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23 Jan, 2024 09:16

Africa needs permanent seat on Security Council – UN chief

Antonio Guterres has described the continent’s lack of representation as a “flagrant injustice”
Africa needs permanent seat on Security Council – UN chief

The fact that Africa lacks a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is an injustice, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday.

The UN chief insisted that the present structure of the UNSC is paralyzed by geopolitical divisions and does not reflect the reality of today’s world. The Security Council has 15 members, five of which are permanent – Russia, China, the US, UK, and France – and which have the right to veto any resolution.

Guterres made the remarks during an engagement with reporters after addressing the Third South Summit of a group of developing countries known as the G77 plus China in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

He said that while most African countries were not independent when UN institutions were established, the fact that the continent does not have a single permanent member of the Security Council constitutes a “flagrant injustice.”

According to Guterres, all five permanent members of the council have been “favorable” to the demand for Africa to have proper representation in the body.

So for the first time, I’m hopeful that at least a partial reform of the UN Security Council could be possible for this for this flagrant injustice to be corrected, and for Africa to have at least one permanent member in the Security Council,” he said.

It is not guaranteed… it depends exclusively on member states, on the General Assembly, but for the first time I think there are reasons to be hopeful.”

The 55-nation African Union (AU) has long sought permanent representation in the UNSC. In 2005, the bloc established the C-10 group, whose primary mandate is to present, advocate for, and canvass support for the common African position on Security Council reforms. It seeks two permanent seats on the council but is currently represented by Algeria, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone as non-permanent members.

Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his support for calls for the AU to have a seat at the UNSC and the G20, saying it would reflect the desire of African nations to have their voices strongly heard.

In September, the AU was formally admitted into the G20 group of leading economies at the bloc’s summit in New Delhi, India. South Africa had been the only African country with membership in the G20.

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