ADDIS ABABA– Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country back Africa’s quest for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as this will bring additional value to the Council.
Addressing a joint media conference at the African Union (AU) headquarters here Friday with AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Lavrov said there is a need to reform the Security Council, adding that Russia had consistently assumed the need to reform the Council.
He stressed: I don’t think that the developed countries are under-represented in the current composition of the UNSC. The most important thing is raising the representation of developing countries in the UNSC and we are willing to consider any option.
The 15-member UNSC has five permanent members with veto rights– Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — while the other 10 members serve two-year terms. Africa is represented by three members; Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and Western Europe and Others by two members each; and Eastern Europe by one member. Traditionally, one of the seats assigned to either the Asia-Pacific Group or the African Group is filled by a nation from the Arab world.
Lavrov, who is in Ethiopia in the course of a tour of several African countries, said: If Africa is represented at the Council it will be able to introduce an additional value to the UNSC.
Apart from backing Africas quest for a permanent seat at the UNSC, he expressed the interest of his country to boost its co-operation with Africa in all spheres.
We seek co-operation with the African Union in all domains without exception — in political fields, in trade and economy, the humanitarian field, education and an inter-mesh of co-operation in the international arena.
Co-operation on education, military training, consulting the universities were mentioned among the other areas while the diplomatic academy of the Russian foreign ministry will welcome AU officers, he added.
Moussa Faki Mahamat said it is unfair that Africa does not have a permanent seat on the UNSC. It is a legitimate demand of the African continent for decades now and so far there has been no progress on this, he added.
We believe that Russia, which has always supported legitimate quests of the continent, will continue to support the demand of Africa, Mahamat noted.
The two sides discussed co-operation in fighting terrorism in all its manifestations, including funding of the extremists and the spread of terrorist ideology.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK