Africa ‘must have voice in global bodies’

21 February 2012

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, speaking at a G20 ministerial meeting in Mexico on Monday, reiterated South Africa’s call for developing countries, particularly those in Africa, to be given a voice in major global institutions.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the G20 could play an important leadership role, based on the values and principles that underpin the United Nations Charter, to address the world’s many needs and challenges.

Citing the UN Security Council as an example, the minister said it was one of the global governance institutions that should be more representative – in both composition and decision-making processes – of the international community.

“The world is in need of comprehensive reform of the UNSC, which involves an expanded Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, and with improved working methods,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

She said South Africa was committed to working with the G20 and like-minded countries to make a real difference in helping to unblock stalled negotiations, where appropriate, to facilitate the implementation of agreements already reached, and in reforming the multilateral institutions that make up the global system of governance.

Pretoria and other African countries are pushing for the reform of the UN, saying the continent’s concerns and voices are not being considered.

“In keeping with the principle of equitable representation, Africa, which makes up a considerable percentage of the overall membership of the UN, must be represented in the permanent category of the UNSC,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

“A reformed Council will enhance its legitimacy, representativity and effectiveness in global governance.”

Nkoana-Mashabane welcomed Mexico’s focus on “inclusive green growth” for its Presidency of the G20 during 2012, while committing to ensuring that “green growth” was not misunderstood or abused by others to impose additional conditionalities on low-income countries in the area of overseas development assistance.

She said South Africa regarded the green economy as a tool to assist the globe in achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

“The approach offered by the green economy could prove useful in assisting with the implementation of policies that provide incentives to production, consumption and resilient economic development, protect and use environmental resources sustainably and promote social well-being in the short as well as the long term,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

Source: BuaNews