Wednesday, July 27, 2005

UN: Egypt takes Nigeria to task over UNSC expansion

Perhaps it's time that I started paying attention to the discussions around expanding the UN Security Council (UNSC) ...
Egypt accused Nigeria on Tuesday of abandoning African interests to increase its own chances of obtaining a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Nigeria was willing to back down on the African demand that its two permanent seats in the Security Council should have veto power, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

[...] Nigeria's actions came during a meeting in London, which it chaired, to hammer out a common African position.

[...] While Nigeria had said the meeting reached consensus, the Egyptian delegate, Assistant Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, had denied that publicly, he added.

"If the Nigerian approach continues, it will lead to a fracture in the African position ... The consequences of that would be grave," he added.(source)
At issue ...
The African Union has proposed expanding the council to 26 members - adding six permanent seats with veto power and five non-permanent seats. Brazil, Germany, India and Japan have a rival proposal that would add six permanent seats without veto power and four non-permanent seats.

The so-called Group of Four are hoping to win four of the permanent seats, with the other two earmarked for Africa. South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are the leading African contenders.

[Nigeria's foreign minister Oluyemi] Adeniji said the African Union has agreed to shelve its demand for a veto for new permanent members, ``knowing that it's very unpopular.''

The Group of Four agreed to an extra non-permanent seat, but not for Africa as the 53-member African Union wanted. Under the proposed compromise deal, the seat would be rotated among the three developing regions - Africa, Latin America and Asia, he said. (source)
More later ...