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Nigeria, France want Africa on UN Security Council seat

President Goodluck Jonathan (5th left), and other African leaders with the President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, at the opening ceremony of the 25th Africa-France summit in Nice, France, yesterday. Photo: State House.

By Daniel Idonor in France
NICE—AHEAD of a new phase of negotiation at the United Nations General Assembly, this month, aimed at producing a synthesis of the proposal for a permanent seat for Africa  in the Security Council, President Goodluck Jonathan and his host, Mr. Nicholas Sarkozy, yesterday, resolved to support immediate reformation of the United Nations Security Council to include Africa as permanent member.

President Jonathan addressed a closed door session of Heads of State, made up of over 57 leaders on the security situation in Africa. He drew global attention to the need for Africa’s permanent representation through Nigeria in the Council.

Jonathan spoke as the French President, Mr. Sarkozy, insisted that “the UN Security Council must be reformed and Africa must have permanent member representation. This Summit shall take position and step forward to achieve this.”

Vanguard gathered that President Jonathan’s address, which was not available to journalists covering the summit, centered on crucial roles Nigeria had been playing in peace keeping operations across the world and the need to reward Nigeria with a permanent seat in the Security Council.

In an emotion-laden speech, the French President said it was long overdue for Africa to take its rightful position in world governance and called on world leaders to wake up to the reality.

Sarkozy said: “There should be no hypocrisy; we can no longer manage the 21st century all alone. Africa is our future and the continent must no longer be excluded. It is no longer possible to address major world issues without the presence of Africa. Our destiny is inseparable.

“The failure of Africa will be the tragedy of Europe and it must be noted that it is only 12 kilometres that separate our shores. The resources of Africa will be the major sustenance for the world in the decades to come.”

Tribute to African Union

The French President who called for closer ties between Africa and his country and the Europe at large to achieve this goal, however, paid tribute to African Union and ECOWAS as well as other Africa regional and sub-regional organizations for their efforts at maintaining peace and security in the continent.

He stressed the necessity to institutionalize democracy, human rights, rule of law, peace and security in the African component countries for the achievement of the goal, declaring that

“France wants to be the ally of Africa; together we can build the world governance for the 21st century of ours”.

Opening ceremony of the 25th Africa-France summit in Nice, France. President good luck Jonathan among other African leaders during the opening ceremony.

The convener of the summit, Sarkozy, said more than 200 business men from Africa were invited and were waiting for concrete resolutions that would come up for partnership.

In his remarks, host of the next summit in 2012, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, thanked Sarkozy for his position, noting that the importance of the Summit was underscored by the new challenges that had emerged on the continent.

Mubarak decried the situation whereby Africa was made to bear the brunt of global international crisis that the continent was not responsible for its cause, saying that “the future of Africa lies in the hands of Africans and the continent would best decide its allies and collaborators”.

President Jonathan was expected to address the summit in camera on the subject of peace keeping and conflict resolution in the African region.

Jonathan was nominated to talk on the topic by the convener of the summit, President Sarkozy, because of the pivotal role Nigeria played in peace, security and conflict resolution in Africa and the world at large.

Earlier before the opening session of the Summit, President Jonathan held closed-door bi-lateral meetings with Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Mubarak of Egypt and the Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga


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