Russia has backed Africa’s quest for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Russia’s foreign affairs minister Sergey Lavrov assured his country’s support after meeting with the African Union chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the AU Headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week.
This assurance is a foot in the door for Africa as it needs the support of the five permanent members of UNSC if the General Assembly approves the Security Council reform to increase the seats.
The UNSC has 15 members including five permanent members that wield the power to veto all resolutions. The five permanent members comprising China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States are from three continents only.
None of the 54 African countries has a permanent seat and this has generated a lot of criticism over the years accusing the United Nations of injustice as much of the Council’s agenda is concentrated in the continent. However, African countries are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms as non-permanent members of the UNSC.
The African Group is demanding two permanent seats that would rotate between African countries chosen by the group.