South African Minister Pandor Speaks ”Truth to Power” in U.S.

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Grace Naledi Pandor

March 30, 2024

South Africa is under attack by the self-proclaimed international rules-based order, which is another name for the Anglo-American establishment. Naledi Pandor, who is the equivalent of the Foreign Minister for South Africa, in her visit to the United States, is challenging their geopolitical doctrine that erroneously views the world as a zero-sum game composed of only victors and victims.

South Africa is being assaulted in the United States Congress for its right to conduct its sovereign foreign policy with other nations. Congressman John James (R-MI) has spearheaded the passage of legislation H.R. 7256  through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which alleges that South Africa is a threat to the national security of the U.S.

H.R. 7256  Section 3, sense of the Congress (1)

that the ANC’s foreign policy actions have long ceased to reflect the stated stance of nonalignment, and now directly favor that PRC, the Russian Federation, and Hamas, a known proxy of Iran, and therefore undermines the United States national security and foreign policy interest.

The mis-named U.S.-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act, with bipartisan support has passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and can now advance to a full vote of  to the House of Representatives.

According to this nefarious legislation, South Africa’s alleged “offences” include:

  • Courageously bringing to the United Nations International Court of Justice, the genocidal behavior by the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamim Netanyahu against the Palestinian people of Gaza.
  • Remaining in continuous dialogue with nations of the so called axis of evil; Russia, China, and Iran.
  • For participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • For being a leader of the Global South and Non-Aligned Movement that provides an alternative to the diseased ideology of zero-sum geopolitics. .

In a March 21, press release from his office, Cong James writes: “South African officials have made a miscalculation by aligning themselves with Russia and China. It is in our national security interests for the United States to review our relationships with nations that may not share our values and align themselves with such actors.

This disgraceful piece of legislation, which attacks Minister Pandor personally, reflects the animus towards a nation that does not accept the absolute authority of the “rules-based order.” South Africa is being targeted by the United States, not for any single action it has taken, but because South Africa will not submit to the dictates of the Western political-financial elite.  South Africa, other African nations and those of the Global South will rightly understand this legislation as a full scale violation of South Africa’s sovereignty.

Minister Pandor, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, March 19, 2024

Speaking Truth to Power

Into this environment, Minister Pandor challenged the precepts of geopolitical thinking in Washington, displaying courage, morality, diplomatic adeptness, all with a quality of grace and dignity, rarely seen in the U.S. Capital.

On March 19, I had the privilege of observing Minister Pandor in her discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and afterwards at an inter-faith dialogue at the South African embassy on ending the war in Gaza.

The event at Carnegie entitled: Are South Africa-U.S. Relations at a Turning Point? A Conversation With Naledi Pandor, was conducted by Dan Baer, Carnegie’s senior vice president for policy research. Baer’s argumentative attitude reflecting the prejudices of Washington, was constantly challenged by Minister Pandor, as can be seen from the partial transcript that follows.

Baer began by asking Min. Pandor to rate American political leadership. She responded, shockingly: I rate it at 6 for executive and below that for the legislature…. I’m not sure the legislators have an understanding of South Africa…. I think they make conclusions about South Africa’s international relations, without necessarily speaking to us. And this is very troubling…. If I were to make a statement about their policy, I would at least speak to us first, and attempt to understand, the cause, if any, might be of an emerging dissonance.

Regarding the United Nations, Min. Pandor said: I think we need to look at the composition and the functioning, and the capacity associated with having a Security Council. I think we should have African presence as permanent members…. I also think East Asia should have a presence. I think India being so big and not being a part of the permanent members is an odd reality….

Continuing on the UN, she said: we don’t need more multilateral bodies to replace the United Nations, but the UN needs to be reformed to be more than a monitoring body…. We need to consider the [UN] capacity for peace enforcement. We have to find a way of protecting innocent people when there’s a conflict.

Minister Pandor participating in an interfaith dialogue (South African Embassy, March 19) with representatives from Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations opposed to Israeli’s war in Gaza.

Baer asserted that: the BRICS invited six new members, four of which are authoritarian regimes.

Pandor stood her ground, responding: Who makes these judgments? This assessment that you’re making…

Baer interrupted her, saying: You would challenge the premise that Iran, for example, is an authoritarian regime?

