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AU commissioner urges UN to acknowledge, rectify 'historical injustices' towards Africa

February 17, 2023 at 7:07 pm

Heads of state attend a mini-summit on Peace and Security in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the sidelines of the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on February 17, 2023 [AMANUEL SILESHI/AFP via Getty Images]

African Union’s political affairs, peace, and security commissioner on Friday urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to acknowledge and rectify the “historical injustices” that have affected the African continent.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Bankole Adeoye said: “Let me be clear, it is obvious that to this world, Africa’s interests are not fully catered for in the current high-level role being played in the UN Security Council.”

Adeoye emphasised the need for greater attention to Africa’s interests in the Security Council’s high-level decision-making processes.

“Almost 60% to 70% of the issues are African, we want to be in the driver’s seat, we want to have our voice heard, and adequate participation and effective representation would be to the benefit of the whole of the African continent.”

The commissioner emphasised that Africa’s needs and perspectives are often overlooked in the current structure of the UNSC, leading to imbalances and disparities that have persisted for generations.

Heads of state from many African countries landed in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Friday to prepare for the official opening of the 36th ordinary session of the heads of state and government of the African Union (AU) summit.

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So far, the leaders that have arrived in Addis Ababa with their delegations include the heads of state of Chad, Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritania, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Nigeria, Lesotho, Angola, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Comoros, and Eritrea among many others.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also in Addis Ababa for the summit.

The AU Heads of State Assembly will focus on the theme of “Accelerating AfCFTA Implementation” which refers to the African Continental Free Trade Area, which aims to facilitate the free movement of goods and services among member states of the African Union and boost intra-African trade.

In addition to discussions on the AfCFTA, the AU heads of state summit will also address important issues related to security, food crises, and various political and socio-economic areas affecting the continent.

Through these deliberations, the summit aims to identify and implement effective solutions to these pressing challenges, with the ultimate goal of promoting stability, growth, and prosperity across Africa.