(Ecofin Agency) - The President of the African Union, South African Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured), restated on September 22 the call for greater representation of African countries on the United Nations Security Council.
Delivering a pre-recorded message to the virtual session of the 75th UN General Assembly, Ramaphosa said Pretoria is still campaigning for the inclusion of several African countries as permanent members of the Security Council.
He said, "the current composition of the Security Council does not reflect the world in which we live. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN, we repeat our call for greater representation of African countries on the Security Council, and that this will be taken up with urgency at intergovernmental negotiations.”
According to the AU President, “it is only through a reformed and inclusive UN Security Council that we will be able to collectively resolve some of the world's most protracted conflicts.”
The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members (China, Russia, the US, France, and the UK) who have the right of veto and 10 non-permanent members that are renewed on a rotating basis. South Africa is currently serving its second year as an elected non-permanent member.
Cyril Ramaphosa also used his address to the UN to call on the international community to put in place a post-covid-19 recovery plan for African countries. “We call on the international community and our international partners to support the rollout of a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries. This will enable African countries to not only mitigate the health impacts of covid-19 but to aid us in the immense task of rebuilding our shattered economies,” he said.
He also pushed for the lifting of economic sanctions against some countries on the continent. “To ensure that no country is left behind, we reiterate our position as the African Union that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted to allow their governments to respond adequately to the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.
Finally, the South African leader also called “for the suspension of interest payments on Africa's external and public debts.”