use initial capital of $50 billion — and eventually $100 billion — to invest in roads, cellphone towers, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects across Asia.
Many of the US allies announced they would be founding members, much to the chagrin of Washington.
In so doing the emerging economies of the BRICS moved to create a parallel international financial system that challenges the hegemony of the current Western-dominated system.