President Jacob Zuma reiterated the call for reforms that would include an African presence on the United Nations Security Council during his Africa Day speech at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
Zuma, speaking on themes of African unity and progress, noted that the continent has produced outstanding political leaders who play a leading role on the world stage, including at the United Nations.
“Indeed, we continue to make progress in building a better Africa,” Zuma said. As Africa changes, so too must the instruments of global governance. That is why we continue to call for the reform of the UN Security Council to include Africa.”
As he continued his remarks, Zuma noted that “the membership of the UN Security Council must reflect the fact that Africa is now made up of independent countries and not colonies. The whole system of international governance should thus be much more democratic and rules-based.”
The longstanding issue over permanent seats on the security council has been heating up, and is expected to be a key issue at the African Union (AU) summit this summer. Last week, heads of state attending the AU Committee of Ten meeting in Equatorial Guinea discussed a boycott of the United Nations General Assembly if their expectation of UNSC permanent representation is disregarded.
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, the chairman for C-10, made the suggestion during the meeting in Malabo. Koroma was joined by other leaders, including President Hage Geingob of Namibia, who expressed their frustration over the barriers to finding seats for Africans at the UNSC table.
The summit brought together members of the African Union Heads of State on the Reform of the United Nations. The group is tasked with pursuing the goals of the Ezulwini Consensus, also known as the African Common Position, on the UNSC reform issue.
Image: Republic of South Africa