Gambari Calls for Reform of UN Security Council to Meet Today’s Economic Demographic, Political Realities


The call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council was once again on the front burner of discussions in the context of preventing genocide as witnessed against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Speaking at the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, held at Covenant University, Ota Ogun State at the weekend, the former Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, UN Headquarters New York, Prof Ibrahim Gambari called on the UN to reform not only in terms of the use or misuse of veto power but in the expansion of its membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories.

Gambari, who was a former Nigeria’s Minister of External Affairs (now Foreign Affairs) and at a time the Chief of Staff to former President Muhammadu Buhari, 

emphasized in his keynote speech at the commemorative public lecture organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Rwandan High Commission in Nigeria and Covenant University, that the membership of the UN Security Council should be reformed and democratized to reflect today’s economic demographic and political realities, and Africa should be fully represented and taken into consideration.

He said: “The genocide in Rwanda had the additional and perhaps unintended consequence of reawakening governments in Africa to an appreciation of their own Responsibility to Protect regarding civilian populations beyond their territorial borders.”

He added that: “Rwanda taught Africans not to rely purely on the goodwill of the larger international community to police and resolve conflicts on their continent. The need for Pax Africana, for Africa to develop its own resources and mechanisms to initiate effective and robust engagements to resolve the problems of the continent, was becoming increasingly apparent.”

On his part, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his statement to the gathering, urged everyone to shun hatred and discrimination and stand as one. He said: “On this solemn day of remembrance, let’s pledge to stand as one against all forms of hatred and discrimination. Let’s ensure that the acts that began on April 7 1994, are never forgotten — and never repeated anywhere."

Guterres, whose statement was read by the UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, assured that “We will never forget the victims of this genocide. Nor will we ever forget the bravery and resilience of those who survived, whose courage and willingness to forgive remain a burst of light and hope amidst this dark chapter in human history.”

The Rwandan High Commissioner to  Nigeria, Ambassador Christophe Bazivamo noted that: “The path to lasting peace demands constant vigilance. As we renew, we restate our unbreakable pledge to fight intolerance, discrimination, ethnic hatred, hate speech, genocide revisionism, and denial in all their forms."

He said on this occasion of Kwibuka 30, “Let’s together ensure that the memory of the victims becomes a powerful force for good, inspiring future generations to choose peace over hate, unity over division, and hope over despair.”

According to him, this could be achieved in different ways including putting course lessons about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in schools to educate the young and the next generation on the need to fight hate ideologies and stand against any form of discrimination and divisionism.

He charged everyone to work together to build a world where such atrocities never happen again. “Let us renew our commitment to the values of tolerance, compassion, human dignity in our transformative journey, continuously building a better future for all.” 

The Vice Chancellor of Covenant University, Prof Abiodun Adebayo acknowledged that in all the conflicts leading to devastating loss of civilian life, massive displacement, capital flights, destruction of infrastructure and economic institutions, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the United Nations has always played a pivotal role in maintaining international peace and security, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, promote sustainable development, and uphold international law.

He said: “Today's reflection is critical because those who do not remember the past or mind history are predestined to repeat history. We remember, therefore, the heinous crime of inhumane treatment meted out not only to the Tutsi but the entire humanity that took place in Rwanda in 1994.” 

The Chancellor of the university, Bishop David Oyedepo charged African leaders to be sensitive to injustice to ensure peace and stability of the region. He spoke on 'It's time to awake and take responsibility.'

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