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It is time for Africa to take a permanent seat at the UNSC


It is time for Africa to take a permanent seat at the UNSC

By Oladosu Adenike

This is a call for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to expand its council to include a permanent and not non-permanent seat for Africa. The UN should be a body that embodies equality for equal participation and democracy. We can’t keep debating about what is already a reality as a form of representation. Africa is once bearing the burden that those developed countries that are the main “decision makers” are taking on our behalf. I join my voice with other African leaders that are calling on the UN to include us as part of the main decision making in its security council because it is our right – no country's rights should be greater than any other country because the UN was formed based on equality. We need to break free from the roots of colonialism. We can’t be colonized twice by action and words.

In Africa climate change is no longer a threat but a reality. If Africa gets a permanent we will have one voice that we stand for justice and can tell the truth to power. The security crisis in African countries is getting to a tipping point. It’s been more than a decade that Nigeria and its neighboring countries are faced with the rise of insurrectionist that is terrorizing our country. And climate change is one of the underlying factors leading to armed conflict, especially through the loss of our natural resources that have served millions of people but now a shadow of itself just as in the Lake Chad, the farmers-herdsmen conflict. Countries with the worst security crisis are majorly in Africa; just as it is in Tigray in Ethopian, Mali, Sudan, Cameroon, Burkina -faso and the likes. How balanced will a decision look like when it is not on the main table but rather on the minority side of the table? It is an injustice at the highest level.

These powers (France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and China) that hold the UNSC are the biggest polluters, while we are feeling the greater impact of every bit of warming. We have been faced with different phases of security threats. The UN is not made up of just five countries but many countries from different continents which require an equal representation in all ramifications. I agree with Austavo from the Institute of Security Studies, stating the fact that the UN was formed with just four African countries and as at then most African countries like my country, Nigeria; has not gained independence.  Today, we now have more Africans with large membership. We all know that UNSC makes the most important decisions. Majority of the security matters arising are from African countries yet we don’t have a fair share of influencing decision(s) that will be taken into consideration on what matters to us most rather it is the other way round. How can there be peace when there are complications from underlying crises that have turned out to challenge our security system?

Sometimes I wonder why five countries will have a say on an entire continent, a continent that is made up of 54 countries and with the greatest reality of insecurity and peace issues. How then do we build a just and strong institution? Lack of representation in decision making that is important to our present and future defines us. Furthermore, these are one of the several factors that keep making us bear the burden of the defining issues of our time. We call on the UNSC to do the needful for permanent representation of our voice and action in influencing global decisions that will make Africa a safer and healthier place for all. The time is now!     

Oladosu Adenike ( is an ecoreporter and ecofeminist who specializes in peace, security and equality in Africa especially the Lake Chad region.

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