As the rampage of insurgencies become the leading source of instability on the continent, Africa is correctly positioned to benefit enormously from the Global Security Initiative recently proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
On Thursday last week, President Xi spoke about “Rising to challenges and building a bright future through co-operation” in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022.
The ceremony was held under the theme, “The World in Covid-19 and Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and Shared Future.”
This article delves into the main tenets of President Xi’s speech, particularly zeroing in on the Global Security Initiative, as an architecture that will help to bring about world peace and stability and look at how Africa as a continent and Zimbabwe in particular can benefit from the initiative.
What is President Xi proposing?
President Xi proposed the Global Security Initiative which provides important architectural and conceptual guidelines which can help enhance the world’s security governance systems and put security on top as a precondition for development.
President Xi said “security is a precondition for development” and it is for this reason, that he proposed the initiative.
“It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable security and work together to maintain world peace and security, stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries,” he said.
In Africa, there are a lot of challenges being faced by the continent, ranging from terrorism, ethnic wars, inept political leadership and insurgencies among many others.
Right now in Southern Africa, there is the burning issue of the terrorist insurgency in Mozambique which is threatening Zimbabwe and other countries in the region.
With the GSI in place, African countries that are directly affected by the political instability in neighbouring Mozambique can be able to work together to fight terrorism and bring peace and stability in the region.
“Stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the cold war mentality, oppose unilateralism and say not to group politics and bloc confrontation. Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously,” President Xi.
“Uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others security.”
The Global Security Initiative also focused on coming up with rational alternative means of solving disputes between world countries while denouncing double standards by other world super powers.
“Stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction,” he said.
“Stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.”
A simple example can be drawn from the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine which has made it pretty clear that when there is instability in the world, it is impossible for development to manifest.
The US has been criticised for exhibiting double standards in how it has coerced other world powers to condemn Russia and impose destructive sanctions on the country yet it is one country that has been directly or indirectly involved in many separate military conflicts all over the world.
As much as the current instability in Europe between Russia and Ukraine did not affect Zimbabwe physically, but its ripple effects have been felt economically in the form of rising commodity prices, inflation and energy shortages.
The GSI by President Xi also called for the upholding and respect of sovereignty of individual countries and non-interference in internal affairs.
“Stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries,” said President Xi.
Tackling global governance challenges
President Xi equated the international community to an integrated unit, which when you remove a single part it is tantamount to causing a malfunction, adding that unilateralism and excessive pursuit of self-interest are ‘doomed to fail’.
“In today’s world, unilateralism and excessive pursuit of self-interest are doomed to fail, so are the practices of decoupling, supply disruption and maximum pressure,” he said. “So are attempts to forge ‘small circles’ or to stoke conflict and confrontation along ideological lines.
“Instead, we need to embrace a global governance philosophy that emphasises extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote the common values of humanity and advocate exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations.
“We need to uphold true multilateralism and firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law.
It is particularly important for major countries to lead by example in honouring equality, co-operation, good faith and the rule of law and act in a way befitting their status.”
Why Africa and Zimbabwe should support the Global Security Initiative
By having a well outlined global security architecture that is balanced, it will bring about stability and development co-operation for many countries on the African continent.
Political instability, terrorism, insurgencies and socio-political unity which are some of the main causes of conflict in Africa can be easily addressed by carefully applying the stipulations provided for by China’s Global Security Initiative.
The GSI proposed the upholding of sovereignty of individual nations and discouraging interference in internal matters.
Such a proposition is something that can benefit Zimbabwe in particular.
The country has been under illegal sanctions imposed by the West and the US has tried so much to sponsor regime change in the country as a way of trying to remove a democratically elected government.
The insurgency in neighbouring Mozambique threatens peace and stability in the region and with President Xi’s proposal through the Global Security Initiative, countries can be able to work collectively and combat terrorism which will bring peace in the region and the continent at large.