Will Africa finally get a permanent
seat on the U.N. Security Council during the Obama administration? James Warlick, acting assistant Secretary in
the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs told the
Foreign Press Center in Washington last week that the clamor for a permanent
Security Council seat for Africa was a legitimate concern.
In a question and
answer session, Warlick reportedly said while the U.S. has not taken a position
on whether Africa should get a permanent seat, there was no question Africa
needed to have a voice in the Security Council.
Kabiru Mato, chief of the political
science department at Nigeria's University of Abuja told VOA that
democratizing the Security Council to involve Africa would be a welcome
development giving the continent's immensity.
think (a permanent seat for Africa) is possible only to the extent that the
United Nations itself continues to remain relevant in international politics,
and the relevance of the organization in international politics, I think, must
be understood from the perspective of the efficacy of decisions that the
council normally takes. Not the United Nations organization that we have seen
in the recent which basically has become a toothless bulldog where one or two
superpowers within the Security Council may decide to behave unilaterally as
America has behaved in Iraq in 1991," he said.
said Africa will benefit significantly from a permanent seat on the Security
is the only continent that does not have a membership in the United Nations
Security Council, that is permanently, and the real benefit of course would be
that an African member of the Security Council will have a veto power. Apart
from the veto power will have also leverage to participate in the very
sensitive decisions that are taken by permanent members of the Security
Council," Mato said.
said democratizing the United Security Council involving Africa is a welcoming
development, and Mato said the Obama administration has a serious challenge in
retaining the sanctity of the United Nations Security Council.
said the International Criminal Court would not have been able to issue an
arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had Africa been on the
U.N. Security Council.
really think an African membership on the Security Council would have frowned
at that because the position of the African Union as far as the arrest warrant
is concerned is that it is illegitimate, and that it simply explains the nature
of double standard that international capitalism apparently subjects to other
countries that are economically less advantageous to them," Mato said.
He said the International Criminal
Court (ICC) cannot enforce an arrest warrant against Sudan because just like
the United States, Sudan is not a member of the ICC.