The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations today (Thursday 12th November, 2009) told the General Assembly that the African Group is impatient to get their request for at least two Seats in both Permanent and Non-permanent categories of the Security Council.
His Excellency Mr. Shekou M. Touray was making a statement in Sierra Leone’s capacity as Coordinator of the Committee of Ten (C10) at the plenary session of the General Assembly on “Items 9 and 119 on the Work of the Security Council and the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and other related Matters”.
He said the reform process, which has been under negotiations for over a decade and half, has “cautiously forged” ahead although the progress, was not to the liking of the African Group. These long years of negotiations have however provided an opportunity for the African Group to know the “convergence, divergence and sticky areas” that now assist in today’s negotiations.
Ambassadopr Touray re-echoed the points raised by the Egyptian Ambassador and Permanent Representative, and Chair of Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) for the month of November H.E. Mr. Maged A. Abdelaziz to express disappointment over the “apparent resistance” to improve on Council’s working methods, which will enhance and promote “transparency, inclusivity and legitimacy of its proceedings”, particularly addressing the 60 year-old provisional Rules of Proceedings.
The African Group’s position as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration, argues that being the largest continent, yet with no membership in the Permanent Category of the Council was an “historical injustice” that leaves Africa as the only continent not represented in the permanent category of the Security Council.
“Paradoxically, this organ devotes 70 percent of its time dealing with issues directly and sometimes exclusively affecting the continent, which also provides over a quarter of the membership of the United Nations,” Ambassador Shekou Touray said.
He also observed there was a majority support from the CARICOM Regional Group, Asian Group, the East European Group and more, (not to mention African Group) for the expansion of the two categories of the Council. Most of the states agreed that there was need for the inclusion of small and medium States to be included, and of course, the African Group to give it a democratic flavour.
The sticky area as the C-10 Coordinator earlier put it turned out to be the area of the veto. While some states thought it must be left to an intermediary approach, the African common position was to have it abolished or, extended to all Permanent Members as a matter of common justice.
The Permanent Representative said Africa was ready and willing to continue to negotiate in good faith and mutual trust as the Inter-governmental negotiations continued but stressed that the African Group was in a hurry; impatient to see an historical injustice redressed but hoped for an acceptable outcome at the end of the session.
Elizabeth M. S. Foray
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone
To The United Nations
245 E 49th Street, New York
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