President Xi’s proposed Global Security Initiative is good for sustainable peace and security

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By Allawi Ssemanda

Noting that while the world is “yet to walk from the shadow of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Chinese President Xi Jinping in his key note address at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference noted that “new traditional security risks are already emerging. The weak and faltering global economic recovery is compounded by a widening development gap. While governance deficit in areas like climate change has hardly been addressed, new issues such as digital governance are also vying for attention.” President Xi explained that the world is facing unprecedented security challenges and consequently proposed a Global Security Initiative.

Emphasizing need to denounce power politics while calling for global cooperation, need for true multilateralism and respect for all sovereign countries, president Xi argued that the challenges the world is facing can easily be addressed if all countries work in unity stressing that “win-win cooperation is a sure path to development.” Quoting an ancient Chinese proverb that “One must not change his commitment or give up his pursuit even in the face of danger and risk.” Xi stressed that “Problems are not to be afraid of, as it is one problem after another that have driven the progress of human society. No difficulties could ever stop the wheel of history. Faced with the many challenges, we must not lose confidence, hesitate or flinch. Instead, we must firm up confidence and press ahead against all odds.”

Xi’s call for global powers to ensure global south is given arm in overcoming effects of Covid-19 pandemic and his commitment that China would continue working with developing countries in ensuring total defeat of Covid-19 is a good development worth a welcome by developing countries especially in Africa. This is because, such commitment is key for economic recovery considering devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic which slowed economic growth projections. He called for concerted efforts in helping developing countries recover stressing that “Uneven recovery is aggravating inequality across the world, further widening the North-South divide. We should stay committed to building an open world economy…”

While empathising the need for the world to work and maintain a peaceful world, Xi quoted an ancient Chinese philosopher that “Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty” adding that “Security is the precondition for development.”

Arguably, this call is spot-on. No development can take place in a place where war is ongoing. This means, despite living in different countries and regions, as people, we are living in an indivisible security community. Therefore, to have peace and harmony which are key for development, anything that can antagonise security must be avoided. Such may include divisionism based on selfish interests such as politics, promoting selfish interests over others’ concerns, power politics and big brother tendences. Indeed, he argued that differences like Cold War mentality would only wreck the global peace framework, hegemonism and power politics endanger world peace, and that bloc confrontation exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.

To ensure peaceful co-existence and a stable world with a shared future for mankind world over, President Xi proposed a number of views for what he called  “Global Security Initiative” (GSI).

Likening countries around the globe to passengers a board same ship, president Xi called for togetherness in addressing global governance challenges. He explained that a “ship to navigate the storm and sail toward a bright future, all passengers must pull together…The thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable. Acts to remove any single part will cause serious problems to its operation. When that happens, both the victims and the initiators of such acts will stand to lose.” While it may not be easy for countries to score in same goal post, Xi’s call is timely and spot-on. If well analysed, current global challenges be the Ukraine Crisis or the pending predicted famine or lowered economic growth and development projections emanate from Ukraine question which is nothing but a textbook example of global governance challenge. Such challenges include some countries unilateralism and excessively purse selfish interests at the expense of other states.

Xi’s call for the world to embrace global governance philosophy that emphasizes “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote the common values of humanity, and advocate exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations” is equally good for humanity and global security. It is important in that, with extensive consultation, promotion of common values nations can easily negotiate and find compromise to avoid conflicts and antagonism since such would affect shared benefits.

Also, safeguarding current global governance order whose life and mandate comes from the United Nations (UN) is a safe bet for global stability and security. However, such to be achieved, global players must uphold true multilateralism, and earnestly observe existing international laws. As Xi indicated in his speech, “it is particularly important for major countries to lead by example in honoring equality, cooperation, good faith and the rule of law, and act in a way befitting their status.” This way, there is no doubt the world will be secure and avoidable sufferings such as wars will become history and mankind world over will see and enjoy a shared future.

In conclusion, Xi’s proposal for Global Security Initiative are good for global security and if supported will help the world in brining sustainable peace and stability which are key for social and economic development.

The author is Executive Director of Development Watch Centre; a foreign policy think tank.


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