The government of Japan discloses it will cooperate with African countries to accelerate the reform of the UN Security Council at the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8).
Reforming the UN and UNSC is a mutual interest of both Japan and African states, and essential to assure peace and security, according to a Japanese official.
“In the area of peace and stability, the UN and UNSC reform are challenges being faced both by Japan and Africa nations and we hope to accelerate such reform through TICAD8,” said Miyashita Tadayuki (Amb.), deputy director general of the of African Affairs department at the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The director briefed the media on August 18, 2022, regarding the TICAD8 summit to be held on August 27 to 28 in Tunis, Tunisia. African countries, representatives of Japan, and other TICAD co-organizers including UNDP, World Bank, UN and AUC, will participate. TICAD is a political venue, with an African oriented development policy forum.
Regarding the Ukraine and Russian war, the Ambassador stated “We have no plan of forcing African nations to take a side. Each sovereign state should be entitled to their own position. We explain our interests. But we have no intentions to persuade African nations to take sides. But this conflict is against the very principle of international order. We hope there is solidarity in the international community regarding the conflict. But we want to solicit the cooperation of the African states.”
But he stressed the Ukraine war, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing the development Africa gained over the past two decades. TICAD8 is expected to push for reshaping Japan’s development cooperation with Africa, in light of global crisis such as covid19, hikes in food and energy prices following the Russia-Ukraine war, and the global climate emergency.
Japanese businesses will sign MoUs with private sectors of African countries, on the side events of the upcoming TICAD8. Japan’s private sector will largely engage in supporting African countries and businesses especially in developing Africa’s manpower, for Africa’s fast recovery.
Nonetheless, the Ambassador underlined “The increasing unconstitutional change of governments and coups in Africa is also raised as a concern to Japan. The director affirmed Japan will enhance support in supporting peace and security efforts in Africa.”
Japan has become second after Russia in supporting Africa’s request for UNSC reform. Last month, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, who arrived in Addis Ababa on July 26, 2022, also stressed Russia, is in favor of giving Africa a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
During the AU 35th summit in January in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) reiterated Africa deserves permanent voice and seat in the UNSC.
The African Union (AU) passed a resolution that requests “full representation of Africa in the United Nations Security Council means, demanding not less than two permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council, including the right of veto.
The AU also proceeded to request the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government to continue to intensify its engagement at the highest level with other interest and regional groups and key stakeholders, including the five Permanent members of the UN Security Council with a view to building on progress made in advancing, canvassing and promoting the Common African Position.