By Chukwudi Enekwechi
WITH the recent election of Poland into the United Nations’ Security Council as a non-permanent member, it is expected that developing countries like Nigeria stand a good chance to receive international attention on various development issues and challenges.
Firstly, Poland is an Eastern European country that has made phenomenal progress in several areas like education, science and technology, information technology, aviation, maritime, and manufacturing. From all indications, it is obvious that having attained a significant height in economic growth and other human capital development index, Poland is now poised to assume its rightful position in the comity of nations.
This paradigm shift was given expression recently when Poland won the support of one hundred and ninety members out of the one hundred and ninety two members of the United Nations and was elected a member of the august body.
Having attained this towering height in international diplomacy, it now remains to be seen how their membership will benefit developing countries like Nigeria.
Going by historical accounts, Poland has remained a benevolent country despite its chequered history where its administration oscillated between the Nazi Germany and Russia before the country stabilised.
For example, from 1939 the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union destroyed the country when they invaded Poland at the beginning of world war 11. The invasion caused the death of millions of Polish citizens who met their demise during the Nazi occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1945.
This brief history is a typical example of the shared history between Poland and most developing countries like Nigeria which suffered one upheaval or another in the past.
Therefore, with Poland having the privilege of being elected for a non-permanent tenure at the United Nations’ Security Council, it provides an opportunity for developing countries to leverage on it and benefit from Poland’s current strategic position. It is also remarkable that three African countries namely Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea were also elected as non-permanent members of the security council.
As at today, there are several issues of interest to Nigeria and other African countries in which Poland can be of immense assistance. For instance, issues related to climate change, HIV/AIDS scourge, environment (erosion and desertification), infrastructural development, healthcare, education, human capital development and terrorism can be used as templates for the support of Poland at the United Nations.
It is pertinent to state that Poland was able to clinch the victory as a member of UN non-permanent member based on the vigorous campaign embarked upon by the country’s President Andrezej Duda and the Foreign Affairs Minister Wiltold Waszczykowski. Of course, Poland had on its own earned the support and goodwill of the international community based on the objective analysis of its domestic and foreign policies.
The objective of the campaign was to relaunch Poland as a major player in international affairs. By achieving the feat which must get the stamp of approval from two-third of the members, Poland has proven that its various reform programmes are being well received across the global community. It all shows Poland’s emerging new leadership role in the world.
Poland as Europe’s fastest growing economy can play a major role in attracting foreign direct investments to developing countries like Nigeria. The exponential growth of Poland’s economy over the last ten years can also serve as a template for African countries to extricate themselves from the pangs of poverty, unemployment and under development.
Poland is also in a position to assist Nigeria and indeed other developing countries in the area of technology transfer. As a country famous for different technological innovations and inventions, Poland’s new international engagements will offer an opportunity for other countries to benefit from its knowledge- based economy.
Additionally with their recent election into the non-permanent member position Poland has an opportunity to espouse its vision to the world. It is this vision that has made Poland one of the most secured and prosperous countries in the world.
Poland’s emergence as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council did not happen overnight. The effort started since March 2009 as Poland’s economic and political reform policies came under global scrutiny and the result is the vote of confidence passed on the country by majority of the 192 member countries which elected Poland into the powerful body on June 2, 2017.
In a changing world beset with different challenges like terrorism, cybercrime and climate change, Poland will contribute significantly towards making the world a better place.
Similarly the election will promote mutual benefits between Poland and other United Nation’s members as the international profile of Poland will greatly improve the country’s influence and impact in global affairs and its diplomacy will also become more visible and tangible.
Mr. Enekwechi, a journalist, wrote from Abuja.