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Jonathan in France, seeks UN Security Permanent seat for Nigeria

….Speaks on Security in Africa at Summit Monday

By Daniel Idonor, in France
NICE (FRANCE): Ahead of a new phase of Negotiation due in June this year, aim at producing a synthesis of the proposal for a permanent seat, Nigeria will Tuesday at the Acropolis International Congress Center engage in high level international diplomacy by using her increased Participation in peace- keeping operations in over ask French President Nicholas Sarkozy to prevail on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to admit Nigeria as a permanent member.

The Nigeria’s Ambassador to France, Ambassador Gordon Bristol told Vanguard that the summit is a multi-national activity whereby Africa on one hand and France on the other are coming together to root out certain issues, particularly, the global governance, the democratization of government institutions, adding that issues of equitable representations, equitable concerns and other matters that concern Africa will be tabled.

According to him, “It also concern issues of peace and security to which President Jonathan has been nominated to make a key note presentation in recognition of the roles that Nigeria is playing in conflict resolution not only in Africa but in the globe”.

“From Kosovo to Middle East we have sent peace keeping troops under the banner of the UN the AU. Nigeria has co-invented new approaches to peace keeping as evident in Liberia and Sierra Leone using the instrumentality of sub-regional organization as envisage under the relevant charters of the UN Charter”, he said.

According to him, “Nigeria is well suited to speak on the issue of peace and security in the world and Jonathan will do that in the Summit”.

“Africa is also concern with the issue of climate and environment. We are a major oil producing Nation, foreign countries are coming to explore oil within our national borders; there are issues that arise relating to our environment. We are also desirous of industrializing and the developed world is telling us that certain approaches to industrialization have implication for global warming”.

He added that “Africa contributions to global warming is new but they are asking us to forgo certain approaches to industrialization because of their environmental  implications but we are saying that that would be a sacrifice because Africa has not start industrializing at all”.

Nigeria has to be on the table and has to do everything within its power to influence a global action on this issue and not just be a spectator

In May 2010 at the event marking the 50th Anniversary of the indenpend3ence of Cameroun in Younde, which was attended by President Jonathan, 17 African countries, including 14 ex-French territories, President Paul Biya pleaded for at least one permanent seat for Africa in the Security Council.

New international negotiations were begun in by the UN General Assembly in 2009. French President Sarkozy has repeatedly called for “fairer” representation for Africa, as well as an enlarged Security Council. But beyond the divergences among permanenet members, who did not wish to yield even the tiniest portion of their vetoes, and beyond Africa’s “maximalist” claims, the difference between potential candidates blocked any reform. For

Africa has over one billion inhabitants which represents 18 per cent of world population and 27 per cent of the members of UN can only boast of 4 per cent of the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Faced with this globalization and the emergence of countries like China, India and Brazil, Africa is in search of a place in international political and economic bodies responsible for preparing the future of the planet.

This explains why the place of Africa both in the UN, World Bank and the IMF, and today in the G-20, which encompasses both developed and emergent countries, is an indication of the continent’s true economic weight, rather than its political or demographic importance.

In the Security Council, the highest authority of the UN, the Africans currently have three non-permanent seats. They are calling for four more members, two of which should have the right to vote, and the remaining two should be part of the non-permanent members. The Security Council has five permanent members (US, UK, France, Russia and China and 10 non-permanent members each elected for two years. The Council has only been reformed once in life, in 1963, when four non-permanent seats were added.

Several attempts at reforms have been attempted in recent years. After a first proposal by the President of the UN General Assembly in 1997, a report of “wise men” called for by the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Anan, proposed the enlargement of the Council to 24. Anew effort, which was also without any success, was made in 2005 by the G-4 (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany) proposing six new permanent seats (G-4 plus two African countries) without veto, and two additional six new non-permanent seats.

The proposal was supported by France, but was blocked by countries in the group “Unite for Consensus” backing Italy, Argentina, Pakistan and Mexico. This group called for enlargement to 10 non-permanent members. For their part, Africa countries supported the “Consensus of Ezulwini” (after a Town in Swaziland) which called for two permanent seats with veto, and two additional non-permanent seats.

A new reform that will admits Nigeria into the Council is being aggressively canvassed by Nigeria and the rest of Africa, but this would necessitate the agreement of at least two-thirds of the UN members State, and for all the permanent members who have veto, hence the France trip by Nigeria is crucial to President Jonathan, who would want France to bring to bear her weight on other Council members..


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