As part of the United Nations’ overdue transformation, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that Africa needed to have a permanent seat on the Security Council as the world body celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.The 15-member UN Security Council has Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States with permanent seats and veto power, with the other 10 members elected on a two-year rotational basis.
“We must use this anniversary to push ahead with the reforms of the UN, particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world,” Ramaphosa said his weekly message.
He said South Africa would advocate strongly for Africa to have permanent representation on the Security Council during this week’s virtual 75th session of the UN General Assembly that kicks off on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa commended the world body for assisting African countries in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic through the World Health Organisation’s timely advice and material assistance.
The UN has led efforts to ensure that the world that emerges from Covid-19 “is better, fairer and more peaceful,” he said.
In addition, the organisation had also enabled countries to focus on the work that needs to be done, not only to rebuild economies, but to do so in a manner that advances the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, he added.
“The UN has played a vital role in supporting cooperation among countries and international organisations like the World Health Organisation, as they have worked to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has focused attention on the most vulnerable countries and those parts of society most badly affected by the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.
The UN meets this week to tackle global issues on its agenda – not at its head offices in New York City – but virtually from the world leaders’ offices in their respective capitals for the first time ever due to the pandemic.