New York, September 25, Mana: President Peter Mutharika has asked the United Nations (UN) to accommodate African representation through two permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
Mutharika made the demand on Monday when he addressed the Nelson Mandela Global Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA. World leaders were celebrating the centenary birthday of former South African President, Nelson Mandela.
Mutharika asked the UN to adopt the African Common position from the Ezulwini Consensus where the demand for two African permanent seats was made. The Ezulwini Consensus is a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations, agreed by the African Union.
It calls for a more representative and democratic Security Council in which Africa, like all other world regions, is represented.
The consensus is named after Ezulwini, a valley in central Swaziland with several tourist hotels where the agreement was made in 2005 and later adopted at an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union in March, 2005 in Addis Ababa.
“We call upon the UN to accommodate African representation through two Permanent Seats in the UN Security Council. However, the UN will make more progress protecting and maintaining peace by involving Africa in its decision-making processes,” said Mutharika as he delivered his 150 seconds speech. Each president was given three minutes.
In the Ezulwini Consensus, AU demands to allocate at least two permanent seats and five non-permanent seats. In addition, the AU set forth that either all permanent members including the new permanent members must have the right to veto; if not then no permanent members may have the right to the veto.
African countries demanded the reform of the UN Security Council because they observed that it (the Council) is out of date and out of touch with reality. The countries observed that of the five permanent members with veto power, none is from Africa yet the continent provides the largest membership of the UN.
The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In addition, the council is made up of 10 other non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the UN General Assembly but these members do not have veto powers.
According to www.sardc.net, a permanent seat for Africa on the UN Security Council will allow the continent to at least have some voice in all decision-making organisations of the UN, setting the stage for the reconstructing of global affairs.
The consensus also calls for the need to expand the size of the council from 15 to 26 members, with fair representation of Africa.
“Full representation of Africa in the security Council means not less than two permanent seats with all the prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership including the right of veto, and five non-permanent seats,” reads part of the Ezulwini Consensus.
Mutharika urged the UN members to reflect on the role Nelson Mandela played in peace building and asked the UN not to undermine Africa.
“Let us also reflect the role Africa can play in this cause. The world needs Africa more than ever. Let us rise up and take our place in the global community,” he said.
He said Malawi supports the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by 2020. He also said Malawi will always go out to defend peace wherever peace is under threat and that she would continue participating in peace-keeping missions wherever duty calls.
He added: “Malawi has moved to develop counter-terrorism legislation on Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).”
All world leaders who spoke at the summit praised Mandela for being a unique African and global icon that promoted peace.
“Mandela was a true leader and communicator. He was a hero. Let us remember him by promoting peace. Weapons of mass destruction should have no place in this world. Nuclear weapons should not be used again,” said Palau president Tommy Remengesau.