Ghana has on the eve of 65th anniversary of the United Nations called for urgent reforms, especially on the composition of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
“Africa’s exclusion from the list of permanent members of the Security Council is an anomaly,” Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra after the official launch of activities to mark the anniversary.
He said Africa’s huge population, coupled with the fact that about 60 per cent of the issues discussed at the UN systems was about Africa, which qualified the continent to be represented on the Security Council. “It is therefore unjust and undemocratic for the continent to be excluded for the past 65 years. Ghana is, therefore, re-igniting the debate for urgent UN reforms to reflect the realities on the grounds,” Alhaji Mumuni said.
The UN Day launch was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Mr Chris Kpodo, Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, UN Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, as well as heads of UN agencies in Accra.
The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members – China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and 10 non-permanent members.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Speaking on the programme of activities to mark the day in Ghana, Alhaji Mumuni said the nation would herald the day with a commemorative military parade and flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House on Friday October 22.
It would also organise a series of radio and television talk shows as well as Model United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Sessions to highlight UN@ 65.
He said a special anniversary activity would be organised on Sunday October 24 to mark the day, which is on the general theme: “Ghana -United Nations Co-operation; Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 for a Better Ghana.”
Alhaji Mumuni explained that the annual event offered us the opportunity to reflect and deliberate on important issues affecting the international community and peoples around the world. He identified achievements of the MDG by 2015 as one of the main issues, which the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly held in September this year.
Alhaji Mumuni said “as a responsible member of the United Nations since 1957, Ghana has demonstrated her commitment to the organisation among other things”.
In the pursuit of this progressive agenda, Ghana hope to continue to enjoy the support of her development partners, particularly the UN, which had remained a reliable associate in the nation’s development and continue to serve as a very useful forum for deliberations on important global issues, he said.
The Foreign Minister emphasised the need for concerted efforts at all levels to strengthen co-operation with the UN and other development partners for a continued and enhanced support for the implementation of Ghana’s development agenda.
Speaking on the role of UN Systems in Ghana, Ms Sandhu-Rojon said the UN office in Ghana works with a variety of institutions in the country including universities, research institutions, non-governmental organisations and governmental institutions.
She stated that the UN system in Ghana, represented by 17 different agencies, is working essentially to improve the lot of the ordinary citizen including the Attorney General to increase justice and peace to poorer people.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon said the World Food Programme is playing an essential part in the school feeding programme.
In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw up the Charter of the United Nations.
The delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the then Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States, in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.
The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year. GNA