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UNSC: Africa to collaborate with India

"Banjul summit will give the issue a big impetus," Ghana Foreign Minister said.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 12:56 IST

Africa will look at new ways of collaborating with India for expanding the UN Security Council, Ghana Foreign Minister Nana Addo Akufo-Addo said.

"We in Ghana are confident that the AU (African Union) summit at Banjul will give the issue of Security Council expansion a big impetus," Akufo-Adda said.

"The collaboration (between Africa and India) is there in the area of Security Council expansion. And it should be there. And we in Ghana are hoping that the forthcoming AU summit at Banjul will give a new push to that," said Akufo-Addo, a key African leader involved in creating AU consensus on Security Council expansion.

Most African heads of state and governments are expected to attend the weeklong 53-nation meet that kicked off at Bnajul on Sunday.

Akufo-Addo, known as the 'Ross Perot (maverick American billionaire-politician) of Ghanaian politics' because of his generous contribution to the ruling party and an array of philanthropic projects, is convinced that it is no longer possible for major powers to skirt the issue of Security Council expansion.

"We in Ghana are very much in favour of UN reforms and expansion of the Security Council. We believe that the Security Council as it is today is not reflective of the global realities of today," the Ghanaian foreign minister said.

Akufo-Addo, a passionate advocate of stronger India-Africa ties, was here on an official visit early this month.

"Even British Prime Minister (Tony Blair) has said that and that's what major nations like Japan and India are saying. The new impetus that will be coming out of Banjul will launch Security Council reforms," he added.

He stressed that the AU was trying hard to evolve a consensus on the issue, but there were still divisions and differences.

He, however, warned against making the consensus a sticky issue and underlined the point that nothing should come in the way of the reforms.

It was not Africa that was divided, but all other continents were divided on the issue, he pointed out.

"There is division in Europe; there is division in Asia; there is division in Latin America," he said.

"It's not fair to target Africa. We are still working for consensus, but regardless of that we still have to go forward," he added.

Africa wants two permanent seats with veto powers in an expanded Security Council whereas the G4 grouping comprising India, Germany, Brazil and Japan has presented a proposal in the General Assembly for six permanent seats with no immediate veto powers and four extra non-permanent seats.

The AU came close to supporting a joint plan with the G4 at a meeting in London last year, but the London understanding was not endorsed by the AU summit at Addis Ababa last year. The compromise deal had envisaged presenting a joint resolution that would propose six permanent seats with no immediate veto powers and five non-permanent seats.

If the AU comes out in clear support of a joint plan with the G4, the Security Council expansion, which has remained stuck due to the indifference of the US and other major powers, could get the much-needed momentum to reach its logical conclusion. The resolution needs 128 votes to pass muster in the 191-member General Assembly.