Africa, Ethiopia: Efforts towards UNSC reform

The questions of fairness and inclusiveness are among the priorities that Africans and the Global South have continuously been asking major organizations of the world. Sections of the globe that have never been treated equally like their sister sects have cried for their ultimate right to be included and able to reflect their own views without depending on other powers. Africa, in this case, has suffered a lot. And, the continent has been asking for an absolute reform in major financial institutions and powerful blocs to consider the ones who have been bystanders for their own issues.

Many countries around the world and the continent Africa have been neglected in the major global issues and received whatever decision that a handful of nations pass. Due to the long era of colonialism and its consequences, Africa could not find any way to make itself seen and have its own decision. The continent and its people have been victims of the system and it still suffers major blows in political, economic, and social issues.

Through its continental bloc and some major African actors like Ethiopia, Africa has called upon the world to consider reform in major global organizations, and Ethiopia has been the voice of Africa like before. The country has proven itself as a true pro- Pan African nation that defends continental interest. Ethiopia has been a pioneer country to raise the question of fairness and inclusiveness and leave no one behind.

History teaches that Ethiopia is still considered as the beacon of hope and freedom for the black people and the whole Africa. Its victory over colonialism and its perception, Ethiopia shows the world what freedom and equality is. The country is still striving to meet its stand towards independence and impartiality and to be treated fairly like any other.

To this part, Ethiopia, as a voice of Africa, has been calling on responsible stakeholders to realize proper reforms in major global blocs and financial organizations to incorporate Africa and the continent to be represented by Africans. Ethiopia has been advocating on reforming the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) so that Africa, with 1.4 billion populations, deserves a permanent seat at the high table.

For Instance, during the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU), Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) underscored that Africans deserve permanent seats at the UNSC. The premier noted, “This is particularly through of the United Nations. We as Africans lack representation in the Security Council and are underrepresented in a variety of ways. It is the right time to reform and revitalize the United Nations system to reflect current global realities and ensure that a more representative body with only fair representation and transparency in those institutions can usher in a just era in multilateralism.

Similarly, during his biweekly press briefing recently, Nebiyu Tedla, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson stated that Ethiopia is one of the leading countries that are raising voices for Africa to have a permanent seat at the UN Security Council by strengthening its participation in the multilateral institutions of which it is a founder. Adding, the current UNSC does not reflect the Global South and Africa, which constitutes over 20 percent of the UN member states.

Besides, like Ethiopia, most African nations including the Continental bloc, the African Union (AU), are expressing their strong desire and pushing so hard to add Africa in the world’s high table and get a permanent seat. On top of that, actions have been taken to realize the long waited call for permanent representation.

Lately, according to a report from local media, a roundtable discussion was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the aim to discuss on how to achieve a reform at the UNSC where diplomatic corps based in the capital city participated.

During the discussion, AU Political Affairs, Peace & Security Commissioner Bankole Adeoye said that the world remembers Africa when they need its solidarity in the UN General Assembly, and it is battling with its own challenges. The current UN Security Council (UNSC) does not in any way reflect the Global South and Africa, which constitutes over 20 percent of the UN member states.

However, Africa is a formidable force that could potentially be strongly united, resilient and influential, he stated, and stressed that “54 member states in the UN system that is already over 20 percent that can be a force to reckon with, but we are not at the table.” adding Africa is not at the most important round-table that speaks about peace and security in the world.

“Multilateralism cannot be what we see in the current composition of the UNSC. It is not inclusive, equitable, representative, and democratic; and it is not in any way reflecting the Global South. It does not reflect Africa as we want. So, we want a united, resilient Africa that would promote the sustainable development goals but also lead to the next level,” the Commissioner stressed.

The negotiations and process and reform package of the UNSC reform has been going on for decades, Ambassador Bakole stated.

According to him, promoting global identity and shared values are crucial to achieve the reform which currently is missing in the UNSC. Adeoye underscored that “there is no way we are going to have a council that is reformed and does not speak to the shared values of all UN member states as humanity.”

Also, the veto is not democratic, he pointed out, and noted “I can imagine in our national systems, intergovernmental institutions there is nowhere that veto is exercised recklessly, consistently, and without restrain.” But in this case, autocracy at national level is condemned while veto system is put in place at international level that blocks reasonable and most efficient use for international diplomacy.

“What the AU is saying is that we want to be a strong united influential player in the international system; and that means that we must use all the arrows we have to make sure we bring peace and stability to our continent and to the world and effectively.”

Finally, Adeoye underlined that Africa wants the UN to reform its council “because our issues will be reflected based on what we believe are globally shared values, shared experiences and lessons, and the action that comes with whichever process.”

All in all, Africa will not stop until it reaches its goal to witness real reforms in major blocs and organizations and get a permanent representation. It is absurd to leave 1.4 billion people behind and cry for democracy and a peaceful world. Ethiopia, as always, voices the interest of the continent showing its unwavering stand regarding equality and inclusiveness. Africa has to have a permanent sent in the UN Security Council and other financial organizations, and it remains committed to be a catalyst in the process.



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