The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has called for a new world order that will manage conflicts better, deliver justice, reclaim the lost of trust by the people in leadership of all sectors of the society, provide hope and optimism for the people, and promote peace, love and happiness.
He also proposed a reform of the United Nations Charter, given its inadequacy in the face of current global realities, to make it more responsive, democratic, inclusive, and aligned to modern-day governance requirements and structure. It must create an equitable, just and sustainable future for all, prescribe behaviour and enact enforceable laws to regulate the conduct of nations in areas where the global community is most challenged.
Rt. Hon. Bagbin was speaking at 24th International Conference of Chief Justices from across the world, organised by the City Montessori School in Lucknow, India. It was under the theme “Uniting the world for children through enforceable world law and effective global governance.” Sixty-three countries participated in the conference.
To achieve the world order he envisioned, the Speaker recommend a new global governance structure of four equal arms – the executive, legislature, judiciary and civil society (including the media). He argued that “the tripod of three arms of government – executive, legislature and judiciary – is not working well. The checks are jerks and the balance are imbalances”. He described CSOs as the backbone of positive change that can contribute to transformative reforms and hold governments and international bodies accountable for their actions.
Pressing home his point, he said “let’s face it, legislatures over the world have not been able to throw light on the operations of the executive nor hold it accountable to the people; neither have legislatures succeeded in self-regulation nor post legislation scrutiny. The proposed four world governance institutions must be truly equal, and work on the principles of checks and balances, openness, transparency and accountability”.
Rt. Hon. Bagbin told the participants that as leaders, they had a responsibility to ensure that they bequeath to the next generation a world that is inhabitable, that meets the aspirations of the youth, and that secures the integrity and dignity of the human race.
He touched on today’s global challenges requiring concerted, urgent attention and mentioned the depletion of the ozone layer, global water scarcity, hunger, poor sanitation, the loss of biodiversity and extinction of certain species due to the exponential growth in population. He also mentioned conflicts in the Korean Peninsula, Russia-Ukraine, the Sahel, Israel-Hamas, and issues around Artificial Intelligence (AI), and its potential existential threat to humanity.
In all these, he said, the global community must prioritise laws and governance interventions that safeguard the future of children and develop mechanisms to hold governments accountable for their acts that violate children's rights such as child labour, child marriages, trafficking, and exploitation.
He encouraged governments to protect children's rights and guarantee their survival and development, by upholding their legal obligations under the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child. “They must ensure all children are allowed to be children, to grow, learn, and play in a safe, inclusive and caring environment, and in dignity”.
He advised the youth who were part of the conference to remain optimistic and focus on developing an international community that cares for all. He told them “you have innovation and energy to build a better society. You are the best placed to lead this transformation. You must compel governments to consider more resilient safety nets for the vulnerable, and demand participation in government”.