Thursday, October 27, 2016

Listen to Africa’s Voice, UN Urged
October 28, 2016
Lovemore Chikova in BEIJING, China
Zimbabwe Herald

China on Tuesday urged the United Nations to listen to the voice of Africa and increase its representation considering that more than a quarter of its members come from the continent.Speaking during a reception to mark the 45th anniversary since China regained its lawful seat at the UN, State Councillor Yang Jiechi said the world body should consider developing countries. The reception was attended by officials at the UN offices in China and diplomats from several countries, including Zimbabwean ambassador to China Paul Chikawa.

Councillor Yang’s appeal for more representation of Africa at the UN resonates with President Mugabe’s consistent call, in line with a resolution passed by the continent’s leaders at Ezulwini in Swaziland, for the continent to be accorded two permanent seats in the Security Council.

President Mugabe made his latest call for the resolution to be respected after returning from the United Nations General Assembly last month. He said African countries were intensifying their push to get the two permanent seats and were exploring the option of pulling out of the UN if their demand for the reform was not met.

Under the Ezulwini Consensus agreed to in 2005, African countries have been requesting two permanent seats in the UN Security Council, as well as five non-permanent seats.

Councillor Jiechi said the UN should listen to Africa, considering the continent’s contribution to the world body. “With over one quarter of its membership coming from Africa, the United Nations should direct more attention to Africa, listen to its voice, deliver benefits to it and increase its representation and say,” he said.

“This is the key to global peace and development and what international responsibility and justice is about.”

Councillor Yang said the United Nations should remain the pacesetter for improving global governance.

“It meets widely shared aspirations of UN member states, the developing members in particular, to foster a global governance system that is more equitable, just, inclusive and rule-based,” he said.

“In this regard, the United Nations should take the lead in speaking up for and acting in the interests of developing countries.”

Councillor Yang said China would continue to fight for a fair world system through the United Nations. He said the international community should remain united and committed to a shared future, despite the numerous problems facing the world.

“China will stay committed to the win-win strategy of opening-up and reject any beggar-thy-neighbour practice that serves one’s own interests at the cost of others,” said Councillor Yang.

He said by doing that, “we will be able to seize opportunities, resolve challenges and achieve the lofty ideals of the United Nations”. China lost its seat in the UN at the height of internal fighting, which saw the Communist Party of China ousting the then government from the mainland in 1949.

Leaders of the ousted government retreated to Taiwan and the communists re-named the country The People’s Republic of China from the Republic of China.

Western powers continued to recognise the Republic of China at the UN as a way of preventing a communist government from gaining a permanent seat. But in 1971, the People’s Republic of China had gained enough support from other countries, leading to the UN passing a resolution to recognise it instead of the ousted Republic of China.

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