The president of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, has demanded that Africa gets permanent representation on the United Nations Security Council. The Head of State who is credited for transforming the economic and social circumstance of his country, and for his role in mediating on regional conflicts, made the call on Thursday as he addressed the UN gathering of world leaders. In his remarks, the Sierra Leone leader said: ”No one continent should have an exclusive monopoly over membership of the Security Council. There is no justification for a discriminatory allocation of seats, nor can we debate and endlessly ignore the realities of our rapidly changing global circumstances.” In his speech at the UN the Head of State renewed his call for social justice. Ernest Bai Koroma is one of the most respected leaders in the sub-Saharan African region, and his statement will definitely have an impact as world leaders debate the UN’s role in the global politics of the world.
It has become unacceptable that Africa remains the only continent without permanent representation in the council. Apparently, at the meeting, a lot of African leaders shared the president’s views. Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe went further and stated that “Africa’s plea for justice cannot continue to be ignored. We all have an obligation to make the council more representative, more democratic and more accountable.” ”We therefore urge member states, including those that have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, to give due and fair consideration to Africa’s legitimate demand for two permanent seats, with full powers of veto, plus two additional non-permanent seats.”
The United Nations Security Council is currently made up of just five permanent members. They include the US, Britain, France, China and Russia. Ten other members are elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly, with five replaced every year. The non-permanent members are chosen by regional groups before being confirmed by the assembly. The African bloc chooses three members; the Latin America and the Caribbean, Asian, and Western European and Others blocs choose two members each; and the Eastern European bloc chooses one member. One delegate from an Arab country is chosen alternately from the Asian or African bloc. Africa’s inability to have a permanent say on security council issues is something that needs to be addressed immediately if the continent is to have a leverage on major decisions made by the security council. It is only appropriate that Africa is fully represented as the world body’s legitimacy will always be questioned. For the UN to fulfil its all important role in the world, these injustices should be at the heart of its debates at it position itself to tackle difficulties faced by mankind.
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