Africa seeks Security Council seats

African countries have made a strong plea for world support for their moves to get two veto-wielding permanent seats on the UN Security Council.

    African countries are pressing for the expansion of the UN body

    Nigeria's UN ambassador Aminu Wali on Monday formally introduced a draft resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of the 53-member African Union (AU).
      
    The AU calls for a 26-member Security Council, with six new permanent seats with veto power, including two for Africa, and five non-permanent seats, including two for Africa.
     
    "The African group considers that the draft is balanced and tailored to meet the challenges of our times," Wali said. "The co-sponsors commends the draft resolution to the member states for consideration." 

    Rallying support
      
    The ambassadors from Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Burkina Faso then took the floor to urge states to support the resolution which they said was meant to correct an injustice that has left Africa as the only continent not enjoying permanent membership of the powerful Security Council since the United Nations was created 60 years ago. 

    "The African group considers that the draft is balanced and tailored to meet the challenges of our times"

    Aminu Wali,
    Nigeria's UN ambassador

    Egypt's UN envoy Maged Abdelaziz stressed that the draft was the result of a compromise by all African states and was meant to "serve the interest of the entire African continent".

    On Sunday, an AU delegation led by Nigeria, the group's current chairman, held talks with the foreign ministers of so-called G4 countries Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, and agreed to pursue discussions to overcome differences between their rival proposals on Security Council expansion.
      
    G4 countries see the support of the UN's African bloc as crucial for passage of the draft resolution on Security Council expansion which they introduced in the General Assembly.
      
    The G4 proposal, strongly opposed by countries such as the United States, Pakistan, Algeria and Canada, aims to boost Security Council membership from the current 15 to 25, with six new permanent seats without veto power and four non-permanent seats.
      
    At present, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the only permanent and veto-wielding members of the council, which also has 10 rotating non-permanent members without veto power.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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