Ghanaian News

Need for global justice and fairness more urgent now than ever, says President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has said that the need for fairness and justice in the global system, and especially towards Africa, has become more imperative and urgent now than it has ever been.

Speaking in Paris, France, today (10 October 2022), on the occasion of receiving the rank of Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne, President Akufo-Addo said injustice and unfairness have taken deep root globally and that they ought to be reversed if all societies in the world are to progress beyond where they are now.

“Equity is not a principle linked to the wealth or poverty of a society. Applying the principle of equity is not giving. It is refusing to take an advantage that does not belong to you.

“It has nothing to do with charity. It has nothing to do with humanitarian action. It has nothing to do with what is called co-operation.

“Equity is linked to the very principle of justice, and a society that does not have a sense of social and legal justice will never become a society of equity.

“To build a real society, there must be justice. It is true in Ghana, it is true in Africa, it is true in France, it is true in Europe, it is true everywhere,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Justice overlooked
According to the president, “At all times and in all places, the question of justice has been central to the development and harmony of societies and to relations between peoples and nations.”

He added: “Justice is not only regulating the relationships between men: it is also regulating the relationships between all the entities that make up our universe; the relationship of man to the natural world, to his environment, to the land that carries us, to the ocean that feeds and inspires us.

“We must recognise what we owe to our ancestors, what we must bequeath to our children. From this point of view, my generation has made great mistakes that current generations must repair. We were so obsessed with progress that we sometimes overlooked justice,” President Akufo-Addo declared.

“And yet, this is a principle of regulation, balance and sharing without which our societies are condemned to decline. It is also a principle of dignity, without respect for which it is impossible for any individual to be at peace with himself and with the environment in which he evolves,” said President Akufo-Addo.

ishful thinking. Fairness is a duty. Our world is criss-crossed by deep fault lines, plagued by major imbalances. Almost everywhere, the rise in frustration is accompanied by the resurgence of old forms or the emergence of new forms of violence” Akufo-Addo stated.

“The alternative to a world given over to plunder, arbitrariness and violence is a world governed by law and guided by the spirit of justice.

“We are on the verge of great disasters. This is, alas, the slope of the world,” the president said.

Honorary doctorate
On the award of Doctor Honoris Causa conferred on him, President Akufo-Addo said he is honoured, “because to be so distinguished in what is one of the intellectual centres of the France of yesterday and of always places me in a line that obliges me: from Pablo Picasso to my illustrious compatriot Kofi Annan, from Amartya Sen to Nelson Mandela, the list of those to whom you have reserved this mark of esteem fills me with humility; just as I am deeply touched that my dear friend, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, is being represented at this ceremony by the Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Madam Chryzoula Zacharopoulou”.

“Emotion, because, as a young lawyer, I lived not far from here, 5 rue Laplace, opposite the former École Polytechnique, behind the Place du Panthéon, five years which counted a lot in my training as a lawyer, as a man and as a statesman,” President Akufo-Addo said.

According to the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne, President Akufo-Addo’s contribution to the rule of law, peace and the development of education informed the decision to confer the doctorate on him.

The latest award brings to three the honorary doctorates awarded to President Akufo-Addo. The first was an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, conferred on him in May 2016 by the celebrated Fort Hare University of South Africa.

The second, given to President Akufo-Addo in December 2017, was an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the University of Liberia.

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