Mauritania Urges UN Reform


By Jemal Oumar

Mauritanian Foreign Minister Hamadi Ould Hamadi used his Saturday (September 29th) address to the UN General Assembly to reiterate his country’s support for reforming the world body.

Ould Hamadi expressed Mauritania’s “ardent desire to see the African continent enjoy a permanent seat on the Security Council as it is the only continent not having permanent representation in the body in charge of peace and security in the world”. He added that Africa was home to a billion people and more than two-thirds of the world’s peace keeping operations.


He also cited a litany of problems facing developing countries, from “endemic rates of unemployment, especially among young people” to declining tourism revenues and the slowdown in the global economy.

The Mauritanian foreign minister also called for “a permanent seat for the Arab group, due to its demographic weight, compared to the world population, especially its economic potential”.

According to observers, the importance of Mauritania’s point of view lies in its years-long confrontation with terrorism in Sahel, a problem now spreading to neighbouring states.

Mohamed Ould Dah, an analyst specialising in Africa’s internal policies, said that “Mauritanian foreign minister’s call was not the first of its type or the only one; rather, it reflects a collective position of most African countries that have demanded more than once giving Africa a permanent seat in the Security Council which some big countries in other continents have always controlled, giving them the right to veto in one of the most important international bodies while other countries don’t have the right to determine their own fate.”

Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci made similar comments to Ould Hamadi’s in his own address to the UN General Assembly.

“The working methods of the Security Council must be revised to ensure democratisation, and its membership must be expanded to include new permanent and non-permanent members of the developing world, particularly Africa, the cradle of civilisation,” Medelci said Saturday.

International relations analyst Mohamed Ould Baraa told Magharebia that the call for UN representation was all the more important because “the region is witnessing political and economic developments and demographic growth, and therefore, the absence of Africa from this important international body doesn’t seem to be logical in view of these developments.”

“I see it as a legitimate call, and vigorous pressures must be exercised in order to ensure that Africa and the Arab world are given this right,” Ould Baraa added.

Sahara Media journalist Mohamed Ould al-Aqel said that today’s reality has produced other strong states different from those present when the UN was created after World War II.

“Based on this data, the world must understand the call of the Mauritanian foreign minister, who didn’t make this call individually, but as a reflection of the desire of many states,” Ould al-Aqel added.

“I consider some states’ monopoly of the veto right to be harmful to world balance and humanitarian situations in some cases,” Ould al-Aqel concluded. “The best proof of that is the position of China and Russia, which have the veto right, their support for the Syrian regime and their rejection of any resolution to stop the genocide which the Syrian regime is carrying out against their own people. Meanwhile, if there was some sort of balance in representation, victory would always be for the just causes that care for human rights.”


The Magharebia web site is sponsored by the United States Africa Command, the military command responsible for supporting and enhancing US efforts to promote stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

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