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No decision yet on admitting Nigeria into security council, UN clarifies

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President of United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinaso, with President Buhari at Aso Rock. Photo/twitter/MBuhari

Nigeria’s hope to join the security council of the United Nations (UN) may not come to fruition anytime soon, as the big five – Britain, United States, Russia, France and China – are yet to arrive at a consensus to welcome more countries into their fold.

Twenty-five years after the mandate to reform the council, the President of the UN General Assembly, Fernanda Maria Espinosa Garcés, yesterday regretted that the world leaders had not demonstrated the political will to push the initiative through.

Specifically, Nigeria and others have consistently agitated for the expansion of the UN Security Council from its current five permanent membership with veto powers to admit more nations.

Fielding questions at a press conference after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, the UNGA chief affirmed that there was no consensus yet on the issue, noting the need for member-states to demonstrate the requisite political will.

On the prospect of expanding the council and having Nigeria on board, she said: “Regarding the question of UN Security Council reform, I have to say very honestly that this is one of the most complex, divisive and contentious negotiation processes at the UN.

“As you know, the reform of the security council is under the responsibility of the UN General Assembly and I have appointed two co-chairs to lead the works of the inter-governmental negotiations that have been taking place for 10 years now.

“The process of reforms started 25 years ago and the mandate to negotiate the reform came 10 years ago when I was the Ambassador of Ecuador at the UN. And at the time, I thought we had a resolution to start the negotiations and with a great naivety, I thought this is going to be a process that will perhaps be for two or three years.”

Garcés continued: “Ten years later, I have to say that there is no consensus, there are very different views and positions regarding the reform process.

“As we know, we need consensus to advance reforms. This is one of the issues where my work as the president is to lead and make sure that we agree on the fundamentals to ensure that the process is inclusive and transparent as well as ensure that the outcome of the reform is going to depend very much on the political will of member-states themselves.”

The UNGA president observed African countries’ divergent views, expressing her will to bring them to a point of convergence.

Regarding the humanitarian needs in the Lake Chad area, she said it was the responsibility of the UN, adding that the world body was deploying all its capacities.


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