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by Oyinlola Isiaka on July 12, 2018

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) identified sixty-three global multilateral peacekeeping operations. According to the organization, Africa currently hosts the most peacekeeping missions with twenty-five active missions. In comparison to other continents such as Europe where there are eighteen missions; nine in the Middle East; six in Asia; five in the Western Hemisphere. About 75 percent of all peacekeeping personnel work in African peacekeeping missions. In fact, almost all peacekeeping missions have the involvement of the United Nations Security Council. As a result, over 60 percent of resolutions passed by the Security Council address issues within Africa.

The constant focus of Africa and African issues on the global agenda has led to the argument of stronger African involvement in the world community. Fr one, there has been many advocates for establishing a permanent seat on the Security Council for an African member seat. The P-5’s importance lies in its veto power which all P-5 members possess. However, the current permanent members (P-5) of the Security Council are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These states have been P-5 members since the end of World War II. Thus, there has been little to no structural reform in the Security Council, which serves as a barrier for African attaining representation on the Security Council. Furthermore, there exists a barrier in agreeing upon the African nation that will join the P-5 if this amendment is successful. Currently, the two leading nominees are Nigeria and South Africa (the two largest African economies). Additionally, the remaining seats are non-permanent seats which are occupied based on regional blocs. The African bloc is currently the largest. South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia currently occupy these seats.

The call for Security Council reforms has even received support from other non-African nations such as Russia. Sergey Larov, Russian Foreign Minister stated, “We are ready to consider any options, provided that they help reach a broad consensus. In this respect, we consider such candidates as India and Brazil, representing Asia and Latin America, respectively, to be very strong. But we do not consider it possible to take a decision on the Security Council’s expansion unless the question of Africa’s mission is raised as part of this issue.” Perhaps, this support can be instrumental to the Council’s reform considering Russia is a P-5 member. However, this is not the first time a P-5 nation has expressed support for Security Council reform without taking any action to see such reform through.

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