Ethiopia's timely bid for non-permanent seat at the UNSC
By Adem Ahmed
Ethiopian News, Tigrai Online, March 24, 2016
Last month, Ethiopia officially launched campaign for a seat as a non-permanent member in the United Nation Security Council. If elected, Ethiopia will hold the seat for the period of 2017-2018.
This grand event was attended b Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, Deputy Chair Person of African Union Erastus Mwencha, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission Smail Chergui, Under-Secretary General Haile Menkorios, Special Representative and head of the United Nations office to the African Union.
Indeed, it has been a few month since the government of Ethiopian has disclosed its plan to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Subsequently, in January 2016, Ethiopia’s candidature was endorsed at the 26th Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of States and Governments Summit.
It should be noted that the United Nation Security Council has fifteen members. Among whom the five are permanent members; namely, the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the rest ten non-permanent members are elected every two years.
Ethiopia has long and strong ties with the United Nations and numerous other international organizations. Ethiopia was one of the 51 pioneer countries that founded the United Nations in 1945.
Ethiopia's Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy clearly recognizes the role and importance of international organization for Ethiopia's political and developmental agenda. It states that: "These organizations formulate the law as they affect inter-state relations and serve as forums that oversee the respect of the rules of international engagement. International organizations play an irreplaceable role in ensuring peace, the primacy of international law, and in strengthening the cooperation between countries. International organizations have been providing the forum where Ethiopia has been seeking to play by the rules in the world of globalization. It is here where we, with other countries in similar conditions, should work so that the rules of the game also take our interests into account. The UN and its specialized agencies, and institutions like the World Bank provide important assistance to Ethiopia's development. That is why Ethiopia should strengthen its cooperation with these institutions, to speed up development, protect national security, and work for peace and respect for international law."
Indeed, Ethiopia's bid for a seat as a non-permanent member in the United Nation Security Council emanates from her commitment and role in international cooperation.
Last week, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said obtaining a seat at the United Nation Security Council will allow Ethiopia to promote a better understanding at the UN on issues pertaining to east Africa and the continent at large.
“I think this is a very high time. Our presence in the UN Security Council is very essential for the continent and for the Horn of Africa. That’s why Ethiopia strives to go for this seat.”
Without a doubt, Africa's demand is not just a non-permanent seat at the Security Council. Africa has been endeavoring to acquire two permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council. Nonetheless, the path is not easy, since the countries that have permanent seats at the Council want to retain the status quo.
Ethiopia's aspiration to become a non-permanent member of the United Nation Security Council is a natural extension of her sustained involvement to the preservation of international peace and security, as Ethiopia has always responded to UN calls for collective action on international peace and security. The seat will give Ethiopia a well-placed position to bear her responsibilities.
Indeed, as Dr Tedros Adhanom stated:
"If Ethiopia is elected to the Security Council; Ethiopia will serve all members of the United Nations in discharging the charter–mandated responsibilities bestowed upon it in a true spirit of partnership and transparency."
"We believe we have the commitment, the strength, and the ability to offer real and valuable support to multilateralism, and to Pan-Africanism."
Ethiopia’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is already receiving warm responses.
For example, China expressed his countries support to Ethiopia’s bid for a non-permanent membership.
The Ambassador of China said Ethiopia will be successful if it joins UNSC as a non-permanent member since the country has stepped up its multifaceted development activities that have been acclaimed globally.
In his warm endorsement of Ethiopia's bid, the Ambassador said, Ethiopia can undertake successful activities if it secures a non-permanent member seat at the UNSC. Ethiopia’s longstanding commitment to deploy a large number of troops for peacekeeping mission and being home to hundreds of thousands of refugees earned the country.
Similarly, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella underlined that Ethiopia deserves a seat at the Security Council in light of her roles in promoting regional and international peace and security, combating terrorism as well as hosting and rehabilitating a great number of refugees.
President Sergio Mattarella who has been on an official tour of Ethiopia has announced that his government is backing for Ethiopia's bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Another notable endorsement was from Brazil.
Brazil's Foreign Minister Mauro Viera, who had been in Ethiopia recently, affirmed Brazil's spport for Ethiopia's bid for a seat as a non-permanent member in the United Nation Security Council.
Indeed, it is high time for Ethiopia to seek a non-permanent membership in the United Nation Security Council and it is destined to succeed.