The persistence of several conflicts across the globe and the growing difficulties that the international community has been facing to restore world peace are becoming genuine concerns that must be carefully examined. Since the creation of the United Nations Organisations, UNO after World War II, the international situation has evolved tremendously, giving room for emerging nations to impose their strategic importance while asking for their voices to be heard in world affairs.
Of late, the emergence of the BRICS countries, that is, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has given steam to the need for the UN Security Council to be restructured to include new and emerging powers.
Addressing the diplomatic corps in Yaounde on Thursday, 3 January 2013, while receiving New Year wishes, President Paul Biya not only made a retrospective look at 2012, but also made a strong argument why he thinks the balance of power in the world needs to be re-examined. In strong terms, the Head of State wondered aloud whether the Security Council will only content itself with the publication of resolutions and then sit back to watch with impunity how such resolutions are violated. "But such helplessness in the face of acute crisis situations severely affects the image of the United Nations. It only emphasizes the urgent need for reform of the composition and functioning of the Security Council," the President said to the diplomats.
Conflicts such as the Syrian crisis that has resulted in 60,000 deaths according to United Nations statistics last December, the extremism that has taken hold of the entire northern part of Mali and the rebellion in the Central African Republic where President François Bozizé may only survive thanks to intervention from member countries of the Economic Community Central African States, ECCAS, are some of the instances which put to question the efficiency of the international community.
Even more, there are crisis spots like the Palestinian-Israeli problem, the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and others which have virtually defied all attempts at providing lasting solutions by the international community. Yet, in some cases where the strategic interests of some super powers are at stake, they stop at nothing even to create instability in some regions in order to gain control.
Faced with such disparities and inequalities in settling international conflicts, President Paul Biya could not but come back to what he has said on other world forums about the need for Africa to have its place on the international scene. Even with the growing economic hardship in developing countries, the raw materials and growing markets of Africa are continually being sapped by more difficult conditions being imposed on African countries because of their coveted resources.
Thus, while benefiting from advantages that the UN brings to humanity, President Biya thinks it is time to face the reality directly. "Take my word for it, I am not addressing you as an opponent of the United Nations. A former United Nations trust territory, Cameroon knows what it owes that organization." Mr Biya told the diplomats, underlining the settlement of the Bakassi conflict as a sign of the triumph of international law.
However, true to his creed, the Head of State refrained from concluding his message on a gloomy note. He softened his stance in the final analysis by pointing out to the diplomats that human problems tend to generate their own solutions. "But history also teaches us that human affairs are unique in that they often generate their own 'rebirth,'" he asserted.
Although the strategic interests of states may blind them to the need to redistribute the cards on the international scene, no one would deny that fact that the reality of post World War II that led to the creation of the United Nations is different and neglecting the cry for a fundamental re-examination of the world stage may sooner-rather than later- just be a must. India, China, Brazil, South Africa and the other emerging countries may only be ignored for the time being, but there should come a moment when they must be taken seriously for the world to move on harmoniously. That is where the moderating voices of leaders like President Paul Biya are important and need to be given more consideration. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Cameroon, the Chadian Ambassador, Yoosem Kontou Noudjiamlao could not help recognizing the pondering role of President Biya in several world issues. While presenting New Year wishes to the Head of State on Thursday on behalf of the entire diplomatic corps in the country, Ambassador Yoosem recalled the active presence of Cameroon in several international forums in 2012 and the crucial contribution made by President Biya on such occasions.