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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

India-Africa Forum Summit: PM, African leaders push for UNSC reforms

For UNSC seat, India gets support but not commitment from African leaders.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: December 25, 2015 10:36:06 pm
Narendra Modi, India Africa Summit, UN Security Council, UNSC expansion, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Egypt president, South African President, Jacob Zuma, nation news, india news South African President Jacob Zuma shakes hands with former prime minister Manmohan Singh as Congress President Sonia Gandhi greets South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane at 10, Janpath, New Delhi. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India and Africa must speak in “one voice” to push UN Security Council (UNSC) reforms, at least 10 African leaders voiced their support for UNSC expansion. While some were open in their support for India, majority of the 40 leaders present did not make any commitment about India’s candidature. PM Modi said that the UN ran the risk of becoming irrelevant unless it adjusted to the changing world.

“These institutions have served us well, but unless they adjust to the changing world, they risk becoming irrelevant.

We cannot say what will replace them in an uncertain future. But we might have a more fragmented world that is less capable of dealing with the challenges of our era. That is why India advocates reforms in global institutions,” he said.

“This is a world of free nations and awakened aspirations. Our institutions cannot be representative of our world if they do not give voice to Africa, with more than a quarter of UN members, or the world’s largest democracy with one-sixth of humanity. That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council,” he said.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe joined India in strongly pitching for UN reforms, saying African nations have been treated as “underdogs” and looked down upon as “dwarfs” by the permanent members of UNSC.

He said reform of the global body should be carried out in such a way that it becomes “United Equal Nations”.
“We are saying let us amend charter of UN,” he said, adding there should be two seats for African countries in the reformed Security Council and one for India.

South African President Jacob Zuma, who is part of G-4 grouping, also strongly backed India’s candidature for the UNSC seat.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, president of Egypt — which is part of the United for Consensus, a grouping including Pakistan that opposes India’s candidature, said the “developing countries should get their rightful place in the international bodies, and efforts should be made to remove the injustice.

African leaders from nations like Senegal, Niger, Lesotho did not make any clear commitment.

The joint statement, also did not pitch for India’s candidature, and said, “We reaffirm our strong commitment for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations system, including its Security Council, to make it more regionally representative, democratic, accountable and effective.”

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