Statement by H.E. Osman Saleh General Debate of the UN General Assembly 77th Session 26 September 2022 New York
Honourable Heads of State and Government,
Allow me first to express our congratulations for your election as President of the 77th Session of the General Assembly. I also want to congratulate H.E. Abdulla Shahid for his successful stewardship of the Assembly during his “Presidency of Hope”, in the 76th Session.
The annual session of the UN General Assembly, held under the fitting theme – “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges” – is taking place at an exceedingly preoccupying time of profound, intertwined, and multiple crises of epic proportion. These calamities have adversely impacted all corners of our global village.
In the past two and half years, the COVID-19 pandemic had exacted a huge human toll in global terms. It also inculcated chronic economic difficulties and structural setbacks through domestic economic downturns and disruption of international supply chains.
And while this scourge persists, we are confronted these days with equally perilous fallouts of climate change and global warming, which are exacerbating the already precarious situation.
Furthermore, cyclical conflicts, which have assumed an exceptionally dangerous and almost apocalyptic dimensions with the war in Ukraine, have ratcheted up the impending crises to unprecedented levels.
The Covid-19 pandemic aside, the other interlocking variables and dimensions of the crises constitute the cumulative consequences and tell-tale symptoms of a tenuous and highly flawed global governance architecture. They are byproducts and manifestations of systemic failure of the unipolar world order that has prevailed for over thirty years.
In reality, the much vaunted “rules-based international order” represents a skewed set of duplicitous, asymmetric and non-consensual norms and regulations. The fact is, it was essentially designed to advance and safeguard the privileges of its principal architects; to the exclusion of the majority of other nations and peoples. Its rather monolithic and condescending ideological perspective gives no room and space to historical context, distinct realities and cultures, and above all, to independent policy choices of other sovereign peoples and nations.
Indeed, all other sovereign peoples and nations are expected to fully adhere and kowtow, both in their international relations and domestic policies, to the “Gold standards” stipulated in the flimsy “rules-based international order”.
In the final analysis, the costly wars of intervention, especially in Africa and the Middle East in the past thirty years; heavy-handed meddling in domestic affairs; imposition of illicit and unilateral sanctions; distortion and weaponization of human rights; in brief all the episodes of international and regional instability emanate from, and are direct derivatives of, the faulty global governance architecture.
The negative ramifications of this dysfunctional system are not confined to the sovereign nations and peoples of the Global South. Extreme and ludicrous inequalities where less than 1% of the population own 99% of national wealth; unbridled consumerism which has bred and continues to aggravate climate change; atomization of societies that have literally decimated social compassion and community-care by fostering exclusive and unnatural individualism; are dangerous trends that will ultimately undermine the social fabric and stability in individual countries and our global village at large.
My rather extensive perspectives on the flaws of the global governance structure do not stem solely from general and abstract desire of my government to seek timely and urgent remedies as underlined in the theme of this General Assembly. Eritrea has indeed borne the brunt of this unfair international order through illicit sanctions; the use of surrogate forces to create a situation of permanent conflict and instability; as well as; the weaponization of human rights to isolate and ostracize the young nation.
As we all agree, the gravity of the interlocking problems that our global village has to grapple with, is so immense warranting urgent and comprehensive remedial action. We are really living on borrowed time. The prevailing global governance architecture has lost legitimacy and corroded vital global equilibrium that is crucial for continuity and sustainability. In the event, it behooves us to rise up to the occasion; to summon the requisite political goodwill in order to rollback and rectify the dangerous trend. We must recognize that the resources, the technological knowhow at the disposal of humanity are more than what is required if we set our minds for an inclusive and compassionate world order.
In this respect and in our modest view:
- Our global village and the UN system must devise a new international order that is anchored on consensus with the full and equal participation of its constituencies;
- The sacrosanct principles of the equality of all Member States and the respect of the sovereignty and political independence of nations and peoples must be upheld;
- Equitable representation of all Member States in all decision- making international bodies must be guaranteed through viable and sustainable modalities and mechanisms;
- Selective and partial parameters that impede collective wellbeing and the fostering of a compassionate social system will require thorough review.
I thank you