VISITING Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma says Africa has not made progress in negotiating for the reforms of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to see the continent get a permanent seat on the council.
Dr Koroma has called for serious consideration of the matter as Heads of State congregate in Zambia’s tourist capital to discuss the continent’s prospects of earning a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Dr Koroma blamed the slow pace of progress on member states with authority not wanting to relinquish power, adding that this had posed a big challenge for reforms.
He noted that there was need for the continent to be given a permanent position on the UN Security Council, adding that Africa had the largest representation at the United Nations.
He also pointed out that most of the issues discussed in the UN security meetings often affected the African continent
Dr Koroma said there were 51 African countries in the UN which had a total number of 293 members.
Dr. Koroma said this upon arrival at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport yesterday.
The summit of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State opened at ministerial level with a clarion call for Africa to take up its rightful position at the United Nations Security Council.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba emphasised that Africa must have a permanent seat on the Security Council and the current status quo where the continent had no voice should be a thing of the past. “Africa is perhaps the most discussed continent under the UN Security Council. This is more reason why Africa should be represented and play a greater role in influencing matters related to security,” Mr Kalaba said. Mr. Kalaba said the non-representation of Africa on the permanent category of the UN Security Council and the under-representation in the non-permanent category is a situation which should not continue.
“For us in Africa, the UN Security Council is as important as any of the principle organs of the United Nations and we believe that it plays an important development role,” he said. Mr. Kalaba, who is co-chairperson of the meeting for Foreign Affairs ministers was speaking at David Livingstone Lodge when he officially opened the deliberations.
And his Sierra Leone counterpart Samura Kamara said it was only the legitimate, transparent and effective Security Council that could address the multifaceted challenges of international peace and security. In a speech read on his behalf by Ambassador Andrew Bangali, Dr. Kamara said the present composition of the Security Council negates the core principle of equity upon which the United Nations is solidly anchored.