Africa’s Underrepresentation on UN Security Council ‘No Longer Sustainable,’ Says Zimbabwean Expert

Recently, the UNSC held an open debate on strengthening the role of African states in addressing global security and development challenges. During the debate, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Chumakov, called on the international community to correct the historical injustice of Africa’s underrepresentation in the Council. Africa’s under-representation in the UN Security Council is “no longer sustainable, almost 80 years after the United Nations was formed,” Dr. Alexander Rusero, Head of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Africa University in Zimbabwe, told Sputnik Africa in an interview. Echoing calls for increased African representation in the UN Security Council, Dr. Rusero argued that the current structure is a relic of the past and needs to be reformed. He highlighted the historical context of the creation of the UNSC in 1945, when no African nation had achieved independence. As you’ll recall, the current scenario, as much as Africa’s representation is concerned, is still pretty much a reflection of the immediate post-1945 design, which demarcates between the losers and the winners,” he explained. “The UN, because of that, has pretty much remained a racially designed organization that purports to represent the world. But in a sense, it’s a ‘club of white men‘ that then presides over the global architecture.” Dr. Rusero pointed out Africa’s significant geopolitical and socio-economic potential, emphasizing that the continent’s voice is crucial in shaping a more equitable and peaceful global order. The academic applauded Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Chumakov, for his call to correct “the historical injustice of Africa’s underrepresentation” in the UNSC. So that kind of truth that has been confronted by the Russian diplomat, Ambassador Chumakov, I think needs the support and to be rallied because it’s a wake-up call to say it’s a high time we remember Africa, which has been dismembered ever since slave trade took place,” Dr. Rusero stated. “This is now the time to relocate Africa to its position to involve and uplift it on the attic of the menu of the global social, political, economic, technological, and cultural architecture.” Dr. Rusero believes that increased African representation in the UNSC would not only bolster global peace and security but also contribute to a more just and inclusive world. He highlighted Africa’s unique approach to conflict resolution, emphasizing the continent’s peaceful nature and its capacity for mediation. “We have never quarreled due to borders that were colonially and imperially designed and imposed on us. Imagine what would have happened if borders were imposed in France, if borders were imposed in the United Kingdom.,” he said. “The world has a lot to learn from Africa with regard to peace and security than anyone else because we are the least aggressive continent.” Dr. Rusero expressed optimism that the tide is turning in favor of greater African representation, saying that the so-called “rules-based order,” dominated by the Global North, is “coming to an end.” It’s an inevitable reality. We are never going to have a hegemonic superpower,” he assumed, adding that the chances of Africa gaining a permanent seat in the UN Security Council are increasing. Western Dominance in UNSC The Zimbabwean expert argued that this imbalance in the UN Security Council undermines global decision-making, highlighting the hypocrisy of Western powers in the UNSC. He pointed to the example of the European Union, saying 28 European states, minus the UK after Brexit, formed the EU, but they “pretend this reality doesn’t exist” in the UN Security Council. “France wants its slice of the cake. The UK wants its slice of the cake. But yet, at the EU level, they are one,” Dr. Rusero stated. He further argued that the US, effectively “an extension” of the UK, occupies another seat in the UNSC, further skewing the balance of power. “So you have three states that pretend to be separate. They are one occupying separate positions. Then you have China representing Asia and Russia representing broader Eastern Europe. So where do you locate Africa in the scheme of things?” he questioned. Dr. Rusero expressed appreciation for Russia’s stance on this issue, recognizing Moscow’s support for increasing African representation. “I think Russia has also been grappling with the colonial matrix of power thanks to the Russian government under the leadership of President Putin,” he explained. “So they [the Russians] are also first realizing that the only genuine ally that they have in this scheme of things could be Africa, because Africa does not seek disadvantage. Africa does not seek to continue being reduced as a beggar, as a charity case, but to have win-win relations.” Dr. Rusero acknowledged that reform efforts are likely to face significant obstacles from Western powers, who benefit from the current structure. However, he expressed optimism about the future. “A new generation of Africans is waking up to the call. A new generation of Africa is now wedding off certain colonial contracts, duress contracts that Africans continue to be subjugated under, even when they attained independence right from 1956 with Sudan, 1957 Ghana, followed by a wholesome package of states between the 1960s up to the 1990s,” he said. US Dollar ‘Hegemony’ & Biased International Financial System Dr. Alexander Rusero also issued a scathing critique of the Bretton Woods system and the dominance of the US dollar in international trade, arguing that it has hampered African economic development and undermined the continent’s financial sovereignty. He highlighted the “weaponization” of the US dollar, explaining how African nations are often punished economically for not aligning with US foreign policy objectives. Dr. Rusero cited the experiences of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Zambia, which have all suffered negative consequences due to the dominance of the US dollar. “There is no convincing theory of economics other than to say that the US dollar hegemony is no longer sustainable in the 21st century,” Dr. Rusero said. “A US dollar hegemony is a pandemic to Africa, which needs to be immunized in terms of some vaccinations of some sort with respect to progressive policies, bilateral and multilateral relations that will bring

