Zim escalates Security Council seat bid

12 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Zim escalates Security Council seat bid Mr Mukura

The Sunday Mail

Emmanuel Kafe

ZIMBABWE has launched a diplomatic offensive to garner international support for its bid to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) after getting the endorsement of the 55 member states of the African Union (AU) earlier this year.

Harare is vying for one of the two seats set aside for the African group of nations, which will be contested in 2026.

Should Zimbabwe succeed, it will assume a crucial role in the UNSC — a principal organ responsible for maintaining international peace and security — from 2027 to 2028. This achievement would enable the country to shape and influence global affairs.

The country was endorsed as the AU’s candidate for the elections during the Ordinary Session of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit earlier this year.

Zimbabwe has previously served on the UNSC during two separate periods: from 1983 to 1984 and between 1991 and 1992.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokesperson Mr Michael Mukura said: “Zimbabwe has already received regional endorsement from SADC (Southern African Development Community) and at the continental level.

“The African Union endorsed Zimbabwe during the 37th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government of the AU in February this year.

“All the 16 countries in the SADC have endorsed Zimbabwe and we are now the African Union candidate.We are now taking our campaign outside Africa and the results are encouraging.”

The AU, Mr Mukura said, will soon notify the United Nations of the country’s intentions to run for the seat in 2026.

Harare’s push for a UN Security Council seat is a significant development in the country’s ongoing engagement and re-engagement drive.

Securing the AU endorsement also demonstrates progress made by the Second Republic in rebuilding international relationships, paving the way for enhanced cooperation with other countries.

“Zimbabwe is bidding to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2027 to 2028, whose elections are scheduled to take place in 2026,” added Mr Mukura.

“The United Nations is notified about an expression of interest by a country through that country’s regional body.

“Further, this notification is aligned with an electoral cycle.

“In the case of Zimbabwe, the rules of procedure state that the AU will notify the UN of Zimbabwe’s bid in 2026.”

Overall, a seat on the security council will allow Zimbabwe to contribute to the UN’s primary organ responsible for global peace and security.

Added Mr Mukura: “It also provides the platform for countries to set the organ’s agenda for a particular period through the presidency, which is rotated amongst all members of the council.

“Zimbabwe, as a responsible member of the international community, has an obligation to contribute to international peace and security.”

International affairs expert Mr Alfred Nedziva said a seat on the security council “would elevate Zimbabwe’s international standing and enhance its diplomatic profile”.

“It would demonstrate recognition and trust from the international community in Zimbabwe’s capacity to contribute effectively to global security matters,” he said.

“Zimbabwe’s previous stints on the UNSC in 1983-1984 and 1991-1992 indicate that the country has already experienced the responsibilities and dynamics associated with serving on this influential international body. This prior experience may contribute to Zimbabwe’s preparedness and ability to effectively engage with UNSC activities, should it secure the seat once again.”

The UNSC is composed of 15 countries, five (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) of which are permanent members, granting them the right to veto any resolution or decision.

The 10 non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly, which comprises all 193 UN member states.

Voting is conducted by secret ballot and candidates must receive a two-thirds majority, or 128 votes, even if they run uncontested.

Zimbabwe’s previous tenure in the UNSC was marked by its strong commitment to the principles of self-determination, democracy and good governance.

Harare was also a leading voice in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and supported an international campaign to isolate the apartheid regime.

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