Windhoek, Namibia – Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister of Namibia and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, delivered welcoming remarks at the Amani Africa Inaugural meeting of the High-Level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System. Held on July 17, 2023, the meeting aimed to chart a clear course of action for multilateral system reform.
Expressing gratitude to Amani Africa for co-organizing the consultative meeting, Hon. Nandi-Ndaitwah highlighted the significance of multilateral system reform for Namibia and the African continent. Notably, there is a demand for equitable regional representation on the UN Security Council to ensure fair decision-making processes.
Namibia’s historical context adds weight to the importance of this consultation. The President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob, often emphasizes that “Namibia is a child of international solidarity, midwifed by the UN system.” This sentiment is deeply understood and embraced by Namibians.
Namibia, like many countries, fought for self-determination, relying on the support of Southern Africa Frontline States, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the United Nations, and other multilateral organizations. This collective effort, guided by international solidarity, helped liberate Namibia from apartheid and colonial bondage, culminating in independence on March 21, 1990. The experience shaped Namibia’s faith in the multilateral system and fuels its commitment to assisting the people of Western Sahara and Palestine in achieving self-determination and independence.
Hon. Nandi-Ndaitwah highlighted Namibia’s constitutional commitment to resolving international disputes through peaceful means. Such dialogue-based approaches align with the principles of the UN Charter and contribute to saving future generations from the scourge of war. Deep reflection and tough questions are necessary to determine the type of multilateral system that can promote sustainable peace and drive socio-economic development.
The transition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) and the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) demonstrate Africa’s commitment to multilateralism. The AU seeks to complement and reinforce the multilateral collective security system based on the UN Charter. With 54 UN Member States plus Western Sahara, Africa’s voice carries substantial weight, emphasizing the need for equitable regional representation on the UN Security Council. The UN Charter should be amended to reflect Africa’s desire for permanent representation, allowing the multilateral body to serve the interests of all nations.
📢EVENT: Today we convene the joint Namibia and Amani Africa high-level panel on 'Africa & reform of multilateral system'— Amani Africa (@africa_amani) July 17, 2023
Date: 🗓️17-18July 2023 eb 2023
Venue: Avani, Windhoek, Namibia https://t.co/aQm2TyqaQXhttps://t.co/AZu4ZO0W58 pic.twitter.com/UfAbPHaJWr
While addressing the reform of international peace and security architecture, attention must also be given to the broader development system, including the reform of international financial and economic orders. Entities such as the World Bank, IMF, and the World Trade Organization need to address negative perceptions of Africa as a mere supplier of raw materials, incapable of value addition or self-development. African nations have demonstrated their potential in resource development, but equitable sharing of technology, knowledge, and expertise is necessary. Reflection on how African resources are used to benefit other nations and addressing unfair relations in international trade and finance systems is paramount.
The current challenges faced by the global community, including geopolitical rivalries and power shifts, require collective efforts to enact meaningful change. Africa must go beyond advocating for its own interests and propose reforms that meet the just expectations and needs of all humanity. By maintaining unity of purpose, the continent can emerge victorious in securing a proper place at the global table.
Hon. Nandi-Ndaitwah welcomed participants to Namibia, urging them to engage in fruitful deliberations during the two-day meeting. The ultimate goal is to shape a multilateral system that aligns with the aspirations of all people and fosters a world of equality and justice.