Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan says the United Nations is failing in its responsibility to ensure global peace.
Jonathan said this at a panel on the dialogue of civilisations at Rhodes Forum’s 15th anniversary summit in Greece.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Multipolarity and Dialogue in Regional and Global Developments: Imagining Possible Futures’, Jonathan said dialogue remains crucial to the realisation of a peaceful world.
He said the inability of the UN to bring to an end the crises in Iraq, Pakistan, East Asia and the Korean Peninsula are evidence of the failure of the union.
According to him, the UN security council charged with the responsibility of maintaining international peace “has been more effective in opening new frontiers for conflicts, rather than providing answers to the ones it sought to resolve”.
He also said the UN may have succeeded in preventing third world war but cannot boast of ensuring global peace.
“That the world needs peace is a declaration no one ever contests, given what the absence of peace portends,” Jonathan said.
“The ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, distressing Rohingya dilemma in Myanmar, as well as a threat of conflicts and wars in other parts of the world, are all signs that the UN is failing the world.
“In each case, the UN was helpless in resolving the conflicts.
“That the only road to a peaceful world is through dialogue is also incontrovertible. What then raises a valid contention is the argument over the steps taken by leaders towards realising peace. Are they the right or wrong steps?
“At the end of World War II, 51 nations came together to form the United Nations on 24 October, 1945. The UN security council was also formed the same day.
“The UN was set up principally as a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, in order to prevent another world war and guarantee 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.”
He said Nigeria and some other African countries by employing intense and purposeful dialogue have “resolved, as well as prevented, many conflicts and stabilised and strengthened democracy in many countries in the sub-region.”
He, therefore, called for a review of the UN’s approach to dialogue.
“Late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a Nigerian philosopher and musician of international repute, tried to rebrand the UN in his own way, by calling it ‘Disunited Nations.’ He might have exaggerated. Nonetheless, his grouse was that nations, going through bitter conflicts were all members of the UN,” he said.
“Yet, the global body, primarily set up to guarantee world peace, appears not to have been able to muster the required willpower, to resolve those issues that cause conflicts, for decades.
“The security council which is the most powerful UN organ, with “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”, cannot inspire that confidence, because of the way it is presently configured.
“If anything, the system, which has remained unreviewed in over half a century, has been more effective in opening new frontiers for conflicts, rather than providing answers to the ones it sought to resolve.
“It is important that all member nations of the UN must have faith in the organisation, and believe that it is fair and representative enough to protect them.
“I believe in the UN as an effective global body that should lead the quest for the peace we desire. I am also convinced that for the organisation to bring about world peace, the UN method and approach to dialogue must be reviewed.
“The UN dialogue method must, therefore, change.”