New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Nation Eyes UN Presidency

Uganda has submitted to the African Union (AU) its candidature for the post of President of the UN General Assembly, a position if acquired will allow it greater influence on the international scene.

In submitting her bid Uganda will have to fend off a similar bid by Cameroon which has also expressed interest in the seat for the 69th session that will run from 2014-2015.

However, the AU has deferred its decision on the matter and Uganda's other bids to host the AU center for post conflict reconstruction and development till further notice, ostensibly to allow for further consultations.

Addressing the press Tuesday on the outcome of the recent AU summit held in Addis Ababa, foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa reiterated that it was Africa's turn to hold the seat, more so East Africa.

"The continents have held the seat including other parts of Africa, with the exception of East Africa which held the seat in 1979. This is East Africa's turn," he said.

If Uganda's bid sails through, he said, Uganda would use her position to push for the inclusion of an African country on the UN Security council. Africa has never been represented on the council.

"We will lobby for the representation of Africa on the Security Council and that country should enjoy that same veto powers like any other country on the Council," Kutesa said.

Uganda has in the past held stints at the UN but as a non-permanent representative to the Security Council, the most recent being in 2009-2011.

Speaking at the ministry head offices, Kutesa also announced that Uganda had been elected to the AU's peace and security council, a development that bestows upon Uganda more regional responsibility and international clout.

"With this we should be able to contribute more to regional initiatives and play our role on the international scene," he said.

On the issue of hosting AU center for Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development, Kutesa said Egypt was also eyeing the same though a team for the AU was scheduled to jet into the country yesterday to assess the facilities available in the country.

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