The Guardian • Issue #2073

Crucial role of UN

US imperialism.

Photo: 'School begins' by Dalrymple – loc.gov

The main threat to peace comes from a raging US imperialism, which has made clear in words and actions that it has no need for a United Nations. Either the UN, and that means in the first place the big powers with the right of veto, stand against the US juggernaut and threat of endless war and do so now, or they capitulate and not only destroy their own credibility but also that of the UN.

The people on the streets around the world are showing their commitment and courage and do not hesitate to say NO to government austerity programs, and “No War” to governments that want war. They are entitled to expect that governments that assert their commitment to the UN, will join them in that call.

When fascism was on the rampage in Europe in the 1930s and ’40s, and seemed to be all powerful, the Soviet Union did not hesitate to denounce fascism. It helped to rally the people of the world against the threat of war even though it was still militarily weaker than the Nazi war machine.

It was its political strength that enabled it to overcome huge difficulties and eventually forge international collective security against fascism and defeat the Nazi menace.

The menace to the whole world today comes from the United States. There is an urgent need for the UN to bring the collective of nations against war together with the ability to give a strong voice of support to the movements and demonstrations on the streets.

REPARATIONS

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo told last month’s UN General Assembly meeting that it is time for African nations to be paid reparations for the historical injustices caused by the transatlantic slave trade.

He said that for centuries the developed world has been unwilling the confront its role in the inhuman enslavement of Africans. Speaking to the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Akufo-Addo emphasised that now is the time to bring the subject of reparations to the fore.

“Reparations must be paid,” he insisted, adding that while no amount of money would make up for the horrors of the slave trade, payment would make the point that millions of “productive” Africans were put to work without compensation.

Akufo-Addo insisted that it is time to openly acknowledge “that much of Europe and the United States have been built from the vast wealth harvested from the sweat, tears, blood, and horrors of the transatlantic slave trade.”

The Ghanaian president is a long-standing advocate of reparations who said last year that the time was long overdue to intensify discussions on the issue. He has also called on a number of occasions for a formal apology by European nations that were involved in the trade and urged the African Union bloc to engage the diaspora to advance the reparations cause.

The transatlantic slave trade, which affected millions of Africans, was the largest forced migration in history. Ghana was one of the main points of departure for the slave trade’s horrific middle passage from Africa to the Americas.

In another reference to past injustice, Chilean President Gabriel Boric told the General Assembly that the US-backed coup that deposed his predecessor Salvador Allende and ushered in 17 years of brutal military dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet had been “a tragedy.” He added that a coup “is never inevitable, because there are always other alternatives where violence is not present.”

MULTIPOLAR WORLD

Honduran President Xiomara Castro told the General Assembly that she believes in a multipolar world in which exchange for development is based on the principles of independence, sovereignty, and non-interference.

She said that the military-industrial complex consumes the majority of the budgets of developed countries, amounting to trillions of dollars and that this contrasts with their indifference and inability to contribute to humanity and the defence of nature.

Global capitalism and the neoliberal model only generate misery, inequality, and insane individualism of consumer societies, while millions of human beings suffer great deprivations, Castro argued.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare declined a White House invitation to meet with President Joe Biden at the US Pacific leaders’ summit and returned to Solomon Islands after delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

The US and its client states have made threatening statements over the Solomon Islands for taking an independent path by developing closer relations with China.

China has funded a new national stadium and infrastructure developments for the coming Pacific Games in November.

In his speech, Prime Minister Sogavare stated his country’s position unambiguously, saying it is “friends to all, enemies to none” and dismissed claims by the US and its deputy sheriff Australia that the agreements with China will lead to China building a military base in the Solomon Islands.

Sogavare called for global peace and spoke about the “toxic mix of geopolitical power posturing” in the region. He called for greater action on climate change, equity in trade and fairer partnerships for developing nations.

Sogavare noted China in his speech, praising it for its work as a development partner and highlighting the “comprehensive strategic framework” he developed with China’s President Xi Jinping during his visit in July.

“We applaud the People’s Republic of China for the initiative in accelerating the implementation of the 2030 agenda through their Belt and Road initiative, global development initiative, global security initiative and global civilisation initiative,” he said.

China is the Solomon Islands’ biggest trade partner.

Sogavare also denounced Japan’s release of wastewater from Fukushima’s crippled nuclear plant, saying he was “appalled” by the move, and warned of effects on the South Pacific’s waters.

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