Sierra Leone’s UN Rep Participates in Security Council Reform Outreach
As part of his responsibility to actively engage in the activities of the United Nations Security Council, Sierra Leone’s UN permanent representative to New York, Mr. Vandi Chidi Minah, has recently participated in a Security Council reform outreach meeting in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Umaru S. Jah discussing with Ambassador Minah after the conference)
The aim of the meeting was to discuss key issues encompassing the reform process. They include among other things, categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, size of an enlarged council and its working methods.
Against this backdrop, all member states and regional groups have developed different positions and proposals on how to move forward on this contested issue.
Asked whether the reform process was of any significance, Ambassador Minah informs that the G4 group consisting of Germany, India, Japan and Brazil have submitted a non-paper soliciting Africa’s view thus establishing a starting point for negations regarding the reform process.
The outreach meeting, according to Ambassador Minah, is in response to the President of the General Assembly`s mandate that all the groups must come together for negotiations. Berlin being the most recent, other outreach meetings were held in Turkey and Tokyo.
The Ambassador re-echoes that Africa consists of 54 countries, stressing further that whoever wants to get the vote needs the 54 votes of Africa and further said that African states have requested two permanent and two non-permanent seats. Any member state that adheres to such a demand will get the votes of Africa, he promises.
The demand for two permanent seats was based on historical injustice and the fact that a large part of the council’s agenda is concentrated on the continent. Those two seats would be permanent African seats and would rotate among African countries chosen by the Group of African Countries.
In another development regarding the Ebola outbreak in the country, the UN Rep cautions that there should not be a reason for celebration despite the fact that efforts to contain the disease are slowly yielding fruits.
He attributes this to the danger of the outbreak which he believes has a history of recurrence in countries it first struck. He therefore calls for the need to strengthen the country’s public health systems and to solicit more funding in order to address and withstand any future occurrence.
Ambassador Minah recalls that Sierra Leoneans have been through worse scenarios as a result of the civil war and political upheavals, and adds that the emergence of the deadly outbreak represents another sad chapter in the country’s history.
“This is something we never expected or never knew about, and it is not man-made but natural,” he says, disclosing further that Sierra Leoneans have survived the brunt of the disease despite the many tragedies and catastrophic consequences.
Now that the virus is at the peak of containment, Ambassador Minah stresses the importance of making sure that the disease doesn’t come back. He calls on all Sierra Leoneans to be steadfast and comply with measures imposed by government and international health organizations to curb the virus.
The Ambassador later took his time off to meet his colleague Ambassador, Jongopie S. Stevens and his staff at the chancery’s building in Berlin Germany.
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