News and Information

Botswana supports SA for UN seat
October 31, 2005

31 October, 2005

EAST LONDON - Botswana has rallied behind South Africa in its bid to secure a permanent seat in the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

President Festus Mogae told BOPA in an interview at the end of his four-day state visit South Africa on Thursday that naturally it is advisable for Botswana to support South Africa because of the common values the two countries share as neighbours and SADC member states.

Mogae was responding to a question whether he supported South Africa when he mentioned that Botswana would like to see those of our member countries, such as South Africa with the capacity to do so, become permanent members of the Security Council even without the veto, while demanding the parity with the permanent members.

Yes, we support South Africa because not only are they our neighbours but because we are also in the same region, belong to SADC together and share common values in many respects, Mogae said.

He underscored the role South Africa has played in bringing peace and political stability in some regions of Africa such as Burundi, Cote DIvoire, Sudan, the Comoros and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He said in that respect it was clear that South Africa was in a position to assume higher international responsibilities in the context of ongoing efforts to promote a more equitable framework for global consensus.

There are three African contenders for the two permanent seats proposed for Africa when the Security Council is expanded should the reforms that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is proposing finally go through.

The other two are Egypt and Nigeria. While the African Union wants Africa to have two permanent Security Council members with veto power, the proposal has not gone down well with some UN members.

Currently there are five members with veto power - Britain, Russia, United States of America, France and China and the argument is that in order to make the UN more democratic the Security Council must be expanded.

However, while the issue is being debated, Africa seems to be in a dilemma regarding which position to adopt, whether to stick to their request to have members with veto power or nothing at all.

Mogae argued that while Botswana supports the original African position on the reform of the Security Council, the countrys opinion is that the all-or-nothing approach is inappropriate in the circumstances.

As a small country we are perhaps more reconciled, more accustomed than others to being satisfied with half a loaf until next time, Mogae explained.

Consequently, he argued that Botswana would like to see countries such as South Africa with the capacity to become permanent Security Council members to do so even without the veto, while not abandoning the demand for parity with the present five permanent members.

Some may consider our position capitulationist but we consider it realistic and pragmatic, he added. BOPA


    Support Caprivi Freedom
Fill out the form below to become a member of this site and receive our regular newsletter.

First Name
Last Name