Min. Pandor: Is it your role to make that judgment?

Baer replied: I don’t think it’s me, uh, saying that. It’s widely regarded by most people….

Min. Pandor: I don’t know if they are an authoritarian regime. I do know that—

Baer interrupted: The minister of South Africa does not know if the regime in Iran is authoritarian?

Min. Pandor: I don’t have that definition in my logbook. I do have a concern about women, and their rights in Iran, and this is something I have discussed with the government of Iran, particularly my colleague, the foreign minister…. And to use our [South Africa’s] earned democratic success to say this actually works … because if we stop talking with everybody, because we define them in a particular way, I think that the models we have adopted would not have any meaning…. We use our post-apartheid progress as a way of exemplifying for others that we think this is a good practice to adopt.

Baer: It’s difficult to make the argument that South Africa’s example is available to people in Iran or China, or in Saudi Arabia….”

Min. Pandor: We’re not a perfect democracy by any means…. We have huge problems of poverty … which derive from our history … which we have not been able to fully address as an emerging democracy. But I do believe that there is a strength in being able to speak with everyone, because if you close off, I don’t think you achieve anything.

International Court of Justice (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

The discussion was contentious again when Baer criticized South Africa for bringing the charge of Israeli genocide against Palestinians living in Gaza, to the International Court of Justice, and not against Russia for the war in Ukraine.

Baer: What did South Africa intend to accomplish by bringing its case to the ICJ on Gaza? And how does South Africa square that with abstaining on UN resolutions with respect to Russia’s aggression to Ukraine? You compellingly spoke of the need for the UN to respond to the killing of innocent civilians, and certainly that’s happening in Ukraine. How does South Africa see connecting those two positions?

Min. Pandor: On Gaza, and what we hope to accomplish, the first thing is to stop the killing of innocent Palestinians, and what we’ve seen, what each of us watches every day, surely makes us horrified about ourselves, and our inability to stop that. So, we hoped that through the ICJ, through respect for it…as one of the international law institutions that through the provisional measures … would reduce the harm…. We knew that we may not stop the conflict in its entirety, but if we could reduce harm to the civilian population and get humanitarian aid in, we would be happy.

Min. Pandor: Provisional measures have been ignored by Israel, we’re seeing mass starvation now, and famine before our very eyes…. I think as humanity we need to look at ourselves in horror…. Speaking of Israel’s defiance to adhere to any law… there’s license, I can do what I want, and not be stopped…. The minute you allow something like this, then what you’re doing is setting in play a form of practice that will be very difficult to challenge in the future. We went to the ICJ, because we have always been told by those who know democracy better than us, that we must respect human rights, that we should respect UN institutions, that we should practice democracy, that we should end conflict in Africa. And so, we were merely practicing what is preached to us every day….

Min. Pandor: It behooves us to say, how do we find a better way…. It’s made more difficult by the most powerful countries in the world, because the impression that’s created is that it’s the weak who must respect, the weak should implement and the powerful can do what they want.

Min. Pandor: How do the powerful contribute to the greater good? What role is being played to ensure all of us hold up the highest standard? We’re the country that remains talking every week to both [Russia and Ukraine]. That’s saying we’ve got to get you in the same room. We participated in all the working groups, on the peace plan of President Zelenskyy. And we’ve now said, we think there has to be a meeting with Russia….

Talking of South Africa’s aspirations for the continent, Min. Pandor said: So, we do try to be good. But we don’t get it right all the time. … I believe we’re making an effort. And for us, the first prize would be in Africa to silence the guns, focus on development, industrialization, productive capacity, and achieving a livelihood for the majority of Africans, that places us in a different space of development. That is first prize, and first concern for us.

I completely concur with Minister Pandor: development, industrialization, and improving the livelihood of Africans is the first prize!

In the videos below, once can view Minister Pandor’s articulation of South Africa’s policy.

