AU backs Nigeria for UN non-permanent seat

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The African Union (AU) yesterday decided to endorse Nigeria for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Disclosing this to journalists at the sideline of the ongoing 21st ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, said that the decision was taken at a meeting of ministers of the union’s 50-member states on Thursday evening.

According to him, Nigeria has already got the backing of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the seat.

Nigeria, he said, would now concentrate on reaching out to other regional groups since two-third of the nations is needed.

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He said: “The endorsement was done based on our nation’s track record and achievements. It was done unanimously.

“The next step is for us to reach out to other regional groups like Asia, Europe and America.

“But one thing is sure, regional endorsement that we have secured is like obtaining B+ already. Other regional groups will only shore up the scores,” he said.

He pointed out that the endorsement had further confirmed Nigeria’s robust foreign policy.

Also speaking on the issue, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martins Uhonmoibhi, said it would be the first time since 1960 when Nigeria would be getting the seat back-to-back.

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With Nigeria’s role in peace keeping across the globe, he said, that Nigeria deserved to get the seat and have a say on the global affairs.

He said: “There is no taxation without representation. Nigeria is demanding that because it has done peace keeping role since 1960, it has a right to determine how the world is governed.”

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday arrived Addis Ababa for the summit which co-incided with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) which later transformed into the AU.

Jonathan, at the sidelines of the summit, is expected to hold bilateral talks with some African leaders, including those of Egypt, Benin Republic and Serbia.

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He is also expected to hold talks with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, and United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, among others.


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