Beijing foreign minister says developing countries, especially those in Africa, should be better represented in body
The head of Chinese diplomacy called on developing countries to have more of a say in the UN Security Council. Wang Yi’s remarks came a week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a similar suggestion, saying Western powers are overrepresented in the key international body.
During a meeting with Kuwaiti and Austrian ambassadors to the UN Tareq Albanai and Alexander Marschik on Saturday, Wang said:Security Council reform must preserve fairness and justice, increase the representation and voice of developing countries, allowing more small and medium-sized countries to have more opportunities to participate in council decision-making .”
The official, who is responsible for foreign affairs in the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee, added that “historical injustices against Africashould be straightened out.
The Chinese diplomat made the remarks ahead of talks on Security Council reform, with Kuwait and Vienna chairing the talks.
Wang expressed the hope that a consensus will be reached “so that the Security Council reform process is widely recognized…and that the results stand the test of history.”
During a tour of Africa in January, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang made it clear that Beijing wanted to increase the representation of developing countries on the UN Security Council in order to make the “fairer and more equitable system of global governance.”
Last Monday, speaking at UN headquarters in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said:True multilateralism… requires the adaptation of the United Nations to the objective tendencies of the multipolar architecture forming in international relations.”
According to the Minister,expanding representation from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America” in the body must be accelerated.
He went on to lament the “current massive overrepresentation of the Westto the Security Council.
During the same discussion, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Indian envoy Ruchira Kamboj also spoke out in favor of UNSC reform.
In its current form, the UN Security Council is made up of five permanent members, each with a right of veto – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and ten non-permanent members, selected every two years by the United Nations General Assembly.
According to the current rules, five States from Africa and Asia, one State from Eastern Europe, two States from Latin America and two States from Western Europe and others constitute the non-permanent members.
With Switzerland and Malta being non-permanent members, the West currently holds five seats on the council, more than any other region. Japan, which is a close ally of Washington, is also among the ten current non-permanent members.