Egypt’s bid to win a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council will “move it to the centre of the international decision-making process” and support the role of developing countries on the international stage, Assistant Foreign Minister Hisham Badr told a conference of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO).
Speaking on behalf of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the meeting to celebrate 70 years since the signing of the UN Charter, Badr said that Egypt desires “comprehensive reform at the UN and [to] ensure a better representation of African and Asian interests”.
Egypt has been pushing to become a key player in international security, and announced its candidature for a 2016-2017 Security Council seat on the sidelines of the 2014 UN General Assembly in September.
Badr spoke to the AAPSO delegates of the country’s “keenness, as a pivotal state in the surrounding region and one of the founding members of the United Nations, to support the organisation’s efforts in maintaining international peace and security”.
The African Group is one of five regional groups in the UN Security Council and comprises 54 member states. The Group is allocated three non-permanent Security Council seats to which they elect African nations on a rotating basis. Egypt desires increased influence of the African Group within the council, and has called for two permanent and five non-permanent seats.
In November, a delegation of African ambassadors in Cairo were petitioned by Foreign Ministry officials for their support in Egypt’s bid. On Tuesday, Shoukry will visit Kenya to address the 129th Session of the UN Committee of Permanent Representatives at the UN Office in Nairobi. As part of the visit, Shoukry will host a lunch where he is to speak about Egypt’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
Hisham Badr told AAPSO that part of Egypt’s vision to fight terrorism and achieve stability in the region is to support efforts to reach “political solution[s] and to build a national consensus” in the manner of previous conferences on Libya convened by Egypt. In August, Foreign Ministers of Libya’s neighbouring countries were invited to Cairo for the fourth time to discuss the situation in Libya, in which Shoukry called for supporting an “internal national dialogue to achieve agreement between all the factions of the Libyan people”.
Egypt was a founding member of the United Nations, and has been a non-permanent member of the Security Council on four occasions: 1946, 1949-1950, 1984-1985, and 1996-1997.
A booklet outlining Egypt’s campaign for the Security Council argues that Egypt has been a key player in UN peacekeeping since its inception. It was first party to a UN peacekeeping operation in the Congo in 1960 and since then, has “contributed to 37 UN missions that involved over 30,000 Egyptian peacekeepers, deployed in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe”. Egypt currently provides 2,659 military and police personnel to work within UN peacekeeping forces.