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Friday, 18 June 2010

France says Africa must be on UN Security Council

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday Africa should be represented on the U.N. Security Council, promising to back reforms when France takes the helm of the G8 and G20 groups of big economies next year. Speaking at the launch of the 25th Africa-France summit, he said it was time for the world to make a place for Africa on the global stage to discuss international crises and reforms. African nations have asked for two rotating permanent seats since 2005, given the continent has about 27 percent of members at the United Nations, its size and the involvement of global powers on its territory. China, the United States, Russia, Britain and France are the permanent members of the Council. Nigeria, Gabon and Uganda are among 10 members that hold rotating seats. The G8 is made up of leading rich nations, while the G20 also includes other big economies. South Africa is Africa's only G20 member. Security Council reform has been held up, with four countries in particular - Brazil, Germany, Japan and Pakistan - seeking new permanent seats. A group called "Uniting for Consensus", led by Italy, Argentina, Pakistan and Mexico, opposes those bids and wants the Council to add only additional non-permanent members. In 2005, the African Union adopted the "Ezulwini consensus", which advocates reserving two permanent seats with veto power as well as more non-permanent seats for Africa. France is pushing for a reform proposed previously with the United Kingdom whereby non-permanent membership on the Security Council would be raised to 10 years instead of two now, without the right of veto, a French diplomatic source said.

Source: Reuters