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March 4, 2024
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Sen. Ned Nwoko

UN Security Council: Lawmaker canvasses veto power for African nations

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By Deborah Coker

Sen. Ned Nwoko, (PDP-Delta) on Sunday stressed the need for African nations to urgently attain veto power at the United Nations (UN) Security Council, to address security concerns.

Nwoko, representing Delta North Senatorial District, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the call became imperative in view of the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa was suffering from persistent security challenges.

He added that Sahel countries such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mauritania and Mali among others had been particularly afflicted by protracted conflicts and humanitarian crises.

He noted that the UN Security Council was the foremost global institution responsible for upholding international peace and security, adding that its primary objective was to peacefully resolve international disputes as outlined in Chapter VI of the UN Charter.

“This chapter grants the Security Council the authority to encourage parties to seek solutions through negotiation, arbitration, or other peaceful methods.

“In cases where peaceful means prove insufficient, Chapter VII empowers the Security Council to take more assertive measures, including the imposition of sanctions or the authorisation of the use of force, with the aim of preserving or reinstating international peace and security.”

The lawmaker who is a member of the Senate Committee on NEPAD, noted that the UN Security Council consists of 15 members, including five permanent members.

They are the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, collectively known as the P5.

He said they possessed veto power, meaning that any one of them can veto a resolution.

He lamented that whereas the UN had 193 member states, including 54 African states, collectively known as the 54 African Union Member States, only three non-permanent member seats were allocated to the continent.

He expressed concern that the limited representation meant that African countries had less influence in decision-making on crucial global security matters.

“This means that decisions made by the Security Council, even if they directly affect African nations, can be imposed without the consent of African states,” he said.

Nwoko also expressed deep concern that without veto power or stronger representation, the Africa continent might continuously struggle to have its concerns adequately addressed.

He said that the current structure of the security council since it was founded in 1946, reflected the post-World War II global power dynamics.

According to him, this does not adequately represent the contemporary world as African nations have long argued for reform to reflect the present realities of today.

He argued that with the present configuration in the UN Security Council, with the continent having limited representation, African perspectives and solutions might not be adequately considered in the formulation of international policies.

He said as a lawmaker, he was already pushing for a motion in the Senate to urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to urgently convene a meeting of foreign ministers to initiate discussions on the matter with objective to direct African diplomats at the UN to commence the process of formally requesting an African seat with veto power.

According to him, the motion is also urging President Bola Tinubu to convene an extraordinary session of the African Union with the view of discussing this matter at the highest level of African heads of states.

“Equally it urged Mr President to champion the advocacy for the complete removal of veto power to foster a just and democratic United Nations or promote regional equality by granting Nigeria veto power on behalf of Africa.

“Failure to comply may lead African nations to consider the option of leaving the UN.

“Furthermore, the motion seeks to urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to specifically work on advocating for Nigeria to be granted veto power on behalf of Africa in the UN Security Council.

“The ministry is to engage diplomatically with other African member states to garner support for measures that will ensure active participation of African nations to attain veto power.

“Mandate the Senate committees on Foreign Affairs, NEPAD and other pertinent committees to follow up and report back quarterly for further legislative action.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Idris Abdulrahman

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