Outcomes from recent discussions at the United Nations on the restructuring of the Security Council

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO. 477 (NO4461E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO.15-2015 OF 28 OCTOBER 2015

Ms T E Kenye (ANC) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

(1) What were the outcomes from recent discussions at the United Nations on the restructuring of the Security Council? NO4461E

REPLY:

(1) The debate on the reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council has been on-going for more than 20 years with no substantive progress and South Africa has been actively engaged in the process since 1994, when President Mandela in his first ever address to the General Debate of the General Assembly called for the “democratisation” of international institutions.  Since then South Africa has been at the forefront, together with members of the African Union, to champion the reform of the UN in general, and the Security Council in particular.  Our argument is that the world has changed since 1945 when the UN was formed.  The Security Council’s composition does not reflect the geo-political realities of today.  We call for the expansion of the Security Council with at least two new permanent seats to be assigned to Africa. 

In September 2015, under the leadership of an African President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr Sam Kutesa, the Foreign Minister of Uganda, the General Assembly finally adopted a document that will henceforth serve as the basis for the Intergovernmental Negotiations.  This is a major breakthrough given that in more than twenty years of negotiations there has never been a negotiating text.

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