South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday repeated the African Union’s call for reforms of the United Nations Security Council to make the body more representative.In a virtual address to the UN General Assembly, Ramaphosa said the current composition of the Security Council “does not reflect the world in which we live.”
“On the 75th anniversary of the UN we repeat our call for greater representation of African countries on the Security Council, and that this be taken up with urgency at the Intergovernmental Negotiations,” said Ramaphosa, who is also the chairperson of the African Union.
The council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, and is made up of 15 countries, five of which are permanent members and have veto powers. The five permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The AU’s common position on the UN Security Council reforms includes a call for the expansion of the body from the current 15 to 26 members, with at least two permanent seats for Africa.
The continental body wants the reform of the Security Council to be comprehensive and to involve wide consultations with all State parties.
“It is only through a reformed and inclusive UN Security Council that we will be able to collectively resolve some of the world’s most protracted conflicts,” Ramaphosa said.
The AU chairman used his address to call for the independence of Palestine and Western Sahara.
“We repeat our call for an end to the illegal occupation of Western Sahara and for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
“We further call for the lifting of the economic embargo and blockade of Cuba,” he said.