The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was created after the end of World War II to help maintain international peace and security. Its creation was a result of the collective recognition that the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations, had failed to prevent the outbreak of World War II. The council was formed with the view of preventing the escalation of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the world including those of Africa. But did it really do so?
Since its inception, the UN claims of being involved in a wide range of activities and initiatives aimed at promoting peace, security, development, and human rights across the continent. But the African countries believe the organization to be reeked with prejudice. And now finally, they want to get rid of its dominance and correct its historic wrong doings.
The United Nations has traditionally defended the interests of its American overlords by promoting African policies that align with US foreign policy aims. Throughout the last few decades, the organisation has stated that it is committed to promoting peace in developing countries. Numerous studies, however, show that the United Nations has failed to reduce ethnic conflict in many African countries.
Africa stands upto UN
Finally, the African Union is asking the UNSC to leave the African land. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) needs to fully recognize and correct the historic injustice in the current dispensation against Africa, AU Political Affairs, Peace & Security Commissioner Bankole Adeoye said.
The commissioner told ENA that under the current high-level role being played in the UN Security Council, Africa’s interests are not completely taken into account.
“It is obvious in today’s world Africa’s interest are not fully catered for in the current high-level being played in the UN Security Council,” he stressed. Almost 60 to 70 percent of the issues are African, Adeoye noted, adding that Africans “want to be in the driver’s seat and we want our voice heard.”
Two to three non-permanent seats on the Security Council are often held by the African continent, which has 54 UN members, while the UK and France both hold two permanent seats. He pointed out that “adequate participation and effective representation will be to the benefit of the role of the African continent.”
For the African Union’s member nations to be properly and effectively represented at the UN Security Council, the commissioner urged them to speak with one voice.
Against such a backdrop, this indeed would be a step in the right direction for the continent. We have seen so far, the UN help comes with strings attached termed “conditionality”. Controlled by Washington, the organization frequently forces governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to make structural changes that frequently overlap with Western culture.
Furthermore, the UN’s sloppy work in fabricating cases of human rights violations in developing countries to establish “legal” grounds for humanitarian intervention by neo-imperial powers like America is well chronicled.
Recently, Uganda also took steps on the same line. Uganda stated it will not renew the mandate of the United Nations rights office in the East African country and will rely on domestic institutions to safeguard rights, the government said, after the body flagged torture and unlawful detention sites.
Turning away from the West
The recent developments in the ‘domestic institutionalization’ of human rights by Uganda are indeed noteworthy. Those developments represent a response to bridging the implementation gap between human rights commitments and reality. This trend towards ‘domestic institutionalization’ could indeed inspire renewed attention in the African continent to the importance of national-level institutions within the international human rights regime, including revisiting the roles of state actors. Thus, moving forward, Museveni’s recent decision is likely to make the west-backed institutions fume with anger.
We know, sovereign African countries barely existed when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, three years after the end of World War II.
It was the first time a legally binding agreement on a global scale explicitly declared that everyone is entitled to freedom and equality, regardless of race, creed, or religion. The council which came into existence to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms came as a ray of hope for the African continent. But little did Africa know that the organization was flawed with prejudice and was bound to toe the lines of its American overlords.