Ten AU Heads of State to meet in Namibia

12 Jan 2016 16:40pm


Ten African Union (AU) Heads of State will meet in Windhoek for a one-day summit on Friday on the reform of the United Nations Security Council. The Committee of 10 (C-10) Heads of State Summit on the reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council takes place on Friday. It will be preceded by a ministerial meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.

The C-10 is an initiative of the African Union to accelerate the reform of the UN, particularly its Security Council. The committee comprises the Heads of State of Namibia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia.

Many African leaders have been calling for a reform of the UN, which amongst others would include expanding permanent and non-permanent membership to reflect geopolitical realities and regional representation.

The reform of the UN Security Council encompasses five key issues: categories of membership; the question of the veto held by the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Unites States); regional representation; the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods; and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.

Africa has appealed against its lack of representation on the Security Council through its Common Position, which is receiving overwhelming support from other groups and member states. The Heads of State meeting in Windhoek this week will deliberate on the reform and democratisation of the UN.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi said in a statement issued on Tuesday the summit will be officially opened by President Hage Geingob. She said the Security Council remains the principal organ responsible for maintaining international peace and security, but its current composition does not reflect equitable geographic representation.

The C-0 Summit will play an important role in intensifying efforts to advocate, canvass and promote the African Common Position on the matter as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. The summit will also reaffirm African unity and solidarity on the reform of the UN Security Council.

The Ezulwini Consensus is a position on international relations and the reform of the UN as agreed upon by the African Union. It calls for a more representative and democratic Security Council in which Africa, like all other world regions, is represented. The consensus is named after Ezulwini, a valley in central Swaziland, where the agreement was made in 2005.

The consensus was then adopted at an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union in March 2005, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Ezulwini Consensus was followed by the Sirte Declaration of July 2005, which required at least two permanent seats and two non-permanent Security Council seats for African states.