Read my earlier posts:

South African Minister Pandor Articulates Principles of Development for Africa

Int’l Court of Justice Rules Genocide Plausible: Netanyahu & Biden Losing Support

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

Today’s World Desperately Needs “A New Just Economic Order”

September 21, 2023

FRED WILLS ADDRESS AT UNGA-SEPT 8, 1975

ADDRESS AT THE SEVENTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1975

Call for New International Economic Order at the United Nations

(Frederick R. “Fred” Wills, was Foreign Minister of Guyana from 1975-78)

I have been advocating for 50 years for a New Just International Economic Order with a new Financial Architecture dedicated to economic development for all people of the world. It should be clear to all qualified leaders that the hegemony of the so called rules-based order, has been shattered by the rising expectations of the “Global South.” The reemergence of the Non-Aligned Movement, typified by the Group of 77 and the BRICS, with their righteous demands for economic equality, has become a new force on our planet. They resonate with the calls for a “New International Economic Order” prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s. This is why it is more than relevant today for us to review and stand upon the shoulders of this profound speech, delivered before UNGA by Fred Wills, almost half a century ago. We have the responsibility to complete this mission for the sake of civilization.

Excerpts from Fred Wills’ historic presentation follow:

Mr. President,

One year ago in this very forum there were articulated the Declaration on the Establishment of the New International Economic Order and a Programme of Action to implement it. These were adopted at the Sixth Special Session and were followed by the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties promulgated at the 29th regular session of the United Nations. Thus was provided a compendious mandate for the dismantling of the old structures that have proved inadequate and the construction of an entirely new system more responsive to the needs and hopes of the poor and disadvantaged.

The allegedly sterile debate as to whether or not a new international economic order is required has already resulted in the presentation of far-reaching proposals which it would be our clear duty to evaluate in our efforts to arrive at a global consensus…

THE IMPERATIVES FOR CHANGE

The hour is critical. The expectations are that we will agree on concrete steps that will represent a real advance towards the new order on which the majority of mankind insists.

The imperatives for change are clear. Thirty years ago the Bretton-Woods system, reinforced by the Marshall Plan, introduced a new era in the post-war world which promised a redress of economic disequilibrium in the developed world. Predictably, this system failed to satisfy the aspirations of the developing nations and it is this failure in especial that introduces the note of urgency in our debate. It is imperative that we should fashion new structures and new institutions to arrest the widening gap between the developed market economies and the producers of raw materials and semi-manufactures

It is clear, Mr. President, that any attempt to give new vitality to obsolescent institutions is wholly unacceptable. In the face of such attempts the solidarity of the developing countries is the best guarantee that the processes of change will lead to the establishment of the New International Economic Order.

Those of us who embrace Non-alignment will not lose a moment’s sleep over deliberate attempts at misrepresentation. We are not a bloc. Unbound by pacts, eschewing centralised military force, refusing the dictation of hegemonic power, we are aligned with peace, independence, equality, justice and the importance of the single human being. Our solidarity is based neither on the preservation of nor on the quest for power. It is rooted in common perception and shared ideals. The universality of the principles of Non-Alignment has long been vindicated. Those who only recently have come round to the acknowledgement of its validity must now seek to understand it properly…

GUIDELINES FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION

Mr. President, the international community must move forward and in our way forward we must be guided by three fundamental approaches to the problems of development and international economic co-operation. From these approaches my delegation feels we deviate only at our peril. 

First, we must subject all proposals to the test of their likelihood of advancing the arrival of the New International Economic Order along the path charted by the Group of 77.

Secondly, decision making on these vital issues must remain firmly within this Organisation.

Thirdly, the solidarity of the developing countries must be given new depth and content, especially through programmes of collective self-reliance…

Are we of the developing countries being asked to believe that institutions which have historically served the best interests of the developed world can be modified to promote our development? Must the improvement in the condition of the developing world remain a mere footnote to the prosperity of the developed world? In short, in a situation that demands surgery are we being asked to be satisfied with the dispensation of mere palliatives?

Nevertheless, Mr. President, I wish to assure you that my delegation will approach these and all other proposals, including those of the EEC, objectively and responsibly, because we are aware that what is at stake is nothing less than the future condition of all mankind…

Now, Mr. President, the third guideline – collective self-reliance among developing countries. The Programme of Action for the implementation of the New International Economic Order assigns an important role to collective self-reliance among the developing countries and calls upon the developed world to support such efforts. Forms of horizontal cooperation at the regional, sub-regional and inter-regional levels have already demonstrated their potential as instruments compelling significant change. Such new horizontal economic structures and arrangements will assist substantially in bringing our marginal situation to an end and could provide an essential thrust for radical alteration in the international economic system. The much maligned produce associations have already proven their worth as a stimulant of International dialogue, catalyst for change and a mechanism for the mobilisation of resources in the developing world…

The new economic order must therefore be designed to foster all efforts of self-reliance on the part of the developing countries – efforts both national and collective. True development cannot be imposed ab extra, but must be part of the internal dynamics of growth. The international framework must therefore create the conditions and provide support within which self-reliance can flourish…

Those, therefore, Mr. President, are the guidelines which we suggest should inform our decisions as we come now to the closing stages of this Special Session. They should be integrated within the blueprint already adopted for the New International Economic Order...(All emphasis added)

Read the entire presentation below:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com.

Kenyan President Ruto Decries Disrespect for Africa & Challenges Dollar Dominance

June 18, 2023

The post below is from africanagenda.net, reporting on a punchy fifteen minute speech by Kenyan President, William Ruto, to the African Union Parliament on the disrespectful manner African leaders are treated by the developed sector. (See video). Below that, is a two minute clip of President Ruto discussing the need to conduct trade outside of the dollar denominations.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

The West Votes against Development at United Nations

This article below locates precisely the problem with the foreign policy of the West and the United States in particular towards the developing sector-the Global South. The U.S. lacks a commitment or even an understanding of the importance of economic development. This has been the failure of U.S. policy toward Africa since the death of President John Kennedy; lack of vison and moral devotion to develop the world’s population. This is what I am fighting to provide. The world needs a new paradigm to eliminate poverty and ensure peace and stability. This new paradigm or New Bretton Woods must have as its foundation, economic development. Below you will find my lecture on the intentions of President Franklin Roosevelt for the creation of his Bretton Woods.

by Clifford Kiracofe, Dec. 26, 2022, reprinted from China Focus

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges”.

Western countries, joined by South Korea and Japan, voted this month against economic development and poverty reduction resolutions considered by the United Nations General Assembly. The stance of the Western countries and partners reflects the power of finance capitalism and its longstanding support for neoliberal economic policy to the detriment of developing nations.

The United Nations General Assembly Second Committee (Economic and Financial) recently adopted 38 of 41 resolutions. The West and partners voted against two resolutions of special importance. The first vote was 123 for to 51 against on the resolution “Eradicating Rural Poverty to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The second vote was 123 for to 50 against by the West and partners (Turkey abstained) the perennial resolution “Towards a New International Economic Order (NIEO).”

Clearly there is a stark division between the West and its partners and all of the “Rest”. Put in another way, the votes reflect the increasingly sharp contradiction between the developed “North” and the developing “Global South”. Two major powers, China and Russia, align with the Global South.

A wide view of the General Assembly’s 53rd plenary meeting, discussing reports of the Second Committee on Dec. 14, 2022. (UN Photo)

Failure of the Bretton Woods System

The international financial architecture erected in 1944 to serve the devastated post-World War II international community did not live up to its promises. Instead, it became machinery to impose finance capitalism around the world and to oppose alternate development models.

The International Monetary Fund was supposed to help states with balance of payment and debt problems. The International Bank for Reconstruction (IRBD), later called the World Bank (WB), was supposed to focus long term on development following a post-war reconstruction. Over the years, both institutions failed in their purpose owing to a variety of factors.

At the Bretton Woods conference, delegations from China, India, and Latin American countries voiced their concerns for development. But the IRBD/WB gave its primary attention to reconstruction rather than to development.

Developing countries also expressed a desire for an international financial system that would be friendly to developing countries. This meant that states exporting commodities be given attention and that alternate development models be supported. Alternate development models included state-led industrialization.

The prospects for a development focus were dashed by the Cold War and the “East versus West” bloc confrontation. This bloc confrontation was framed not only in political terms but also in economic terms.  Thus, the antipathy of the West to various socialist models of development sharpened.

State-led industrial development was rejected. Significantly, the issue of financing development over the long term led to sharp debate over the degree of public and private financing.

