President Museveni has demanded that Africa is given two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Speaking at the 9th Ministerial-Level Meeting of the African Union (AU) Committee of Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at Munyonyo on Thursday, Museveni said Africa needs to be fully represented at all the UN organs including the Security Council.
“The UN Security Council should have been and must be reformed. This is not a favour by anybody but a right of all peoples that inhabit the planet earth,” Museveni said.
The president reminded his audience that in 2005, the African Union appointed members of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government with the mandate to advocate and canvass for the African Common Position on the reform of the United Nations Security Council and it was also agreed that Africa gets two permanent seats on the Security Council with two veto rights, two more non-permanent seats on the council and that it is African Union to appoint the African representatives.
“We must be in that Security Council to ensure that it is not used negatively against Africa and that it is, instead, used positively for Africa and the rest of the World,” he said.
Making a case for the two permanent seat with veto powers on the UN Security Council, Museveni said in the past, the UN system has been misused to commit aggression against Africa.
He cited the murder of DRC’s Patrice Lumumba in 1961 and the attack on Libya as two incidents in which the UN was used against Africa, noting that the latter led to the chaos in Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Nigeria whereas Congo has been in successive problems in the last 60 years.
“The membership of African countries on a permanent basis would stop these mistakes. How and who should be the members of this body? It is already known that Africa should have two members of the Security Council on a permanent basis, elected may be every four years by the African Union on a rotational regional basis. This would mean that for four years, we would have one country for North Africa and one country for West Africa,” Museveni suggested.
“Then, for the next four years’ cycle, we would have one country from Central Africa and one country from Southern Africa. Then, in the next four years’ cycle, we would have a country from Eastern Africa and another turn for a different country from North Africa.”
The Ugandan president said these African representatives would take positions given to them by the African Union and not their own individual positions.
Museveni however noted that using the size of the economy among other key factors to determine permanent representatives on UN Security Council is wrong, adding there should be fair representation by all continents.
“If we had such arrangements, mistakes like what happened in Libya, would not have happened. Trying to use the size of the economy is not correct. Germany’s economy is now bigger than either the economy of UK or France. What should we do now? Should we remove those countries from the UN Security Council or what,” he questioned.
According to the president, it is also time to bring to the high table, the defeated belligerents of the second World War including Germany and Japan in order to have reconciliation.
“We want reconciliation and forget past mistakes. Why do you continue to punish a student of imperialism and aggression when you have never punished the teacher (the actual imperialist countries as per 1900). It is, therefore, high time we forget all the mistakes of the past and have a new dispensation of equality and security.”
About UN Security Council
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.
The Security Council consists of 15 members, five of which are permanent including China, France, Russia, Britain, Northern Ireland and USA.
The permanent members can veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states to the United Nations or nominees for the office of Secretary General, a privilege that the other 10 non-permanent members don’t have.
The remaining 10 members are elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years.
By advocating for two permanent seats on the UN Security Council, President Museveni seeks to see Africa allowed to enjoy these privileges.