South Africa calls for permanent African seat on UNSC

March 13, 2012 8:49 am 

JOHANNESBURG, March 13 — The South African government expects the African continent will have a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the future, said an official on Monday.

The UNSC is one of the principal organs in the UN with executive powers to determine sanctions and military intervention against any country in the world, and a permanent seat entitles the membership to veto or stop any resolution it does not like. However, there is no permanent seat for all African countries on the UNSC, the South African Press Association (SAPA) quoted Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim as saying at the University of Limpopo.

The deputy minister said more than 70 percent of the UNSC's agenda were concentrated on the African continent. Nearly 80 percent of the UN peacekeepers are deployed in Africa, including more than 23,000 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and over 27,000 peace-keeping people in the UN-African Union mission in Sudan.

In recent years African countries have been pushing for the UN reform, and the UN should consider the African concerns, said the deputy minister.

It was reported the African continent demanded two permanent seats on the UNSC.

Normally, the reform of the UNSC requires the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN memberships and that of all the permanent memberships of the UNSC.

He said South Africa has been using its tenure to explore concrete measures to promote the relationships between the UN and regional organization, in particular the African Union (AU) in the conflict prevention, management and the resolution on the African continent.

South Africa commenced its second two-year term as a non- permanent membership of the UNSC on January 1, 2011.

South Africa will endeavor to use its membership to increase Africa's voice in the UNSC, and urge the UN to do more to support the renewed momentum in the quest for peace and prosperity, according to the deputy minister.

He suggested the coordination should be increased between the UN and AU on matters of mutual interest and strategic political coherence. (PNA/Xinhua) RSV/mmg

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