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Sarkozy Calls for Permanent African Security Council Seats

Published on Sunday 24th October 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that it is a "scandal" that Africa has no permanent seat on the UN Security Council at a summit of French-speaking countries in Switzerland Saturday.

"One billion inhabitants, in 30 years two billion inhabitants who have no permanent representation - it's a scandal," Sarkozy told the 37 other heads of state and government governance at the 13th summit of francophone nations in Montreux.

Outlining his aims for France's presidency of the G20 and G8 nations, Sarkozy also supported places for India, South America, Japan and Germany on the UN decision-making body.

African nations form 27 per cent of the UN membership but are only entitled to three of the 10 non-permanent seats on the Security Council.

Abdou Diouf, the former Senegalese president who heads the International Organisation of Francophonie, said Africa was "underrepresented in bodies where decicions are taken that concern it directly".

Sarkozy also promised to reform the international monetary system when France takes over the helm of the Group of 20 rich and emerging nations on 12 November and the Group of Eight industrialised nations next year.

The French president pledged to deal with three major issues:

  • A multilateral approach to the monetary system;
  • Volatile commodity prices and transparency in oil markets;
  • Opening membership of the UN Security Council to developing nations and other economic powers.

World leaders appear "unable to define a mutlilateral system" for the modern economy, Sarkozy said.
"France proposes to begin the debate on the international monetary system without taboos," he said, criticising "the extravagant volatility of commodity prices" including food.

G20 finance ministers meeting in South Korea on Saturday vowed to "refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies".

The 40-year-old International Organisation of Francophonie brings together 56 member states and 14 observer nations, 40 per cent of them from Africa.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to keep up aid for Haiti, as news came through of a cholera outbreak in the Caribbean nation, which was devastated by an earthquake in January.

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