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UN reforms: Ghana president suggests mechanism for UNSC, UNGA to take up proposals together

The barrier to UN reforms is a group of 13 countries led by Italy and which included Pakistan that has blocked the adoption of a negotiating text on which to base the discussion.

Arul Louis Nov 11, 2022
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United Nations General Assembly President Csaba Korosi (second from left), meets on Wednesday, November 10, 2022, with India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj, right, and the ambassadors of the other G4 countries, Brazil, Germany and Japan, to discuss Security Council reforms. (Photo: Korosi Tweet)

Articulating Africa’s frustration with being shut out of permanent membership of the UN Security Council, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has suggested the creation of a mechanism to get the Security Council and the General Assembly to bring together all the proposals for reforming the Council and find a way to move the deadlocked process forward.

“What is important is to get the General Assembly, as well as the Security Council, engaged for some kind of mechanism where we can bring all these ideas to the table and see how best we can go forward”, he told reporters on Thursday. 

There are proposals from India and from African and other countries on the table which have to be brought together for the negotiations to move forward, he said.

The barrier to UN reforms is a group of 13 countries led by Italy and which included Pakistan that has blocked the adoption of a negotiating text on which to base the discussion.

Ghana’s President speaks to reporters outside the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, November 11, 2022. (Photo: Arul Louis)
Ghana’s President speaks to reporters outside the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, November 11, 2022. (Photo: Arul Louis)

With the General Assembly set to take up the stalled Security Council reforms next week, Assembly President Csaba Korosi also voiced the need to go forward with the reforms “during these pressing times” when he met with India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj and the ambassadors of Brazil, Germany and Japan on Wednesday.

Akufo-Addo said, “I believe current global circumstances demonstrate the urgent need to put back on the global agenda the demand for the reform of the United Nations, especially the composition and structure of the Security Council on the basis of the African Common Position,” he said

He articulated Africa’s frustration with being shut out of permanent membership of the Council saying, “What we have been clamouring for, for several several several years, at least the last two decades that I've been personally involved is to create an organisation and structure of the Security Council that is truly reflective of our times, not of the 1945 world in which it was created”.

There were only two African countries, Liberia and Ethiopia, at the formation of the UN in 1945 and all others were colonies like India and did not have a voice, Akufo-Addo said.

“An organisation that was made in those circumstances cannot clearly be reflective of the realities of today”, he said.

“We have to continue to insist on the need for these negotiations and for the discussions to take place”, Akufo-Addo said. 

Korosi’s Spokesperson Paulina Kubiak said that when he met representatives of the four countries, he “talked about his efforts to ensure coherence and coordination among the different intergovernmental processes in the UN, including Security Council reform, and the use of the General Committee for this purpose”.

The four countries together form the group known as G4 which pushes for Council reforms and supports each other for permanent seats on the Council.

“Korosi recognized that Security Council reform remains a critical issue on the UN agenda, especially during these pressing times, noting the number of world leaders calling for the reform of the SC during this year’s High-Level Week” of the Assembly in September, she said.

She added that at the meeting, “G4 members underlined that due to current developments in the world stage, there is a renewed momentum for the reform of the Security Council, therefore advocated for meaningful progress to take place during this session”. 

As pressure builds for moving the reform process forward, Korosi also met on Tuesday with the L.69 Group made up of over 40 developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific that advocate for Council reforms.

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