Ex-President Jonathan at Rhodes Forum, calls for reform of the United nations

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan today, Friday the 6th of October, joined other high-profile international speakers in a discussion on “Multipolarity and Dialogue in Regional and Global Developments: Imagining Possible Futures”. At the 15th anniversary of the Rhodes Forum to discuss and seek practical solutions to major global challenges experienced in today’s world.

The Rhodes Forum event is an international forum organised by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute that has been held annually at Rhodes, Greece for 15 years.

First convened in 2003, the Rhodes Forum brings together concerned members of the international political, business, civil society and academic communities in a spirit of dialogue and inclusivity. Every year, hundreds of participants from more than 70 countries explore the major challenges facing the world and seek concrete, applicable solutions rooted in shared values of equality, mutual respect and compassion.

Dr. Jonathan in his opening remarks called for the reform and democratisation of the United Nations in order to make it more representative and responsive to the security challenges.  he stated that:

“For the world to experience sustainable peace, effective leadership must come from the UN, the flagship of global organisations. The UN that would inspire this kind of leadership should ensure equity, with leading nations and power centres representing different regions of the world, sitting at the Security Council as permanent members.

“The UN dialogue method must, therefore, change. The Security Council of the United Nations must be democratised, in view of new global realities, in the interest of peace.”

He further noted that as presently constituted, “the UN is portrayed as a platform where nations come to quarrel and display their might, instead of its statutory role, as a forum for unity and world peace.

“In terms of carrying out the mandate of preventing a Third World War, we could say the UN has done exceptionally well up to this moment. However, we cannot say the same thing over its mandate of ensuring world Peace as it is obvious that the UN has not achieved much in this regard. From 1945, when 51 nations came together and now that the UN has 193 member states, the world has not known real peace.

“The truth is that despite decades of efforts at the multinational level towards ensuring peace, the world has remained mired in developmental challenges that question man’s ability to govern, collaborate, unite and make this world better. Those are challenges of poverty, healthcare, inequality and conflicts. This is because the world has not matched this zeal for organisation with a corresponding gusto for trust, good faith and the conscience for productive engagements, negotiations and dialogue.

“So when I am asked to proffer solutions for achieving global peace and sustainable development, I will say that the answer lies in genuine dialogue. This entails negotiations, hard bargaining,
inclusivity, persuasion and confidence building.”

Access full text of Dr. Jonathan’s opening remarks here