(JollofNews) – The Vice President of the Gambia and Minister for Women’s Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy has called for a reform of the United Nation’s Security Council.
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
It consists of 15 members, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
But addressing the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Ms Njie-Saidy described the current composition of the council as undemocratic and akin to minority rule.
“It was an anachronism for five countries with the veto to dictate the political and economic agenda of the world,” she said.
She renewed calls for Africa to allocated two permanent seat with veto power in the council. She also called for the next UN secretary-general to represent the people of the world, not just the Permanent Five.
The Vice President added that the world was at a crossroads and wars had intensified in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere.
“History will only judge us kindly if we are magnanimous and devoted to the welfare of our people,” she said.
“It was past time for Israel to heed the overwhelming international consensus for a two-state solution as the only viable solution to the Palestinian issue.”
Vice President Njie-Saidy added that although the threat of terrorism has undermined the fragile peace the world enjoyed, it was no excuse for certain “rogue politicians and pseudo-intellectuals” to use the actions of a few to create a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West, or Islam and the other Abrahamic religions.
She added that it was necessary to focus not just on security but global economic conditions as well, and a world of zones between the affluent and the poor could not be stable.
The Vice President said the Gambia has made significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals, including eradicating hunger, and welcomed the theme of this year’s General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals.
She added that Africa is losing its young population because of migration, with thousands perishing at sea and many more languishing in detention centres in Europe. She expressed the need for international cooperation to create jobs to keep young Africans at home.
The Vice President said the failure to address and settle the age-old injustices of slavery and colonialism were responsible for many of the problems in the world. She added that while Africa had been plundered and pillaged and its citizens forced to build Western nations while facing discrimination, some questioned the merits of reparations.
“Such restitutions had been paid by many countries, including by Germany, Japan and the United States, while Iraq had paid reparations to Kuwait. Why then should Africans and people of African descent be ineligible for reparations?” she asked.
She said the African Group at the United Nations had prepared a resolution on slavery which would be tabled, and all nations were encouraged to support it.