IT IS a gross injustice for the African continent not to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council 70 years after the institution was established, Zambia’s ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union (AU) Susan Sikaneta has observed.
And Zambia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr. Mwaba Kasese-Bota has charged that 70 percent of issues discussed at the UN Security Council summits affected the African continent.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation ahead of the extraordinary (the African Union Committee of Ten summit in Livingstone yesterday, Ms. Sikaneta said it was unacceptable that 70 years after the United Nations was established, the African continent did not have a permanent representation on the UN Security Council.
Ms. Sikaneta said it was for this reason that the Livingstone summit had been called by heads of state so that they could make progress on having the continent represented on the UN Security Council permanently. She said the Livingstone summit was significant because it would build progress for the full African Union (AU) summit which would be held in June where the proposals from the C-10 committee meeting in Livingstone would be submitted.
Ms. Sikaneta observed that 70 years after the UN was established, the African continent was still struggling to have a permanent place adding that for 10 years now, there had been very little progress on the issue.
“As you are aware the C-10 committee was established 10 years ago by the African Union to spearhead the continent’s quest of having a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. This is the reason why we are having this summit in Livingstone.For 10 years now not much progress has been made by the continent to get a fair share and representation on the UN Security Council on the permanent category. Now we are saying it is time we make more progress because this year is the 70th anniversary of the UN.
“This meeting in Livingstone is significant because it will be a build up to the summit of June at the AU where whatever will be adopted here will be considered for the 70th anniversary of the UN. This issue is significant at this summit,” said Mrs Sikaneta.
And Dr. Kasese-Bota has charged that 70 percent of issues discussed at the UN Security Council summits affected the African continent.
Dr. Kasese Bota said it was unfortunate the African Continent did not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
She said this was the reason why the continent had been pushing for a permanent seat so that its issues could adequately be discussed with permanent representation.
Dr. Kasese Bota added that other countries and continent were ready to support Africa get a permanent seat adding that there was only a two third needed for that.
She said there were only 128 countries needed to support the African continent.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
Critics of the council often describe it as an undemocratic international body, and argue that it fails its principle task, mainly because of the veto power granted to only five of its members – Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States while Africa does not have a representative.
Meanwhile, President Lungu is expected in Livingstone today (Friday) ahead of the C-10 committee of Heads of States Summit and he is expected to be joined by Namibian President Hage Geingob and Sierra Leon President Ernest Bai Koroma.