By KABS KANU :
President Ernest Bai Koroma has returned from Morocco where he has continued his consultations with African leaders on the United Nations Security Council Reform, according to a report from the Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay in his public statement announcing the departure of President Koroma from Sierra Leone last Thursday.
As Chairman of C-10 , the Committee of 10 African States thrust with the responsibility to canvass support for and propagate the African Common Position on the UN Security Reform , President Koroma has been visiting African capitals to consult with leaders as the reform negotiations heat up.
President Koroma, who speaks for Africa in the reform process, has been to Chad, Egypt, Zimbabwe and now Morocco during the past month . It was a tedious program, but President Koroma has emerged from the trip fulfilled about his role and with the distinction of being one of the most influential African leaders, as Africa embarks on what C-10 heads of State referred to as a re-invigorated demand on the international community to address the historical injustices inflicted on the continent, especially in denying her a voice in the UN Security Council.
Through tactful diplomacy and leadership , President Koroma and C-10 have succeeded in ruffling many feathers among the permanent members of the Security Council who oppose any expansion of membership of the Council or sharing of veto rights that would diminish their power.
Sierra Leone’s voice remains clear and unequivocal . In one of the informal plenary meetings of the General Assembly in 2009, Sierra Leone made it explicitly clear :
“Time and again, the African Group has reiterated that the relevance, legitimacy and moral authority of the United Nations will ever remain undermined if the historical injustice caused by the fact that the continent of Africa is not represented in the Permanent category of the Security Council is not addressed without delay…
Africa remains the only continent that is without a permanent seat on the Security Council. Thus, we have consistently called for an enlargement of the Council in both the Permanent and Non-Permanent categories with a view to making the Security Council inclusive, representative, democratic and responsive to the current geo-political realities. The status quo is no option, and is unacceptable.”
Africa is demanding two seats in the Permanent Category of the UN Security Council and three more seats in the Non-Permanent Category as well use of the Veto. This, no doubt, will address the historical injustice to Africa and create a level playing field at the Security Council .
President Koroma’s advocacy for Africa and his propagation of the African Common Position on the reform have been resonating well in the international community. Some regional and interest groups have over the years tried to create a common ground with Africa .
Therefore, though by nature a cool, humble and less flashy leader , who also speaks very little, President Koroma has already cut an indelible picture in the international world as a leader with prodigious leadership and diplomatic skills. African leaders , in summit after summit as well as diplomats at the intergovernmental meetings at the UN, have repeatedly expressed confidence in Sierra Leone’s leadership role in the UN Security Council Reform negotiations.
We hope that much more progress is made in the reform negotiations in the coming months.
It is an arduous addition to President Koroma’s already jampacked responsibilities, but he is performing well to the admiration of Africa and the international community. And we in Sierra Leone are proud of our President for what he is doing for Africa.