Onyango Kakoba

African legislators have stepped up demands for the continent to have permanent representation on the United Nations Security Council by 2020, the chairperson of the African Parliamentary Alliance for UN Reforms to the Pan African Parliament has said.

Onyango Kakoba said the continental legislature, which is sitting in Egypt, is spearheading parliamentary advocacy for UN reforms in favour of Africa.

“The Charter for UN reforms embodies a unique commitment to guarantee Africa’s inalienable right to be represented and to participate meaningfully in a world order capable of maintaining global peace and security,” Kakoba said.

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The former delegate from Uganda to PAP was presenting a paper titled “Changing the UN system for a better world” on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at the sitting in Cairo.

“We are calling for the UN Security Council reforms by 2020 and explicitly demanding for the African Union to engage in a campaign of organized non- cooperation with the Security Council from 2020 until the demands of the Union are met,” he added.

The permanent members to the UN Security Council, also known as the Big Five, include the governments of China, France, United Kingdom, United States and Russia.

Legislators from various countries in Africa joined in chorus to demand for reforms in the permanent representation to the UN body.

According to Hunadi Mateme (South Africa), the African continent cannot be excluded anymore and only remembered when there is need of raw materials. She said African countries are participating in peacekeeping missions and deserve their place in the Security Council.

“Africa has been divided, exploited, oppressed and strangled. I urge all parliamentarians to support this alliance and call for UN reform or an ‘Afri-Exit’ because we cannot continue to stay with people who are unfair to us,” Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas (Nigeria) said.

Muhammad Reza Cassam (Mauritius) questioned how five countries decide for the world what is wrong or right, when to go to war and how to maintain security in the world.

“How do five countries control security issues in Africa when they have vested interests? It’s more than 10 years since the Ezulwini agreement. We cannot be dictated to by five countries,” he said.

The African Heads of State meeting at the 5th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in the Libyan city of Sirte in July 2005, under the Sirte Declaration on the reform of the United Nations reaffirmed the common African position on the proposed reforms to the world body, popularly known as the Ezulwini Consensus.

The Ezulwini Agreement called for at least two permanent seats including veto rights, and five non-permanent seats for Africa on the Security Council.

Following the Agreement, a committee of 10 heads of state (C-10) was established by the African Union with a mandate to advocate for the UN reforms. The C-10 members are Sierra Leone (Chair), Uganda, Senegal, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Zambia, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya.

However, 10 years later since its establishment, Africa is yet to get a permanent seat at the UN Security Council

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