BY KABS KANU :
Sierra Leone continues to wield a dominant and increasing influence at the United Nations and this was emphasized last week by the important visit to New York of the country’s Minister of Foreign Affais and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara.
The Foreign Minister was in New York to brief African Ambassadors on the close meeting by African Heads of State and representatives of governments on the United Nations Security Council Reform held at Kigali, Rwanda, last year . During the visit, the Foreign Minister also held a consultative meeting with C-10, the African Union Committee of 10 tasked with the responsibility to canvass and promote the African Common Position on the reform negotiations of the UN Security Council.
The two meetings were crucial to the reform negotiations presently going on and accentuated Sierra Leone’s increasing influence and commitment towards the United Nations Security Council Reform negotiations as Chair of C-10.
PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA ADDRESSING THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAST YEAR
Before he left New York for Sierra Leone , Foreign Minister Samura Kamara also met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly , Mr. Peter Thomson and the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the UN Security Council Reform process , Ambassadors Mohamed Khaled Khiari of Tunisia and Ion Jinga . The visit was to continue to strengthen ties with the major players in the reform process.
With such an important role to play as the nation speaking on behalf of Africa as the Coordinator of C-10, it will definitely be a landmark achievement not only for Africa but Sierra Leone herself when the UN Security Council is eventually reformed . Such an achievement will bring eternal praise and respect to Sierra Leone, especially if Africa’s demands, encapsulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration , are honored as they are supposed to be .
FOREIGN MINISTER DAMURA KAMARA
Africa is not asking too much : As the only continent not represented in the Permanent Category of the UN Security Council , Africa is calling for not less than two permanent seats with all the prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership including the right of veto and five non-permanent seats. This will no doubt not only address the historical injustice done to Africa in excluding her voice from deliberations and decisions on the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security and other vital world issues and problems ; It will also give Africa the vibrant voice she deserves in the UN Security Council and also reflect changing global realities .
President Ernest Koroma, who chairs C-10, has made it very clear that without Africa’s voice at the highest level of the decision-making process of the UN, no solution will be sustainable.
Foreign Minister , Dr. Samura Kamara, said last week in New York that : “We are of the firm conviction that in order to enhance the legitimacy of the decisions of the Security Council, it is expedient to adhere to the African demands.”
AMBASSADOR ADIKALIE SUMAH
Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, determined to sustain the momentum of the reform negotiations, reminded his colleagues in New York during the consultative meeting that during the last UN General Assembly in October ,“many world leaders reflecting on the achievements of the United Nations thus far, also called for urgent progress on reforms deemed necessary for the future success of the Organization.”
It was not surprising that last week after the consultative meeting with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister , African ambassadors at the UN commended Sierra Leone’s leadership role in the reform negotiations.
This is not the first time Sierra Leone’s role at the UN has received plaudits. The country has always excelled at the UN , being an active participant in activities and events of the UN General Assembly and its six main committees as well as the Security Council, the Peacebuilding Commission ( PBC ) , the Economic and Social Council ( ECOSOC ) , as well as regional organizations and groups accredited to the UN, like the African Group, the G 77 and China ( G77 +), the Non -Aligned Movement ( NAM ), the organization of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC ), the Group of Fragile States ( G7 + ), among others.