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Legislators want permanent Security Council seat for Africa

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 17th August 2016 07:40 AM

In 2005, the AU put in place a committee of ten heads of state to champion African Common Position on UNSC reform

Legislators want permanent Security Council seat for Africa

Onyango Kakoba the executive chairman of the African Parliamentary Alliance for UN Reforms.

In 2005, the AU put in place a committee of ten heads of state to champion African Common Position on UNSC reform

A group of African legislators from the five regions of Africa are drafting a petition calling upon the United Nations (UN) to reform and give Africa a permanent representation on the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Currently the UNSC has 15 members of which five are permanent while 10 are non-permanent. The permanent include China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States while  Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela are non-permanent. The non-permanent membership is rotational after every two years.

Addressing the media on Tuesday at National Theatre, the executive chairman of the African Parliamentary Alliance for UN Reforms (APAUNR), Kakoba Onyango, said that he has formed a ten member committee that will draft the petition which is aimed at supporting the efforts of the African Union (AU) to have a permanent member on the Security Council.

In 2005, the AU put in place a committee of ten heads of state (C-10) to champion African Common Position on UNSC reform that would see Africa represented as a permanent member in the council as enunciated by the Ezulwini Consensus.

The Ezulwini Consensus was adopted in 2005 by the AU executive council, calling for a more representative and democratic Security Council, in which Africa, like all other world regions, is represented on a permanent basis.

Onyango who is also the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Buikwe North said that the petition will require at least 10 million signatures from Africans across the continent.

He explained that in order to generate these signatures, they are starting a 'barefoot walk' campaign to sensitize African states about the need for a permanent representation in the UNSC and ask them to sign the petition, calling upon the UN to reform and include Africa in the permanent membership.

Onyango stated that they are advocating for two seats at the Security Council, one with veto powers and five non-permanent seats.

"If the UN does not reform, then by 2020 we shall go by the position of the AU and pull out of the UNSC, because it is injustice on the side of the African not to be represented there yet it has the majority representation in the UN with 54%," he said.

He stated that since the African continent is the worst hit by security challenges as compared to other continents, it should have a permanent representation on the UNSC with veto powers to make faster decisions regarding its challenges.

Onyango pointed out that the reason why the Security Council takes long to respond and address the challenges is due to the refusal of one permanent member state to agree to the decision of the others and since he has veto powers, the other four cannot make a resolution without his concession.

The other APAUNR committee members include Dr. Bernadette Lahai, the leader of opposition in Sierra Leon, Chief Fortune Z. Charumbira, Senator parliament of Zimbabwe, Abdulrazak Saad Namdas, MP National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Prof. Awad hag Ali Ahmed, MP National Assembly of Sudan.

Eng. Peter Mositet, Senator Parliament of Kenya, Mustafa Gendy, MP of Egypt and Phesheya Victor Hlatshwayo, MP of the Kingdom of Swaziland are also on the committee.

Onyango said that the petition will submitted to the UN next year after they have received all the required signatures.

APAUNR is an international organization of predominantly incumbent and former members of parliament in Africa spearheading parliamentary advocacy for UN reforms in favour of Africa. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

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