‘Let’s all reform UN Security Council’ | The Herald March 29, 2016
Felex Share in TOKYO, Japan—
Global efforts need to be redoubled if countries are to overcome Western countries’ resistance to reform and democratise the United Nations Security Council, President Mugabe has said. The President made the remarks while addressing journalists after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here yesterday. The Japanese Premier also said there was need to modify and level the playing field at the world body’s Security Council, which is dominated by the five countries with permanent seats. These are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The five also have veto powers.
Said President Mugabe: “Zimbabwe and Japan concur on the need to reform the Security Council. It is my sincere hope that global efforts will be redoubled to achieve a more inclusive and full democratic United Nations Security Council. Currently, the pace is rather slow and we hope that members of the UN will work together to speed up this necessary adjustment.”
President Mugabe has made repeated calls for the modification of the Security Council saying other countries had been made “dwarfs” while the five countries, popularly known as the “Big Five” dominate the most powerful UN arm. In January, he threatened to pull out of the organisation if the West, principally Britain and the United States, continued to block efforts to democratise the organ.
On the other hand, Japan is part of the Group Four (G4) countries together with Germany, India and Brazil, nations which have mutually supported each other’s bids for permanent seats in the Security Council for them to possess veto powers which enable them to prevent the adoption of any “substantive” draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support for the draft.
G4 countries have proposed reforms in the UN Security Council to include an additional six permanent seats, four going to them and two to African countries. President Mugabe said there was also need to ensure resolutions of the UN General Assembly — the policy making and representative organ — were respected.
“During our deliberations (with PM Abe) we highlighted the importance of the UN General Assembly which at present is the only true representative body in our organisation,” he said. “While we work towards the reform of the Security Council, we will do well to ensure that the voice of the General Assembly is respected and its resolutions are complied with by all.”
PM Abe, who has for long sought African support to land a seat in the Security Council, said adjustments were needed in the organ that is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. “We acknowledged and reaffirm the challenge that we are facing in international fora in particular the need to reform the UN Security Council,” he said.
“President Mugabe is the great leader and doyen of Africa and I would like to promote the Security Council reforms collaborating close with him.” The Security Council is responsible for approving new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its Charter.
It is also responsible for establishing peacekeeping operations, international sanctions and authorising military action through its resolutions.