British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly expressed today, Thursday, his country’s support for reforming the UN Security Council and granting Africa a permanent seat in it, to reflect more multilateralism and the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Cleverly said in a speech to the Chatham House Center in London: “We want Africa to be represented permanently (in the Security Council), and that India, Brazil, Germany and Japan are members” of it.
He added, “I realize that it will be a bold reform, but it allows the Security Council to enter” the third decade of the current century.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly
The Security Council currently consists of 15 members, including five permanent members with veto power (veto), who are the United States, France, Russia, Britain and China, while the other ten seats are occupied by members who are elected for a period of two years.
US President Joe Biden has previously supported the expansion of the Security Council in a way that gives Africa permanent representation, and grants the African Union a place within the G20.
Cleverly stressed that the United Kingdom is “very attached to multilateralism,” pointing out that his country “was one of the architects of (the Security Council) and we want it to succeed and prosper,” stressing “the need for a reformed and revitalized multilateral system” to be “more comprehensive and more responsive to international challenges.” .
He continued, “One of the things that surprises me during my conversations with the leaders of Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia is their repeated talk about their impression that the multilateral system often deals with issues that concern the Euro-Atlantic region.”
And he believed that “the best way to change this impression … is to ensure that they (these leaders) have a strong and consistent voice” at the table discussing global challenges.
Developing countries have long complained about the lack of consistent representation and feared that this would render the UN Security Council useless.
However, calls to reform the body, which was established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, have not received a response so far, amid doubts expressed by experts about the acceptance of the five permanent members to give up their privileges or share them with others.
In past years, the Security Council seemed to have limited influence in the face of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.
Cleverly considered the Russian military operation in Ukraine as a “calculated assault on the Charter of the United Nations” and the rules of the international system.
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