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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Gambari, former Chief of Staff to Buhari, calls for reforms in UN Security Council membership

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The former Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, a professor, has called for a reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) including the democratisation of membership of the council.

Mr Gambari, former Chief of Staff to former President Mohammadu Buhari, spoke at the commemorative public lecture organised as part of the activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

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The event, which was hosted by Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, was organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Rwandan High Commission in Nigeria, and the ivory tower.

The former diplomat said the reform was important to curb the use or misuse of veto power accorded the five permanent member countries, and called for the expansion of its membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories.

Current membership of security council

Five permanent members of the UNSC –China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States– have veto powers over several issues, including all binding UN sanctions, peacekeeping operations, membership admissions, member expulsions, and Secretary-General selection.

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Last month, the United States used its veto power to block the admission of Palestine into the UN as a member state, despite a vote of 12 in favour to one against, with two abstentions.

Mr Gambari said the reform was important to reflect today’s economic demographic and political realities, adding that Africa needs to be fully represented and taken into consideration.

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Guests at the Rwandan geneocide memorial event

Kwibuka 30

Speaking on the remembrance of the Rwandan genocide, Mr Gambari said the tragic event has taught Africans not to rely on the goodwill of the larger international community to police and resolve conflicts on their continent.

He said it was necessary for Africa to develop her own resources and mechanisms to initiate effective and robust engagements to resolve the problems of the continent.

“The genocide in Rwanda had the additional and perhaps unintended consequence of reawakening governments in Africa to an appreciation of their own responsibility to protect, regarding civilian populations beyond their territorial borders,” he was quoted to hve said in a statement by Oluseyi Soremekun, the National Information Officer, UN Information Centre.

UN Secretary-General, others speak

In his speech, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, urged everyone to shun hatred and discrimination and stand as one to ensure that the Rwandan event of 1994 is not repeated anywhere else.

“On this solemn day of remembrance, let’s pledge to stand as one against all forms of hatred and discrimination. Let’s ensure that the acts that began on April 7 1994, are never forgotten — and never repeated. Anywhere,” he said in a speech read by the UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun.

“We will never forget the victims of this genocide. Nor will we ever forget the bravery and resilience of those who survived, whose courage and willingness to forgive remain a burst of light and hope amidst this dark chapter in human history,” he added.

The High Commissioner of the Rwandan High Commission in Nigeria, Christophe Bazivamo, noted that the path to lasting peace requires a constant fight against intolerance, discrimination, ethnic hatred, hate speech, genocide revisionism, and denial in all their forms.

“Let’s together ensure that the memory of the victims becomes a powerful force for good, inspiring future generations to choose peace over hate, unity over division, and hope over despair,” he said.

He charged everyone to work together to build a world where such atrocities never happen again. “Let us renew our commitment to the values of tolerance, compassion, human dignity in our transformative journey, continuously building a better future for all,” he added.

READ ALSO: Institute, UN Women move to bridge gender gaps in Nigeria’s security sector

In his remark, the Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Abiodun Adebayo, a professor, said UN has always played a pivotal role in maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and uphold international law.

“Today’s reflection is critical because those who do not remember the past or mind history are predestined to repeat history. We remember, therefore, the heinous crime of inhumane treatment meted out not only to the Tutsi but the entire humanity that took place in Rwanda in 1994,” he said.

The Chancellor of the university, David Oyedepo, a bishop and founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, charged African leaders to be sensitive to injustice to ensure peace and stability in the region.

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