South Africa demands permanent African seats in UNSC

Johannesburg, Aug 13 (IANS) South Africa Monday appealed for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms and inclusion of Africa with at least two permanent seats.

The appeal was made by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane after hosting Vuk Jeremic, president of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, in the administrative capital of Pretoria, Xinhua reported.

"We agree with all member states that change cannot be if it (UN) continues to ignore and exclude the 54-member African Union (AU)," the minister said.

"We have taken a very clear position that there will be no change without us because 70 percent of the issues taken to the UNSC and are tabled for discussion are about us," she added.

The 54-nation African continent has a representation of only three non-permanent members without veto power in the UNSC.

South Africa's official Bua news agency Monday pointed out that the minister's call for change came amid an on-going debate that Africa should be given a seat in the UNSC.

Jeremic agreed that there is a need for change in the UNSC, saying "a fair representation of African states in the UNSC is needed", according to the Bua.

"The current composition of the UNSC does not reflect the realities of the 21th century. If the institution does not keep up with the times and environment, the UNSC will become slowly but surely irrelevant," Jeremic said.

As the biggest economy on the African continent, South Africa has made it plain to the world in recent years that it expects to gain a permanent seat as the UN implements reforms in its security council.

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