A permanent seat at UN Security Council won’t fix Africa’s problems

U.S. President Donald Trump. Net.

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Security Council remained a club of five “super powers” that had formed the coalition to win the Second World War (WWII).

Others keep rotating, rather grumblingly. We should organize, instead.


The leading coalition was made up of the United States of America, Russia (then USSR), United Kingdom, France and China.


They ratified the UN Charter creating the Security Council and establishing themselves as its five only permanent members with the unique ability to veto resolutions. It was on October 24, 1945.


This victory followed the Atlantic Charter that was signed on 14 August 1941 between the US President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, defining the Allied goals for the post-war world.

What was since then perceived as the World Order continued until recently, when Donald Trump was elected US President following the Brexit. These two factors shall remain in history as the ice breaker towards the new World Order.

Not only has President Trump withdrawn his country from some global protocols and international bodies, but he has also engaged in trade wars against the historical US allies, including China and other European countries, in his quest to “Make America Great Again.”

I am not talking about my country, Rwanda, which has just been a victim of its vision and resilience towards self-reliance and dignity.

As Rwanda embarked on the ban on secondhand clothes for both health and genuine economic reasons, President Trump rewarded us by suspending the AGOA benefits, allegedly introduced to help us grow economically.

How can we grow economically when we are not allowed to make our own choices and investments to leverage the aid we get or income we generate?

Back to the UN, many Africans and other states have been calling for reforms within the global organisation, especially on the composition of the Security Council.

It is a fact that this institution has and all bodies affiliated to it failed Africa and Africans. But they are not the only ones.

Looking at them critically, it is very difficult to establish why they have always failed Africa.

The major failure was the Genocide against Tutsi which was organized and executed in Rwanda in 1994, an African country, when Boutros Boutros Ghali, an African, was the UN Secretary General and another “Son of the Land”, Kofi Annan, was the head of peace keeping operations department and was later appointed the UN Secretary General.

Incidentally, these two have not only failed their Continent, but also their character. They failed Rwandans when their intervention was most needed.

Therefore, the current trade war and conspiracy amongst the nuclear states, especially US and China, Russia and Turkey should be an opportunity for Africans to organize themselves, strategize and promote their interests with a united voice.

Good enough, the African Union Agenda 2063 aspires towards a united, stable, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by her own citizens with a voice in global arena.

This unity requires prerequisites such as citizen-centered governance, security and economic development.

Looking around, the reality begs for critical analysis.

For instance, Rwandans are being harassed as they cross to our neighboring Uganda.

Banyarwanda, a Ugandan tribe, are harassed back home. And subversive groups are offered safe haven for them to destabilise Rwanda.

Rebels and terrorists are destabilising different countries, and some of the self-imposed advisers are pushing for amnesty that would promote impunity. This is the case in some central and western African countries.

Shall this be fixed by an African permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council?

African countries need internal democracy that fits their own situation to solve their own problems. Inclusiveness shall mitigate endless wars and rebel organisations.

Citizen-centered policies and choices are the only enablers of nation building especially after controversial or disputed elections.

By proving wrong the detractors and building, consensus in domestic politics, Africans shall be united and, thus, Africa. The best way to achieve it is economic development with responsible leadership.

What Africa needs most is not the permanent seat at the UN Security Council, but strong, responsible and accountable institutions, which are citizen-centered.

The writer is a Rwandan Political Analyst. Panafricanist. Secretary General, Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA).

Email: ladis.ngenda@gmail.com
Twitter: @NLadislas
The views expressed in this article are of the author.

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