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AU proposes changes to UN Security Council, President Bio makes a stronger case

ADDIS ABABA (GA) – During a recent summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2022, the African continent made it crystal clear the need for the United Nations to become a global and participatory body devoid of western domination and those of immense military and economic power such as China and Russia indeed.

Presenting the 22nd report to the plenary in which what appears to be a stronger case was made, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone who is also Chairperson of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, UNSC, said, “ Although they had made progress, by embarking on some high-level consultative meetings, including the Summit of C-10 Heads of State and Government and the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, they must also remain steadfast to amplify the call for Africa to have an effective voice in the decision-making processes of the UNSC.”

“Excellencies, in presenting the 22nd Report together with its draft Decision for adoption, let me conclude that our demand is legitimate. We must continue to resist the distractions and efforts made by the other Member States and Interest Groups to divide and distract Africa from its Common Position.

“All Member States of the A.U. must remain vigilant, continue to speak with one voice, and be unified on all aspects of the U.N. Security Council reform process,”  President Bio added.

The Sierra Leonean leader also reaffirmed the African continent’s position on the question of ‘Veto’ and opposed the concept of the third category of membership of the U.N. Security Council, which, according to the broader African Union, was not in compliance with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. With support from his peers, President Bio further re-echoed Africa’s rejection of any intermediate, transitional or intermediary approaches to the reform process of the U.N. Security Council as it would undermine the Common African Position.

“Regrettably, there has been no substantive shift or narrowing down of the nuances in positions of the Member States and Interest Groups. These divergent positions have made it challenging to achieve decisive progress in the reform process.

“The clusters on the ‘Question of the Veto, Regional Representation, the Categories of Membership and Size of the U.N. Security Council’ continue to be some of the main areas of contention in the Intergovernmental Negotiations [IGN], a release from the A.U. maintained.

“Additionally, there is also the challenge of moving beyond procedural matters, including the persistent call for text-based negotiations by a single negotiating document. Finally, there is also the challenge of the continual dual membership of African countries in other Interest Groups. This raises doubts about the cohesiveness and unity of Africa over our Common Position,” the progressive West African leader said.

According to a release, President Bio also noted that the Common African Position would remain unchallenged despite those concerns as it is the best means to redress and address the historical injustice. Therefore, “Africa must remain united and cohesive to continue to speak with one voice on both substantive and procedural matters.”

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