Uganda’s Kutesa signs off as UN president calling for reform of Security Council

Sam Kutesa speaking to the press in New York.UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Sam Kutesa speaking to the press in New York.UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The outgoing president of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Sam Kutesa has said one his achievements is pushing for reform of the UN Security Council.

Speaking to the press at the conclusion of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York Monday, Kutesa, who is also Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister underscores the urgent need to revamp the council “to improve its capacity to respond to modern-day challenges.”

“During this session, I made it one of my priorities in order to move this process (reforming the body) forward. Together we should muster the resolve to reform the Council in a way that reflects the geo-political realities of our current world,” Kutesa said adding “we should build on the work done during this session and ensure there is continued progress in this reform effort, and that we maintain a constructive, flexible spirit moving forward.”

Kutesa’s revelation echoes Tanzania’s former leader Benjamin Mkapa, who earlier this year indicated the UN Security Council needs restructuring in line with the 21 century world.

“This is also a time the United Nations Security Council should be reformed” he said adding the UN body was formed many years ago, and it doesn’t represent the world of today where several countries have grown both economically and politically yet they are not members of the council and therefore have no say on crucial issues or crises of the day.” Mkapa said at Tanzania National Defence College, Kunduchi, near Dar es Salaam in April.

The UN Security Council is primarily charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. It is comprised of 15 members, and each member has one vote. The council has 5 permanent members (US, Russia, France, China and the UK) with veto powers and 10 rotating members that are elected by the General assembly for a two-year period. Currently, Angola, Chad and Nigeria represent Africa on the council as rotating members.

Meanwhile Kutesa also highlighted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda that is due to be adopted next week at the UN Headquarters in New York, as his, and the 69th Session most important accomplishment.

The global development vision builds on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and it has 17 ambitious sustainable development goals and 169 targets mostly about lifting millions out of poverty and improving people’s living standards across the globe.

Kutesa was elected UNGA president by representatives of member states last year, he has been succeeded by Mogens Lykketoft,former Danish foreign minister who will preside over the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly.