Ethiopia has called for reforms in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to allow Africa permanent seats in order to have a concerted and collective effort in addressing global challenges.

This has been revealed by H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister while submitting at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Saturday.

Currently, the Council comprises five permanent members which include China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

“We have a shared planet and a common destiny. Overcoming our collective challenges require concerted effort and trusted global leadership. We are gathered here because our forefathers, learning from the tragic episodes of human history, decided to establish the United Nations as the guardian of peace,” submitted H.E. Demeke.

“However, we are yet to achieve true universality in the main organs of the United Nations. Africa has no permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Our quest for African solutions to African problems is yet to be given the respect and support it deserves. We believe, these considerations underpin the credibility of the Council in the continent.”

“African problems are sustainably addressed when approached in the true context of the region and take full account of the strategic interests and aspirations of the countries concerned. It is only when we do these and uphold regional solutions, we could start reducing the proliferation and over extended stay of African issues in the UN Security Council,” he added.

H.E. Demeke Mekonnen

He re-emphasized the need to scale-up international cooperation noting that the gravity of the challenges the world faces today demand for coming together in search of collective solutions.

“We need more, not less, multilateralism. We shall continue to uphold our cardinal principles of independence, impartiality, integrity, noninterference, sovereign equality, and non-selectivity to maintain a working multilateral system rooted in the Charter of the United Nations.
We need to reform our global institutions to reflect current realities,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

“We need to make them more representative and responsive to the demands of the time. Only through genuine solidarity and concerted action could we ensure collective security and prosperity,” he added.

The same call was made by President Yoweri Museveni in January this year while addressing the Foreign Ministers of the African countries of the Committee of 10 for the reform of the UN Security Council, meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, saying such will ensure that the security council is not used negatively against Africa.

“The UN Security Council should have been and must be reformed. This is not a favour by anybody but a right of all peoples that inhabit the planet earth. The international arrangement that was arrived at in 1945, after the devastating inter-imperialist second World War caused by the greed of the imperialist countries that were vying for colonial possessions, fighting as to who should own us (the Africans and the Asians), having exterminated or enslaved the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia and New-Zealand, was temporary because many of us were not in position to make our own decisions,” said the President.

“The Asians and the Africans were in colonial bondage, although we had been used to fight and die in those other people’s wars of the Imperialists ─ the first and the second World Wars. In the two World Wars, more than 3.5million Africans and 6.5million Asians (Indians, etc.), were used in fighting those wars, which were not their wars. Yet, no thought was given to how they would participate in international decision making. Was the assumption that we would never be free? If that was the assumption, then the assumers were wrong”

“By both peaceful and violent methods, the countries of Asia and Africa,are now free. Even the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia, New-Zealand that survived extermination, are also beginning to assert themselves as we have seen in countries like Bolivia, etc”

“It is, therefore, a circus to waste time, year after year, debating the obvious. We demand our right of having permanent seats, not the seasonal ones allotted to us by the present unfair system, on the UN Security Council,” noted the President.

He added that: “Every reasonable man, as the lawyers say, I do not want to bother myself talking of fair-minded man, should see that the 41.4billion Africans that will be 2.5billions in the next 29 years and billions of Asians, the former colonized peoples, cannot be kept out of that UN Security Council on terms similar to the present five (USA, China, Russian, Britain, France) that monopolize that body.”

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He... More by Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam

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