Shouldn’t Our Leaders Stop Attending UN General Assembly?

On September 17, World leaders gathered in New York City for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

This year’s theme is “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.

Among the topics tabled for discussion was the issue of climate change. On September 23, the Un organise a Climate Action Summit with plans to fast-forward action to implement the Paris Agreement.

During his speech the United Nations’ (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Gueterres, put it succinctly when he said, “nature does not negotiate”.

The focus of this editorial is not about the essence of the gathering and the topics, but its relevance and the place of our leaders, during the session.

Not only, is it the fact that the subjects African leaders, speak about when they have the opportunity to address the General Assembly, are not necessarily an African problem, but those who need to hear it are always absent, when they take the podium to deliver their address.

Every year our leaders spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with a large retinue of delegation to New York and come back with nothing to show

This newspaper is not oblivious of the fact that, Ghana is a member of the United Nations, in fact Ghana, has been blessed to produce the late secretary General, Kofi Annan.

On Wednesday, when president Akufo-Addo, took the stage to address the so-called world leaders, among other things, he underscored the need for a fairer trading attitude among developed and developing nations.

We used the words ‘so-called’ world leaders, because the leaders who matter as far as the issue he raised, concerning the promotion of fair trade, were absent.

The auditorium at the time of his address can best be described as empty.

Our Presidents are given less than ten minutes to address the assembly which has become a talk shop with no real action to what is discussed every year.

From the foregoing, it seems in our view that the General Assembly, ab initio, is always set up to fail as no decision taking is ever seen through to its logical conclusion, until they meet again another year, to take another decision.

The meeting of G7 produces more actionable outcomes than what comes out of the UN General Assembly.

If our leaders are not given equal and fair opportunity, is it not time, we reconsider our position among the comity of nations.


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