Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam Alvar Mwakyusa
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

African countries will continue pushing for the UN Security Council’s reformations to grant the continent two permanent seats with veto powers in the global body’s top decision organ.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Dr Augustine Mahiga, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that apart from the two veto allocations, the African Union (AU) wants additional two non-permanent seats in the 15-member Security Council.

The Council is the UN’s most powerful body, with primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Five powerful countries sit as permanent members along with ten elected members that serve in two-year terms.

The five permanent members are the United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom and France. “The security council must be reformed to accommodate African countries and grant them veto powers,” Dr Mahiga said yesterday while responding to questions from journalists ahead of the UN’s 71st Anniversary on October 24.

Through the Ezulwini Consensus, African leaders meeting in Swaziland in 2005, called for the UN reforms into a more representative and democratic organ, in which Africa, like all other continents, is well represented. Dr Mahiga noted, however, that it has not yet been decided which countries to enter the council, should the proposed reforms be accepted.

“Initially, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt were eyeing the seats but Cairo opted out following political turmoil in 2011. “There have been suggestions as well that Africa should be allocated two permanent seats with veto powers, but these will be rotated between countries in the continent in a specified period,” Dr Mahiga stated, affirming continued cooperation between Tanzania, the UN and its agencies.

“Tanzania is among the few developing countries with almost all UN agencies and these spend about one billion US dollar annually in their operations,” he explained. The UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez, praised President John Magufuli for addressing corruption and inefficiency as well as beefing up efforts to collect more domestic revenues.

“We also appreciate the enormous contribution that Tanzania continues making in the provision of asylum to the needy,” Mr Rodriguez said in a speech read on his behalf by Ms Chansa Kapaya.

He noted further that the UN will continue to partner with the government and Tanzanians on development and humanitarian projects.

Commemoration of the UN Day in Tanzania this year will carry a theme; “Tanzania Youth Empowerment and Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Dr Mahiga urged Tanzanians to learn different languages and apply for jobs at the UN and its agencies.

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