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Pressurise for permanent UN seat, VJ urges Africa

TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka
VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga has urged Africans to put more pressure for a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Dr Mwaanga said Africa should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council to enable it effectively contribute to the peacekeeping and conflict resolutions of the UN Security Council, whose agenda is dominated by African issues.
He said in a statement issued yesterday that the UN Security Council should increase its membership, which now stands at 194.
“Africa has a strong case for one or two permanent seats on the UN Security Council and additional non-permanent members, being the largest group in the UN.
“Sadly, the African position on expansion has been divided because there are some countries which say one thing in public and another in private,” said Dr Mwaanga, a former ambassador to the UN.
He said Africa, with 54 members, deserves a greater say in the UN Security Council, adding that the current negotiations have gone too far without reaching a substantive progress.
Dr Mwaanga said all the negotiating groups must be prepared to make compromises if progress is to be made.
“I fear that without compromises on the key issues of the UN Security Council reforms, the present talking will go on without meaningful progress being made and no reforms will take place, gloomy as this may sound,” he said.
Out of the 193 members of the UN, Africa has 54 states.
The UN Security Council is made up of five permanent members: the United States of America, France, China, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The UN Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, including Togo, South Africa and Morocco from Africa. The non-permanent seats are on a two-year regional rotation basis.

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