Africa's bid for UN seat gets a boost
March 13 2005 at 04:01PM
By Thokozani Mtshali

Brazil and India stopped short of publicly backing South Africa's candidature for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat at the weekend.

At this week's ministerial meeting of the India, Brazil and South Africa (Ibsa) commission, the two nations instead opted for general support for the African Union's position that Africa should have two permanent seats on a restructured council.

South Africa is vying with Egypt and Nigeria for the two posts. The foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa said the UN Security Council no longer represented the reality of today's world.

They reiterated their call for urgent and extensive UN reform and for it to be "responsive to the priorities of its member states" especially the developing world.
South Africa, India and Brazil are also part of a group of at least 20 developing countries in the forefront of pushing the World Trade Organisation for an equitable trade regime.

India's Natwar Singh, Brazil's Celso Amorim and Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also came out in support of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, expressing "confidence in his efforts to enhance the UN's role in international relations".

On Thursday, the three signed an agreement which will launch the Ibsa Business Council comprising the countries' prominent and emerging businesses.

Dlamini-Zuma said cooperation between the three countries followed the realisation that the developing world could not be sustained by donor assistance only.

"What is crucial for our successes is to identify new resources for development, consolidate competing development funds and ensure substantial debt relief," she said.