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South Africa: It’s Time For African Seats on UN Security Council

South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has called on the United Nations to designate to Africa a minimum of two permanent seats on the body’s Security Council.

According to “Briefing journalists after hosting Vuk Jeremic, the president of the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, in Pretoria on Monday, Nkoana-Mashabane also called on developed countries to honor the promises of economic support for environmental sustainability that they had made to developing countries.

“She said the world body could not continue ‘to ignore the 54 member states that form a very critical region, the African Union,’ noting that ’70 percent of the issues taken to the U.N. Security Council and are tabled for discussion are about us.’

“Jeremic, whose one-year presidential term of the 67th session ends in September, agreed that there was need for change, as well as fair representation of African states on the council.

“‘If the institution does not keep up with the times and the environment, then the Security Council will become slowly but surely irrelevant,’ he said. ‘In the future, if we are going to have a Security Council, and if we are going to have a United Nations … we will have to encompass African interests through a permanent seat at the Security Council.'”

African Union as a critical region reports: “The United Nations Security Council can no longer exclude the 54 African states, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Monday.

“‘We must not reach that point where the organization reaches 70 years and there is no change. That change cannot be, if it continues to ignore and exclude the 54 member states who form a very critical region, the AU (African Union),’ she said.”

As the largest economy on the African continent, South Africa has made it clear in recent years that it expects to gain a permanent seat as the U.N. implements reforms in its Security Council.

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