UN dangles security council seat carrot as Brics expands

The resolution by Brics member states to add six more members to their family appears to have softened UN’s attitude toward the longstanding call to open the security council.

This after UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres told members of the media on Thursday that it is not opposed to having one more permanent seat on the security council.

Brics and African countries have for years called for the transformation of the security council, insisting that Africa, which is not represented, must be considered.

The security council has for decades been an elite club of superpowers that have sweeping powers on security matters that affect the world.

As things stand, the all-powerful security council is comprised of five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US.

The Brics expansion is seen as a rebellion against the skewed balance of forces in institutions such as the UN Security Council that have a bias for superpowers at the expense of emerging economies.

Guterres, who attended the 15th Brics Summit which wrapped up at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Thursday, said it is a serious injustice that Africa is not represented in the security council.

“I have not seen any opposition from the ‘big five’ in relation to the representation of African countries in the security council,” said Guterres.

He said it is the most obvious injustice that Africa is not represented in the council.

“We are not yet there, but things are starting to move in a different way, and I know that the reform of the security council will become a strong element on the agenda of our discussions next year.”

He said in those discussions, it is highly likely that a decision for one more permanent seat will be taken.

Guterres praised Brics for pushing for a strong multipolar world, saying this is good for stability and security for all.

“The security council, the Bretton Woods system [the World Bank and IMF], and other international governance institutions reflect the world of 1945 when many African countries were still part of the European Empire,” he said.

To this day, he added, Africa is badly represented in the global financial architecture and does not have a permanent seat in the security council.

“The world has changed, and so global governance must change. It must represent today’s power and economic relations and not the power and economic relations of 1945.”


Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.

Latest News