The German Foreign Affairs Minister, Guido Westerwelle has made a strong case for the inclusion of African nations and Latin American countries with more Asian countries in the United Nations Security Council.
According to the Minister, the inclusion of more member nations in the Security Council will enhance the capacity and authority of the international organization in addressing and avoiding conflicts of today’s world.
Westerwelle made this known during his remarks to questions from journalists after his keynote address at the 2013 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in the United Nations city of Bonn, Germany.
Mr Westerwelle noted that all the United Nations institutions as they are, still reflect how the world was after the Second World War and these institutions need urgent reforms to reflect the dimension of today’s globalized world with emerging nations.
“The United Nations reflect in their structures, the world, how it was after World War Two but it is not the current reflection and the fact that all Latin America is not represented permanently in the Security Council of the United Nations with one voice, doesn’t have anything to do with the world of today.”
“These are old structures” he stated to a rousing applause from the audience.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the fact that the whole of the African continent not doesn’t have a single voice, doesn’t have a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations is the world of the past and not of today and not even anything of the future” he told over 2,000 journalists at the World Conference centre in Bonn.
He further decried that “the whole of Asian continent has only one voice, the voice of China in the UN Security Council.
This, he noted “doesn’t reflect the power of relation in the world we are living in and it reflects the situation when the United Nations were established and not really future development.”
The Minister called for the reform of all international organisations to be more representative, warning that not doing so will only ‘weaken’ the institutions.
“The international institutions of the world have to be more representative. If they are not representative, we will weaken them.”
“So all the continents, all success stories has to reflect in all international organization, only then will this international organization have sufficient authority in the world to avoid and overcome conflict.”
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action.
There are 15 members of the Security Council. This includes five veto-wielding permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—based on the great powers that were the victors of World War II.
There are also 10 non-permanent members, with five elected each year to serve two-year terms. This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN Charter.
Nigeria is currently in the forefront of demanding reforms of the UN Security Council as it seeks to take the African slot for a permanent seat with contemporaries such as South Africa and Egypt.
Mr Westerwelle also revealed that the German government under Angela Merkel has agreed to further intensify its relationship with African nations, describing the partnership as a ‘classical relationship’ which must “be intensified.”
He described as it as “linking up with the new powers of the world in a strategic way.”
By Ayo Okulaja