The United Nations (UN) has maintained its commitment to support China’s President Xi Jinping’s clarion call to the international community through the proposed Global Security Initiative (GSI), as a prerequisite for world peace, stability and development.
The UN call came at the right time, when the world is in the process of realising how quickly things can change, taking into account the new challenges which are erupting on a daily basis and their severity on broader geopolitics and economy which poses risk to global peace and development.
A fortnight ago, at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, President Xi spoke about, “Rising to challenges and building a bright future through cooperation” and dared the world to consider the urgent need for a new architecture to enhance the world’s governance systems to solve challenges facing humanity.
President Xi said the GSI is a global good and China’s contribution to the building of a shared future for the world, with its commitment centred on security as a precondition for development and upholding true multilateralism.
Speaking recently on The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe Edward Kallon reiterated the same proposition emphasising the need for renewed commitment to dialogue and global solutions as the only sustainable path for peace; and the crux of his message resonated fundamentally with the Global Security Initiative.
“Going forward, to transform this moment of crisis into a moment for multilateralism, there is an urgent need to renewed commitment to dialogue and global solutions as the only sustainable path for peace. The future hinges on international cooperation for the common good, and that global security depends on the norms set out in the UN Charter and the body of international law,” he said.
Such a resonating message coming from an international body like the UN is proof that Chinese solutions and wisdom are the antidote that the world needs to cure all the challenges that humanity is facing right now at the behest of a shifting global landscape.
“It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and work together to maintain world peace and security. Stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by different countries,” President Xi said.
This message from the UN would not have come at any other time than this, when countries especially in Africa are trying to reel out from the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted many economies on the continent.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict is another cause for concern, requiring a proactive response from regional organisations like SADC and the African Union (AU) to ensure that they proffer carefully coordinated conceptual guidelines to cushion African countries from international threats to peace and stability.
It is also important to note that the Russia-Ukraine war, added to an already burdened multilateral development system, which has been crippled by mounting humanitarian needs in new and ongoing crises situations bedevilling the world.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, economies of developing countries in African have been rattled.
The conflict has impacted negatively on food security, especially in East Africa where AID agencies have already warned that drought is gripping the region while food prices are soaring as is the case with Zimbabwe and other countries in Southern Africa.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic came as a rude awakening, which brought about valuable lessons to world countries and aroused the collective need of working together, as a united global front.
Multilateral arrangements and diplomacy
The UN Resident Coordinator for Zimbabwe said the human and economic cost of conflicts around the world required a collective approach from all stakeholders through tried and tested multilateral arrangements and diplomacy which he shared in four distinctive perspectives.
- The UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals must be at the core of conflict resolution and building peace. Development actors need to provide more support to national and regional (AU and SADC) prevention agendas through targeted, flexible and sustained engagement. Prevention agendas, in turn, should be integrated into development policies and efforts, because prevention is cost-effective, saves lives and safeguards development gains.
- Countries working to address inequalities and exclusion, making national and local institutions more inclusive, and ensuring that development strategies are risk-informed are central to preventing the fraying of the social fabric that could erupt into crisis.
- Acknowledging that the primary responsibility for preventive action rests with States, both through their national policy and their governance of the multilateral system. However, in today’s shifting global landscape, states are often one actor among many. States must work together and with other actors to keep their countries on a pathway to peace. We need to invest in peace by providing funding to existing structures to ensure real-time early warning and response structures and promote dialogue at all times.
- Fostering the participation of young people as well as of the organisations, movements and networks that represent them is crucial. There is the need for an intergenerational dialogue to institutionalise a paradigm shift from confrontational protests to constructive engagement. In this regard, the voices of the youth must be heard, and their aspirations, needs and goals met.
It has become evident that to avoid crisis of multilateralism and international development, there is a strong demand for international cooperation and by the same token, major policy shifts by regional and global bodies and the answer to that, lies in President Xi’s Global Security Initiative (GSI).