Photo taken on Sept. 12, 2012 shows the logo of the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., capital of the United States. (Photo/Xinhua)

Decolonization, Development, and UNCTAD

During the 1950s and 1960s, the process of decolonization brought many newly independent states into the international community. Naturally, economic development was at the forefront for them. To address the issue of development, 36 developing countries in 1962 joined together to create the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The first meeting occurred in 1964 in Cairo. The key issues addressed were: terms of trade by primary commodity exporters, development financing, and export-oriented strategies. At the conclusion of the conference, UNCTAD was made a permanent body within the UN system.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of UNCTAD during the 1960s and 1970s, there were no major results for the developing countries. It is not surprising that the developing countries then banned together as the “Group of 77” (G77) to call for a “new and just world economic order”. As a result, in 1974, a special session of the UN convened to promote negotiations and new initiatives to promote economic development.

The negotiations were inspired by recommendations of UNCTAD and aimed to promote cooperation among developing countries. The international context at the time included global economic and monetary instability owing to the disintegration of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates as well as other factors such as the 1973 oil crisis.

Photo taken on Apr. 9, 2020 shows the Dar es Salaam Port undergoing upgrading of port berths 1 to 7 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Brandt Commission

In 1977, the “Independent Commission for International Developmental Issues” was established to research and make re commendations. The former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, was nominated by Robert McNamara, then head of the World Bank, as chair. The report of the commission was released in 1980 and was called the “Brandt Report”.

The Brandt Report focused on the North-South divide and called for measures to overcome it. Issues such as poverty, health, housing, and education were considered. Additional issues included women in development, hunger and food, disarmament, energy, monetary reform, industrialization, and development finance.

“A new century nears, and with it the prospects of a new civilization”, Brandt said in 1983. “Could we not begin to lay the basis for that new community with reasonable relations among all people and nations, and to build a world in which sharing, justice, freedom and peace might prevail?”

The Washington Consensus

In the face of the progressive Brandt Report, international finance capital mounted a campaign against it. One result was what came to be called the “Washington Consensus,” so-called “free market” policy prescriptions proposed during the 1980s and 1990s. This consensus was associated with the imposition of neoliberal economic policies globally. Such policy prescriptions include: austerity, reduction of government spending, privatization, deregulation, free trade, and monetarism.

People walk on Times Square in New York, the United States, Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

The decline in the West of a Keynesian consensus in the 1970s coupled with the end of the Cold War in 1988-89 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave triumphalist proponents of “market fundamentalism” major play.

Today, the Washington Consensus forms the basis of the international economic policy of the United States and the West, critics say.

The recent votes in the United Nations General Assembly underscore the North-South divide. The West appears to insist on the Washington Consensus and opposes alternate development models.

“New Bretton Woods”

The international community faces a severe recession beginning in 2023, according to some experts. A combination of factors is leading to such an international economic crisis. The economic slowdown in Europe began in 2018-19 and then was followed by the Trump Trade and Tech wars and by the Covid crisis. To these factors, an energy crisis, a supply chain crisis, and a food crisis has been added compounding the problems facing the international community.

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges. Various mechanisms, platforms, and processes have been created in recent years to address development. The Belt and Road process, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Union, and BRICS are important initiatives.

Today, a “New Bretton Woods” conference with an emphasis on development as well as on the update and stabilization of the international monetary system must be considered.

http://www.cnfocus.com/the-west-votes-against-development-at-un/

Read my earlier post on Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods: For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill discussing the Atlantics Charter at the Argentia conference.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

To read full transcript on Minister Pandor’s presentation at the UNGA: Click here.

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

To read the full transcript of Minister Wang Yi: Click here

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

Read my earlier posts:

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

President Buhari of Nigeria, Demands More and Reliable Energy for Africa from COP26

Mahammadu Buhari, president of Nigeria, issued a forceful statement (printed below) to the COP26 Summit, on the need for African nations to have access to abundant and reliable energy. This followed by one week, a likeminded statement from President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Western nations, global institutions, and the international banks, have declared that African nations should not have the energy-i.e., electricity needed to fully develop their nations. So called renewables, wind and solar energy are inefficient and inadequate to power industrialized nations. COP26 and the fanatical neo-Malthusians who spawned the radical environmentalist movement, do not want African nations to develop. They do not want to see African nations become industrialized. They would rather  see the population of Africa reduced. They are using so called environmental concerns to deny African nations the right to eliminate poverty and have access to 1,500 watts of electricity 24 hours a day-7 days a week, like Western nations. Western nations developed because they had access to abundant and reliable energy. Sub-Saharan African needs an additional 1,000 gigawatts of power. Yet, COP26 is trying to impose inferior and limited energy for African, and all developing nations. Why was nuclear energy, which is an absolute necessity for Africa, not even allowed to be brought up for discussion at COP26? For six decades, since the liberation of Africa from the colonial powers, there has been no effort to bring light i.e., electricity to Africa. However, now these same nations want to limit energy to prevent the  industrialization of African nations. This is a complete fraud! Africans are dying daily from multiple causes; all related to the lack of energy. Why hasn’t the international community been concerned enough for the last sixty years to empower African nations to build adequate national electricity grids? Worth thinking about.

