African Group statement on the adoption of the draft oral decision under agenda item 27 “Question of Equitable Representation on and increase in the membership of the security council and other matters related to the Security Council.”
Delivered by Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam, Permanent Representative of Eritrea
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the African Group on this important subject of the reform of the United Nations Security Council. We align this statement to the statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Alie Kabba, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chair of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on United Nations Security Council Reform in New York.
Allow me, at the outset, to express our sincere appreciation to you, Mr. President for your unwavering commitment and dedication towards the reform of the United Nations Security Council and for organizing thisPlenary Meeting of the General Assembly dedicated to adopting the draft oral decision on Security Council Reform and for your insightful opening remarks.
We equally thank the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations during this session -- H.E. Ambassador Ms. Joanna Wronecka and H.E. Ambassador Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani of Poland and Qatar, respectively -- for providing their “Elements Paper on Convergences and Divergences on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters”.
I would like to reaffirm the strong commitment of Africa towards advancing this important issue of reforming the Security Council to better reflect the current geopolitical realities, including correcting the acknowledged historical injustice that Africa continues to suffer.
We take note of the Co-Chairs’ laudable and commendable efforts in reflecting the Common African Position in their Elements Paper. In particular, we appreciate their effort for indicating in their Elements Paper in the section of Elements of General Convergence and Divergence, “the wide recognition and broad support by Member States for the legitimate aspiration for Africa to play its rightful role in the global stage, including through an increased presence in the Security Council, as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus adopted by the African Union” and also for precisely reflecting the view that “Redressing the historical injustice against Africa is viewed as a priority”.
However, I wish to register the disappointment of the African Group in respect of the Co-Chairs’ not fully referencing the core documents (Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration) of the Common African Position in their Elements Paper. In this regard, the African Group would like to call on the Co-Chairs’ of the IGN to ensure that the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration are accurately referenced in their Elements Paper given that the two are mutually reinforcing.
We must note that the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration are products of a common consensus reached by African Heads of State and Government, representing the aspiration of the African people. It champions our demand for the full representation of Africa in all decision-making organs of the UN, particularly the Security Council, which is the principal decision-making organ on matters relating to international peace and security. To this end, it should be noted that referencing the Ezulwini Consensus without the Sirte Declaration clearly contravenes the Common African Position and this is totally unacceptable to the African Group. We, therefore, continue to implore the Co-Chairs’ to urgently address this concern in their Elements Paper.
The African Group remains committed to a comprehensive reform of the Security Council on the basis of all the five clusters outlined in Decision 62/557, and we will continue to constrictively engage in the IGN process in an honest and constructive manner. We anticipate that the documents rolled over to the 76th Session of the UNGA will be built upon mutual respect and inclusivity through a membership-driven process.
Let me end by reaffirming the full commitment of the African Group to this extremely important issue of the urgent need to reform the Security Council. Africa’s position on this issue is well articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration. We, therefore, look forward to working with all Member States and Interest Groups in an honest and constructive manner in making decisive progress towards the reform process by accurately referencing Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration in all outcome documents of the IGN, including the Co-Chairs’ Element Paper.
I thank you!