Sierra Leone: President Bio Launches Bid for UN Security Council Seat

President Julius Maada Bio has yesterday launched the bid to present Sierra Leone's candidature for a seat in the Non-Permanent Category of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2024-2025.

The UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

If successful, President Bio said the country will use the seat to advocate for the youth and women in peace processes and peace keeping operations with a focus on fighting terrorism, climate change and human security.

As a small nation that has once suffered from the dangerous effect of small arms proliferation, President Bio said the country will support small arms control, continue to canvass support for the common African position, affirms the need for a system which significantly leads to holding the principles, objectives and ideals of the UN Charter for a shared world and regional balance.

"We believe that human right protection and promotion brings confidence in the democratic governance, bridges societal divide, strengthen a sense of common value and shares humanity and promote peaceful resolution of conflict grounded in respect to the rights and dignities of all," he said.

African Union (AU) and the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS has already endorsed Sierra Leone's candidature for the election that will be held at the UN General Assembly in June 2023.

The President thanked the regional bodies for their support, adding that the country has been taking more responsibilities in the international arena.

Recalling the country's contribution to international peace in times of contributing troops, police in international peace operations, he said Sierra Leone has continued to play it part in it international community membership.

"Our time in the Security Council we will support a priority that strengthens and address partnership and representation in the Security Council."

Sierra Leone, the 100 member of the UN, was first elected into the UN Security Council non-permanent category in 1971.

If the country is elected in June next year, it will be the second time the Sierra Leone will serve as Non-Permanent member of the UN Security Council. It will be a foreign policy goal for the Government.

President Bio said wining the seat will give the country opportunity to share with the world its unique selling point which includes religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and resilience, referring to the bid as a national duty for all.

Professor David J Francis, Minister of Foreign and International Corporation, said he has no doubt that Sierra Leone is ready for a seat in the UN Security Council.

As Sierra Leone runs for the position under the theme 'Partnership, multilateralism, and representative approach to sustain development, the Minister said the country's vision for a sustained global peace and security is routed in core areas such as peace-making, peace keeping, peace building, human rights and accountability, women and youths in peace and security, terrorism, climate change and human security, small arms control and security council reform which demonstrates firm commitment in International Corporation.

"The country's approach will be to support priorities that strengthen and address partnership and representation in the maintenance of peace and security," he said, adding that the country's vision in being in the UN Security Council is to provide not only resilience but also hope.

Sierra Leon secured its candidacy against Nigeria, describing the step to securing the candidature against Nigeria as a no child's play and thanked the Nigerian Government for standing down in favour of Sierra Leone.

A country needs two-thirds of the member states votes at the UN General Assembly session to secure the non-permanent member seat of the UN Security Council. That means, to secure the position, at least 129 votes are required to win a seat if all the 193 UN member states vote.

According to the Minister, 121 member states have already committed to vote for Sierra Leone, adding that Sierra Leone's UNSC candidature has secured endorsement from ECOWAS and the African Union ensures that Sierra Leone is not competing with any other African Country for the 3 seats allocated to Africa in the Security Council; hence a clean slate candidature is assured for Sierra Leone.

The Minister, however, did not clearly state whether the country have the support of the five permanent member states of the Security Council, as he said they do not openly indicate their support.

But he said some, including Britain has indicated their support for Sierra Leone. He said the desire that the endeavour will contribute significantly to rebranding Sierra Leone.

The bid to serve in the UN Security Council in 2024-2025 is a testament to both our resilience and the efficacy of multilateral cooperation in successfully delivering peace in Sierra Leone, he said.

Sierra Leone is currently serving as the coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State (C-10) promoting, canvassing and advocating for the common African Position on United Nations Security Council Reform.

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