The Climate Crisis Will Not be Fixed by Causing an Energy Crisis in Africa | Opinion

MUHAMMADU BUHARI , PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
10/30/21, Newsweek Magazine OPINION

Without extra and stable power, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-job, extractives-led economy to a high employment middle-income continent. Children cannot learn for longer and better by battery light any more than by candlelight. No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot advance using energy production that intermittently delivers.”

Dire warnings of the end of the world are as old as civilization itself. But each year as the countdown to United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) begins, they grow in volume and intensity. Recently, senior United Nations officials raised the alarm of “world conflict and chaos” and mass migrations and institutional collapse should greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked for much longer.

Mankind has a duty to act on these dangers. But because of their seriousness we must not do so rashly. It is an inconvenient truth, but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to address the climate crisis are fuel for the instability of which they warn. No more clearly can this be seen than in Africa.

For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns. Estimated to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050—by 2100 Nigeria alone is projected to have the second largest population on the planet—this “great doubling” (for Nigeria, quadrupling) has the right to more dependable electricity than their forebears.

Without extra and stable power, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-job, extractives-led economy to a high employment middle-income continent. Children cannot learn for longer and better by battery light any more than by candlelight. No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot advance using energy production that intermittently delivers.

Yet in our rush to address climate concerns, and for western aid agencies and investors to burnish their green credentials, we rush to install the most alternative of energy sources which are often the most unreliable. Wind and solar, the most fashionable of modern energy technologies, are flawed by their reliance on back-up diesel generators or batteries for when there is no wind for the turbines or sun for the panels.

It also seems unnoticed that in our global rush for electric cars we risk replacing the last century’s scramble for fossil fuels with a new global race in lithium for batteries. Where significant deposits are to be found, such as in Africa, this could endanger geopolitical stability. This makes the economic migrations the U.N. warned of more likely. We must think carefully whether our dash to terminate the use of fossil fuels so swiftly is as wise as it sounds.

A view of yellow canola fields

There is no single “green bullet” that can be deployed either in Africa or the world that solves concerns of environmentalists while simultaneously offering the power to fuel hope of greater wealth and progress for the extra 1 billion citizens of our African future.

But there are certain things we can and must do—starting with transitioning to cleaner, but consistent, energy production. Fossil fuel power generation that can provide electricity 24 hours a day in all conditions can be re-tooled greener through carbon capture and the conversion of coal and heavy fuel oil power stations to biomass. We can bring forward new technologies such as mini-hydro power plants which can operate and produce power day and night along shallow waterways without damaging the aquatic life on which local communities are sustained.

We can also invest in nuclear. Though not renewable it is carbon neutral and capable of producing baseload, constant electricity production on which sustained economic progress can be built. Nigeria is among a handful of African countries exploring nuclear power, with a research reactor already operational.

And we can also learn from our friends in Europe and America who do not always practice what they preach. We call on them to lift the moratorium they have placed on fossil fuel investments in Africa. Nigeria has pledged to eliminate illegal gas flaring by 2030—a by-product of our oil industry—and harness it for electricity production. Our intention to end Nigeria’s single greatest contribution to greenhouse emissions may stall without it. Yet there are no such limitations on investment in natural gas power in the West where it is considered a transitional energy source.

There is a deal to be done at COP26, but none without the agreement of the nations of Africa. The climate warnings we hear them. We live them. But no one has the right to deny the advancement of our continent. Yet unless the developed world wakes up, we run the risk of trying to fix the climate crisis with an energy crisis.

Muhammadu Buhari is president of Nigeria.

Read statement from President Museveni : Solar and Wind Force Poverty on Africa: Africa Needs Reliable Energy-Nuclear-to Power Industrialized Economies

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.