Sierra Leone President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma arrived in Harare yesterday for consultations with President Mugabe on United Nations Security Council reforms as Africa steps up efforts to bring the Ezulwini Consensus to life.
The Ezulwini Consensus, an agreement made by African leaders at Ezulwini, Swaziland in 2005, calls for at least two permanent seats with veto powers, and five non-permanent seats for Africa on the UN Security Council. President Koroma chairs the African Union Committee of 10 tasked to push the AU position on UN Security Council reforms.
Speaking to journalists after meeting President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday, Dr Koroma said the two discussed bilateral issues. “We had fruitful discussions on issues bordering on bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe,” said President Koroma.
“We also discussed issues on the ongoing UN Security Council reform in which Africa has presented a position.
“We discussed how we can advance Africa’s cause and the African position in the UN reform.”
President Koroma added that on bilateral issues, the deliberations were centred mainly on strengthening the collaboration going on between the two nations on areas of technical support and the agricultural sector.
President Mugabe said he exchanged notes with his counterpart on bilateral co-operation and United Nations reforms.
“It has been those two areas of cooperation between our two countries,” he said. “It was about the United Nations and the reforms he seeks to effect as regards to security position. He would want to see our Ezulwini Consensus coming to fruition.”
Led by President Mugabe as then Chairman of the Africa Union (2015-16), the leaders were unanimous that reforms in the UN Security Council were long overdue to strengthen the UN’s capacity to respond to global crises.
The African leaders met in Swaziland early this year, where they declared that two permanent seats in the UNSC be reserved for the African continent.
Africa has three non-permanent slots on the UNSC, currently occupied by Angola, Egypt and Senegal.
However, the three African countries have no veto powers, and have minimal sway on critical decisions made at the council.
There is a strong feeling among Africa’s political and diplomatic elites that the continent has negligible clout at the UN despite contributing the highest number of members to the global body.
During his address at the AU Heads of State Summit in Ethiopia early this year, President Mugabe stated that granting two African countries permanent memberships to the UN Security Council would boost the credibility of the United Nations and the entire multilateral system.
President Koroma was welcomed at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. [The Herald]