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‘Have They Gone Crazy?’: Putin Talks on Peace Meeting on Ukraine, Sanctions and National Security

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the second day of his visit to China, took part in the opening ceremonies of the eighth Russian-Chinese EXPO and the fourth Sino-Russian Forum on Interregional Cooperation in Harbin and held the press conference, summarizing the state visit. In the Ukraine conflict, Russia will proceed from the real conditions on the ground when resolving the issue; it will not be possible to impose anything on Moscow in terms of negotiations, Putin said at a press conference following his visit to China. “We were ready to discuss, then they discarded it, wanting to gain an advantage on the battlefield and achieve a strategic position. Well, now here are our conditions. Have they gone crazy? Why would we? Undoubtedly, we will base our actions on the realities on the ground,” he said. The president pointed to China as a stakeholder that was sincerely trying to put an end to the conflict in Ukraine, adding that and his Chinese counterpart shared about his recent trip to Europe and his position on peace initiatives. “We believe that China is sincere about its efforts to solve this problem. It has suggested different options and has been very flexible about it,” Putin said. In addition, in his conversation with journalists, the Russian leader touched upon the impact of anti-Russian sanctions, the possibility of sending military troops from Western countries to Ukraine and, last but not least, the issue of the legitimacy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose five-year presidential term officially ends on May 20. Presidential elections in Ukraine were to take place on March 31, 2024, and the inauguration of the newly elected head of state would take place in May. However, the elections were canceled due to martial law and general mobilization. Zelensky stated that elections now are “not the right time,” emphasizing that this issue should be put to rest. More statements from Russian President Putin made at the press conference: Russia wants to understand whom it can trust before engaging with partners on the Ukrainian conflict; “We must understand with whom and how we can engage and whom and to what degree we can trust. We are of course analyzing everything that is going on,” Putin told reporters. In the matter of resolving the Ukrainian crisis, Russia will not allow ultimatums to be presented to it; Russia will not discuss formulas about which it knows nothing, but Moscow has never refused negotiations on Ukraine; there is a basis for the negotiation process – the Istanbul agreements of 2022; “We have a framework for negotiating process, which is what we agreed on in Istanbul … The head of the Ukrainian delegation signed up to that long document. He initialed it. We have a document with his signature on it,” the president said. WATCH: Full Putin’s answer to a question about Ukrainian issues in the context of negotiations with Xi Jinping in China Formulas for peace in Ukraine based on wishes and not on the real situation cannot be discussed; “First they tried to deal a strategic defeat but failed. Any attempt to force [Russia’s] hand will have the same result,” the president warned. Russia is “not seen” at the peace conference on Ukraine in Switzerland. “If it is not seen – so be it”; “They do not invite us. Moreover, they say that they do not see us there,” Putin said at a press conference. There are no plans to take Kharkov as of today; the military’s actions in the region are in response to the shelling of Belgorod; “As for Kharkov, there are no such plans as of today,” Putin told a press conference, when asked about Russia’s plans regarding the city. Zelensky’s legitimacy matters to Russia if “fateful” documents have to be signed; “To a certain extent, he was also involved in our contacts with foreign partners through military-technical cooperation, because the military-technical service, the federal service, was under the Ministry of Defense, he actually headed it. Therefore, he will have his work cut out, it is all combined together,” Putin said. First, Russia needs to understand whether French troops will be in Ukraine, and then consider courses of action; “I am not the French president, I do not make decisions … First, you will get an answer to your question: if there will be troops there or not. And then we will consider the possible consequences of this step,” Putin noted. Russia intends to concentrate administrative resources to achieve the results it needs within the scope of conducting the special operation; The Ukraine Peace Forum in Switzerland is an attempt to impose conditions on Moscow; it will fail, as will the attempt to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. “It is clear what this event is all about: bringing together as many countries as possible to claim that they have everything agreed on and then giving Russia an ultimatum,” Putin said, adding he would not have it.

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