Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov has told Russian media that Africa, Asia and Latin America are underrepresented in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and said Moscow favors expanding its membership.
Lavrov said that Moscow was particularly supportive of Brazil’s and India’s applications to become permanent UNSC members.
In an interview with the TASS news agency on Friday, Lavrov said that Africa should also have permanent UNSC representation.
“I will stress it again, developing countries are under-represented and their role is insufficient in the work of this main institution,” he said.
The UN institution this year celebrates its 70th anniversary but is facing pressure to reform the way the Security Council functions and to adapt to changing economic and geopolitical realities.
Expanding permanent and non-permanent UNSC membership has been a central issue in proposed reforms.
China, France, Russia, the UK and US comprise the permanent members of the UNSC, while an additional 10 seats are rotated between other UN members according to regional blocs – Asia, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and so on.
Earlier this summer, South Africa strongly criticized the UNSC for lack of sufficient African representation.
South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in June the “agenda of the UN Security Council is about us without us”.
South Africa has since 2013 called for the African continent to have at least two permanent member seats at the UNSC.
With more than 80 per cent of issues taken up by the Security Council relating to African affairs and not a single permanent member from Africa, the UN has battled with issues of legitimacy and representation.
Currently, the 54-nation African continent has a representation of only three non-permanent members without veto power in the UNSC.
A draft document on UNSC reform was rejected by Russia earlier this week because it included provisions for restricting the veto power that the permanent members currently enjoy.
“As far as the ideas of restricting or canceling the veto power in the UN Security Council are concerned, this is not the first time one hears them,” Lavrov said.
“The veto power is enshrined in the UN Charter without any reservations, and it is to be respected by all those who ratified it.”
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies