Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called on all African member countries of the United Nations to pull out of the organization if it refuses to grant the African Union, the continent’s umbrella body, a seat on the UN Security Council.
According to New Zimbabwe, on Saturday, Mugabe spoke to thousands of his party, Zanu PF, faithfuls as he arrived at Harare International Airport on his return from the just-concluded 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was held in New York last week.
“This year, we went to UN as an African committee, after we agreed to join hands and speak with one voice on the issue of vetoing power,” said President Mugabe.
“It’s unfortunate that we had not finished and agreed on our position as the African Union, but I hope all will be fine next year.
“But next year in September, if they keep on refusing to accept and give the African Union the vetoing powers, we will pull out.”
No Seat for Africa
The United Nations was formed at the end of the Second World War to prevent a repeat of war on a global scale and promote world peace and unity among all nations of the earth, replacing the older and somewhat less effective League of Nations.
To date, the UN is the largest global organisation and all sovereign nation states on earth are representative members.
However, power within the organisation itself lies almost exclusively with the five-member UN Security Council that is made of the key, allied nations (Britain, France, China, Russia, and the United States) that defeated Germany at the end of the Second World War. All five countries have veto powers or the powers to unilaterally override any decision they object to.
According to Mugabe, Britain, France, and the United States are to blame for the refusal to grant Africa a seat on the Security Council. China and Russia, though, have always been more receptive to the idea of Africa joining the Security Council.
“Countries such as Britain, France, and America are blocking us. If they continue with their stance, they must know that more countries that are members of the United Nations are from Africa and Asia.
“They must not cry foul when countries from these regions pull out and form our own Union.”
Mugabe claims that Russia and Asian heavyweights China and India are ready to team up with the rest Africa to form a parallel global organization.
“The Union will have countries, such as China, India and other Asian countries, and then we have to see…which countries will remain in United Nations.”
Mugabe then slammed every other African leader who did not share his stance, describing them as cowards. “Africa is now full of cowards who are afraid, so we need to give them courage during this process of deliberations,” he said.
“I don’t know if we are going to come up with a common decision. There are other countries who are cowards. Africa is now led by new leaders who are no longer members of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity. It is now led by cowards only, without direction…. It cannot only be Mr. Mugabe who comes out calling for UN reforms.”
It should be remembered that during his tenure as the head of the AU, Mugabe called on Africa to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has almost exclusively gone after African leaders.
He described the body as biased and urged Africa to form a parallel version of the Hague body that would train its focus on trying European leaders for a litany of crimes that often go unpunished.
Also in 2003, Mugabe led Zimbabwe out of the British Commonwealth organisation in protest over a barrage of sanctions against his government by the U.K. and the European Union over allegations of gross human rights violations.