By PK Jarju
President Adama Barrow of the Gambia Wednesday used his second address at the United Nation’s General Assembly to reject US president Donald Trump’s call for nations to reject globalism and embrace patriotism.
The president said no country can thrive or solve all its challenges in isolation and the salvation of human beings lies in strengthening multilateral institutions and fostering greater international cooperation to collectively address global challenges.
Mr Trump on Tuesday used his address to the world body to expound on his visceral dislike of multilateral institutions, which he portrayed as inherent threats to US sovereignty.
“America is governed by Americans,” Trump said. “We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”
But Mr Barrow said in order to make real progress in the world, effective global leadership is imperative and leaders must support and invest more in the United Nations, instead of withdrawing their participation or cutting back financial support.
“It is an irony that at a time when multiple global challenges are emerging and mounting, support for the work of the United Nations is being undermined through inadequate funding,” he said.
“Those of us who value the UN, as well as those who have benefited immensely from its work, should be at the forefront to call upon all Member States to step up support for the Organisation. Indeed, the UN has to play a lead role in solving global challenges, and our task is to ensure that it has the required capacity, influence and effectiveness.”
“Decisions and actions rooted in a rules-based international system that is underpinned by multilateral agreements and processes form the basis for the successful conduct of relations between and among nations. Let us, therefore, restore faith in our rules-based international order so as to remain relevant and, collectively, make progress on our global agenda – ranging from tackling the menace of climate change and terrorism to addressing disarmament, trade, development and other concerns to humanity.
“We are also resolutely pursuing institutional and constitutional reforms. Such reforms have commenced, with the hope of putting The Gambia on a solid path to becoming a shining champion of democracy and human rights in the world.”
Mr Barrow said his election in 2016 was a clear message by Gambians that they are taking charge of their destiny and significant, not cosmetic, improvements in their lives. He said it is for that reason that his government is now implementing a comprehensive National Development Plan (2018-2021), which seeks to transform The Gambia through key priorities, such as infrastructural development, agricultural transformation, macroeconomic stability, job creation and employment.
He added: “In all, our goal is to deliver a fully transformed Gambia that has a future; a country that is energy secure, food-self-sufficient and an investment friendly destination. We have also begun to exploit and harness the benefits of Information Communication Technology as a catalyst for modernization and youth empowerment.”
The president added that in pursuit of a fully transformed Gambia, his government has recognised the importance of a meaningful engagement with Gambian Diaspora – fondly referred to as “The Eighth Region of The Gambia and has developed a strategy to explore and utilise the skills, talent and resources of Gambians everywhere for the successful implementation of the National Development Plan.
Mr Barrow said election of his government is yielding amazing dividends such as a decline in the number of youths attempting to undertake dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe.
“The average Gambian is willing to stay in the country and contribute to national development. Despite these positive developments, I strongly urge that interventions to curb youth migration be supported through incentives. On account of this, we look forward to the High-Level Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018 to adopt the new Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” he added.
The president called for better educational and job opportunities to be harnessed for the youth in order to inspire them and give them hope in life. He reiterated his government’s readiness to work collaboratively with the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS and other regional blocs to devise and implement suitable strategies and interventions.
(Photo credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak President Barrow addressing the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly)