Madam Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
My sincere thanks to Her Excellency Madam Nabeela F. Tunis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone for hosting this meeting, despite the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I seize this opportunity to commend the President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Mr. Julius Maada Bio in his capacity as Coordinator of the Committee of Ten (C-10) for the invaluable work and sustained efforts towards fulfilling the Committee’s mandate of advocating and canvassing support for the Common African Position on the UN Security Council reform.
I wish to reaffirm, in this regard, Algeria’s firm commitment to our Common Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, and to the mandate entrusted to us by our Heads of State and Government.
In this milestone 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the reform of the Security Council is more than ever a necessity. The international community and the major stakeholders cannot afford to ignore anymore the current geopolitical realities, and in particular the need to address the non-representation of Africa in the category of permanent members and its under-representation in the category of non-permanent members of the Security Council. For us and again, any reform of the Council should get into improvement of its working methods and increase its effectiveness to maintain global peace and security which are at the core of the Council’s mandate
Against this background, allow me to make the following remarks:
First: Albeit the sustained momentum on the Security Council reform, we continue alas to witness the lack of progress in the framework of the Intergovernmental Negotiation (IGN) process. Almost eleven years have elapsed since the launch of the IGN, positions remain strongly divided amongst Member States and interest groups and consensus seems more and more difficult to reach. The COVID-19 further hampered any meaningful progress during the last IGN session, with the risk that the pandemic would totally disrupt the process.
Second: Despite the stalemate in the IGN process, we cannot dismiss one progress which deserves to be highlighted, namely the increased and overwhelming support for the Common African Position by a large majority of Member States and interest groups. Such support makes us confident of the validity and the legitimacy of our demand. Hence, it is incumbent on us, as members of the C-10, to continue to relentlessly defend our position and to develop a strategy to translate this support into tangible and substantive results.
Third: It is important to remain fully engaged in order to keep the momentum of the increasing and overwhelming support to the Common African Position. Bearing in mind the disruptions caused by the pandemic which severely affected the work of the C-10 and the 2020 IGN session in New York, we must continue to build on and ensure a proper follow-up of the implementation of the pertinent recommendations contained in the 21st Report submitted by the Coordinator of the C-10 to the AU Assembly.
We must ensure a meaningful participation of African States on substantive and procedural matters, at the IGN meetings in New York, and in bilateral and multilateral fora. Priority ought to be given to defending, promoting and advocating the Common African Position on all aspects of the reform, including restating our position on regional representation and the Veto, as well as opposing the creation of a new category of membership of the Security Council.
We must also pursue our consultations and engagement with other Interest Groups and stakeholders, including the Five Permanent members (P-5) at the highest level.
Fourth: We must preserve our unity and cohesiveness and speak with one voice around the Common African Position. Our group is the largest electoral bloc (28%) in the UN General Assembly, and if we remain united and resolute, we will certainly be able to make it through and correct the long historical injustice that Africa continues to endure.
Let me conclude by echoing the sentiment that the Security Council reform is long overdue. Momentum was created and should not be lost. More than ever, we need to muster the desired political will and recommit ourselves to move forward this process by setting up ambitious and concrete actions, in order to fulfill the vision of our pan-African organization, as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
Dear Nabeela, thank you for holding up the torch of this noble endeavor.