Editor's Comment

Africa deserves seat on UN Security Council

PRESIDENT Lungu addresses delegates of the 70th United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America on Saturday. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

AFRICA is a continent of great diversity. Its peoples and cultures are diverse but it is currently pursuing a common agenda. The quest to have a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
The acquisition of a seat on the UN Security Council, as President Edgar Lungu is seeking before the UN General Assembly in New York, means that the continent will have more say on world affairs and be part of those that make decisions at the global level.
This also means that the African continent will no longer be excluded from making decisions that affect it, but it will be more involved in pushing a common agenda on the world stage than it is at the moment.
The UN, as a whole, is the highest law-making body in the world and membership matters to countries because of the benefits they can gain from there.
We have seen how the conventions adopted by the UN have filtered down to the member countries where they have been adopted and adapted into the local legislature.
The quest for a seat on the world body has been an ongoing issue which African leaders have been pursuing with passion because they know that as representatives of their countries, the continent will have a better say when its leaders add their voice to the august global body.
The United Nations was formed as a world body to prevent any further occurrence of war on a global scale like had been experienced during the First and Second World Wars.
True to its mandate, the UN has been able to prevent large-scale war and the world has been at peace for the last 68 years since the Second World War that left untold misery on humanity.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the organs of the UN and it is particularly charged with the responsibility of ensuring peace prevails at the global level.
In the past, it has authorised interventions in war-ravaged areas to prevent large-scale massacres and it has since assumed the role of keeping peace by sending troops to war-torn areas of member countries.
The African continent has known a number of challenges such a hunger, poverty, disease and war, with some of these challenges being peculiar to the continent.
So when the African leaders are seeking a seat on the 15 member Council (five of whose members are permanent), they want to represent their continent because they know better the challenges they face.
As President Edgar Lungu said in his speech to the UN General Assembly, time has come for the continent to have a seat on the UN Security Council because the bulk of the agenda concerns Africa.
African leaders understand their challenges better and they are in a better position to present these challenges to the outside world than any other person.
The inclusion of Africa will foster unity and equality among the UN member countries as they will see it as part and parcel of those that make decisions for the good of the world.
We, therefore, urge leaders of the global body to heed the request from Africa and secure a seat for the continent which has been outside the UN Security Council for the last 70 years.

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