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Call for more Africans on UN Security Council

Left-Right: Former minister Paul Etyang; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sam Kutesa, Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda Gen. Geoffrey Okanga and Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Mugume  at the launch of the National 50th Anniversary celebrations of OAU/AU at Serena Kampala Hotel on July 8, 2013. PHOTO/Tony Rujuta.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

African states are demanding for more representation and permanent membership on the UN Security Council to actively have a say on various issues, just like some other countries do, says Ugandan foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa.

He said African states are like “visitors” on the Security Council because they seem inert in decision-making on even their own matters.

“We are not represented permanently and we do not have a veto like other members on the council. Why Africans?” he said.

“Since a bigger part the council’s agenda relates to African situations, we firmly believe that Africa needs a bigger voice and we demand for permanent membership,” the Ugandan minister pointed out.

He made the remarks in his keynote address at the launch of the national 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organisation of African Union (OAU)/African Union (AU) at Serena Hotel, in Kampala on Monday.

To guarantee the impossibility of future colonization, Kutesa observed that Africa needs to unite and integrate.

The minister was about two months ago unanimously endorsed by the AU to run for president of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2014-2015.

He highlighted the fundamentals of African renaissance as including social cohesion, promotion of democracy, good governance, economic growth, transformation and industrialization.

“There is also need for strong and foresighted leadership, peace and security on the continent, enterprising and skilled people and a productive population.”

According to the World Population Prospects: 2012 Revision, Africa’s population is projected to double and hit 2.2 billion by 2063 – half a century away.

The foreign affairs minister stressed Africa’s need to address the root causes of conflicts by addressing ideological, political and socio-economic differences.

Without deliberate efforts to engender good governance, democracy and protection of human rights, peace and security, Kutesa made it clear that development will remain a distant dream.

“Some issues we are currently grappling with, emanating from the International Criminal Court (ICC), would not have arose if our institutions were strengthened,” he said.

He said Uganda is making “its best effort nationally and regionally” to contribute to the African renaissance through promoting peace in Somalia and Africa at large.

Earlier this year, Vision 2040 was launched, aiming to address bottlenecks that have hindered Uganda’s development and transformation over time.

The effort is in improving infrastructure and energy, industrialization and agricultural capacity.

Recently, the east African nation received a $8.2m (sh21.1bn) grant from China directed to infrastructural development.

Kutesa said the problem of unemployment in Uganda and Africa can be addressed by focusing on industrialization to benefit from the continent’s natural resources and reskilling education systems to produce job creators.

“Retooling and reskilling, emphasis on science and technology, industrialization and modernizing agriculture is the answer to unemployment,” he emphasized.

He said this will help end dependence on external funding through mobilization of sustainable domestic resources to finance various programs.

The Kenyan Ambassador to Uganda, Rtd Gen. James Mutua  Mulinge thanked Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni for championing unity in Africa.

Mulinge said Africa needs to lay focus on a speedy integration of Regional Economic Commissions (REC) and interlinks between them and Regional Economic Communities to unlock development.

The state minister for regional affairs, Asuman Kiyingi on his part called on Ugandans in Egypt to be cautious and avoid getting involved in the on-going protests.

He said the government is monitoring every situation there and will advise its nationals if things get out of hand.


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