Sierra Leone President Bio calls for African unity on UN Security Council reform

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 February 2021:

President Dr Julius Maada Bio took part yesterday in a virtual conference of the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, to discuss efforts of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10), which President Bio chairs, in reforming the UN Security Council.

President called on the leadership of Africa to remain cohesive on all aspects of the UN reform process, continue to speak with one voice in unity of purpose until the demands of the Common African Position as articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration are achieved.

Whilst thanking the C-10 members for the diverse ways they have continued to support the work of the Committee in implementing their mandate to canvass, promote, and defend the Common African Position on UN Security Council reform, President Bio also provided an update on the 21st Report, adopted during the 33rd Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2020.

“This past year has been challenging due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on lives and livelihoods. This has also affected the work of the Committee and the Intergovernmental Negotiation process in New York,” he noted, adding that this had also adversely affected the implementation of the recommendations of the twenty-first report and its decision on the reform of the UNSC last year.

President Bio stated that the intergovernmental negotiations continued to be challenged by the very complicated nature of the various positions and proposals of the UN Member States, which were divergent in substance with inherent nuances, adding that there was also the issue of continual divergence on procedural matters related to the reform process.

“In such a complicated process, the road ahead may be long, rocky and hard, but we should persevere and stay focused on building on the gains made in canvassing, promoting, advancing and defending the Common African Position on United Nations Security Council Reform. Only that will eventually lead to achieving decisive progress in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

He closed by acknowledging and commending the inclusion of the issue of the reform of the UN Security Council in statements made by a number of African leaders during the 75th UNGA Annual debate of Heads of State and Government.

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