Staff Reporter Windhoek-In as much as African member states are in agreement that Africa must have permanent representation on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), discussions still remain on the format of this representation – whether or not Africa’s permanent seat on the UNSC should come with veto power. These were part of the discussions that Namibia was engaged in during President Hage Geingob’s time at the United Nations. Geingob, who arrived back in the country on Tuesday evening, made it clear that Africa’s representation on the UNSC is something Africa has “expected for a long time”. Geingob said having a permanent seat in the UNSC without veto rights would still not achieve much as the power over world affairs would still be vested in the hands of five countries. Alternatively, he said, the discussions also looked at the relevance of the UN as an institution formerly mandated to keep world peace. Africa has received support from China and Russia, two of the five veto-wielding members of the UNSC. The others are Britain, France and the US. Russia and China, which are members of the BRICS emerging economic block – consisting also of Brazil, India, and South Africa – expressed their support for a reform of the UNSC on the sideline meeting of the UN General Assembly last week. In a joint statement the BRICS foreign ministers from the five countries spoke of the “need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative”. The BRICS foreign minsters called for the UN to “increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges”. “China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN,” they further said. Nigeria, which is one of the African states openly vying to take up the UNSC permanent seat on behalf of Africa, went as far as to say the composition of the UNSC is undemocratic. “Clearly, it is an anachronistic notion to have a body composed of a few countries that can veto the entirety of the global community through the Council,” Nigeria’s permanent representative to the UN, Tijjani Bande, told the correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria. The body has the five permanent members – the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The 54-nation African continent has a representation of only three non-permanent members without veto power in the UNSC. With more than 80 percent of issues taken up by the Security Council relating to African affairs but Africa not having a single permanent member, the UN has battled with issues of legitimacy and representativeness.
2017-09-28 09:58:57 11 months ago