The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis chaired the 8th Session of the Ministerial-Level Meeting of the African Union Committee of Ten African Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council at the King Fahd Place Conference Hall in Dakar, Senegal which commenced on Sunday 12th January, 2020.
Speaking at opening of the two-day meeting, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis, thanked the C-10 Permanent Representatives for their active role and contribution in promoting the Common African Position in the various multilateral fora. She further commended the African Union Commission for its invaluable role in facilitating the work of the C-10.
The Minister noted that the statements made by several Heads of States, including African leaders, during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly emphasized the need to support the enhancement of African representation in an expanded Security Council. She called on her counterparts, Ambassadors and experts to take advantage of the growing support for the Common African Position as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
Minister Tunis entreated participants to actively engage in consultations with member states with a view to achieving an outcome that enjoys the widest possible political acceptance that will ultimately address the African Common Position at the UN Security Council. To achieve this, she admonished the delegates to remain cohesive on all aspects of the reform process and continue to speak with one voice in unity of purpose.
She encouraged the delegates to engage in a frank and dispassionate discussion that will not only further consolidate this Position but also accelerate the achievement of the common objectives of the African continent. “We should in this endeavor continue to be firmly committed to upholding the integrity of the Common African Position.” She concluded.
Welcoming the delegates, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of the Republic of Senegal, Amadou Ba said, Senegal in partnership with Sierra Leone and the African Union Commission hosted the 8th Session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Committee of Ten (C-10) ahead of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union scheduled to take place in February, this year.
Speaking on the formation of the C-10, the Senegal Foreign Minister said the Committee comprises ten countries, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Kenya, Libya, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Uganda, Congo and Zambia.
The mandate of the Committee, he said, is to present, defend and popularize the Common African Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration to grant the African Continent two (2) permanent seats and two (2) Non-permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council.
The purpose of the Common African Position, Minister Ba said, was to eradicate the historical injustice against Africa as demonstrated by the absence of the continent at the United Nations Security Council.
The C-10 meeting in Dakar he said, would allow the Committee of Ten to discuss the process of Inter-Governmental Negotiation which is in progress in New York; adding that they will also discuss the prospect of reinforcing the C-10 and the Common African Position.
He stated that the mobilization of Ministers of Member States to participate in the 8th Ministerial Level Meeting witnesses the need for the continuous engagement of those countries in favour of the Common African Position.
On the second day of the meeting, the Hon. Minister noted with satisfaction in her statement, that, their presence was a demonstration of the collective commitment of Africa Heads of State and Government in pursuing the mandate to canvass, promote and advance the Common African Position on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.
“Allow me, Your Excellency President Macky Sall to convey to you sir, hearty commendations from His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, for Your Excellency’s unflinching personal commitment and that of his other peers C-10 Heads of State and Government to canvassing, promoting and advancing the Common African Position, as well as for upholding the exactness of our position on the reform process.” She stated.
The Minister recalled that, several consultative meetings have been held in different Africa cities including Freetown, Nairobi, Oyo, Livingstone, Windhoek and Malabo and that they are in the historic city of Dakar to continue with the consultations on how to build progress in advancing and canvassing the Common African Position as adopted in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration; and also to explore means to further solidify the cohesiveness and unity among African Union Member States on the reform process of the United Nations Security Council.
Madam Tunis maintained that, the Coordinator, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, has, on few occasions, stated that, the United Nations was designed for a different world, born as a result of the effect of the Second World War, when colonial reign was supreme.
She said the Dakar meeting provided them the opportunity to take stock of the current state of play of the reform process, and accordingly report to their Heads of State and Government on the way forward.
She expressed her profound thanks and appreciation to those member states that have recognized and supported the call for the immediate redress of the demand for an equitable representation in the Security Council.
The Sierra Leone Foreign Minister on behalf of her colleague Foreign Ministers, thanked the Ambassadors from Addis Ababa and New York and their experts for the great commitment they demonstrated at the Senior Officials meeting on Sunday 12th January, 2020.
In her statement, the African Union Commissioner on Political Affairs, Her Excellency Cessouma Minata Samate, thanked and applauded the Government of Senegal for hosting the 8th Ministerial Level Meeting of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.
She stressed the need for unity among Africans and encouraged all to hold firm to the Common African Position within the framework of the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration which according to her, will help to address the historic injustices meted out to the African Continent.
In his official opening statement, the President of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall expressed his thanks and appreciation to the delegates for their commitment to the Common African Position and attendance at the meeting.
He thanked his Sierra Leonean counterpart, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his unwavering time and efforts in coordinating the C-10.
The Dakar Ministerial Level Meeting, President Macky Sall said was an opportunity for them to evaluate the ongoing New York negotiations on the Common African Position on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.
He called on his African counterparts to be firm and steadfast on the Common African Position for 2 Permanent Seats with veto rights and 2 Non-permanent Seats at the UN Security Council.
(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)