UN chief António Guterres has expressed his support for an African country to be given a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
“It’s entirely fair to recognise that there should be a permanent member of the security council from the African continent,” Mr Guterres said in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, at the end of his tour of West Africa.
He acknowledged that Africa was underrepresented in most international institutions including the UN Security Council, saying the continent is a “double victim of colonialism”.
The UN chief said reform of the security council was essential to reforming the UN as a whole.
But the head of the global body said it was up to UN member states to deal with the matter saying he does not have the authority to decide alone.
The UN Security Council currently has five permanent members – the US, the UK, Russia, France and China – with each having veto powers on any issue presented at the council.
It’s one of the principal organs of the UN with the responsibility of ensuring international peace and security, as well as approving changes to the UN Charter and admitting new member states.
Over the years, there have been growing calls for the council to be expanded to include permanent representation from Africa to meet the reality of the changing world.
Africa has three non-permanent seats on the council, which are currently held by Gabon, Ghana and Kenya.