Monday, March 14, 2016

Ethiopia gains in push for UN Security Council seat

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 13, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia’s bid to secure membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is gaining momentum with Brazil being the latest country to back the horn of African nation, a foreign affairs ministry official said Sunday.

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A United Nations Security Council session (UN)
Ethiopia’s bid for a non-permanent membership in the Security Council was officially launched by foreign affairs minister, Tedros Adhanom on 29 February after Seychelles agreed to leave its candidature for the former.

Ethiopia, currently the only East African country, has wider chances of becoming a non-permanent member in the world body’s powerful panel.

The spokesperson for Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry, Tewolde Mulugeta, said a number of African nations have backed Addis Ababa’s current bid.

Brazil’s foreign affairs minister, Mauro Viera told reporters in Addis Ababa that the South American nation supports Ethiopia’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC.

“Ethiopia would contribute a lot if elected as a non-permanent member of the Council”, Viera told reporters Saturday.

“With its ample experience in regional, continental and global peacekeeping operation, Ethiopia would have an immense contribution in the Council,” he added.

The African Union (AU), during its 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held last January, endorsed Ethiopia’s candidacy for the election to be held in New York in June.

Ethiopia intends to become a key player in the UN Security Council’s efforts in maintaining international peace and security.

If elected, Ethiopia vows to boost roles of African countries in the global decision making process which had been dominated by western powers.

Addis Ababa is currently doing lobbying activities and election campaigns by drawing best experiences from member states.

There are a number of supporting factors that would help Ethiopia in its efforts to secure a non-permanent seat in the in the UN influential body.

One among others - Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union (AU) and it has a significant role in maintaining regional peace and security.

It has long been a key security partner to the west particularly on the fight against terrorism. With over 8,000 personnel, Ethiopia is also the second most peace force contributing nation deployed in various UN peacekeeping missions.

The country is one of the two African founding members of the United Nations Organization and has also an experience in serving a non-permanent seat in two occasions in 1967-68 and 1989-90.

The UNSC includes 10 non-permanent members, with five elected each year. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States make up the five permanent members of the Security Council with veto powers.

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