Six possible reasons why African Presidents were made to address empty chairs at the UNGA


By Chris Zumani Zimba



ZimbabwePresident.jpgIt is a known global fact that during the just ended 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, almost all African Presidents were loudly ignored and humiliated at the time they presented their speeches by the West. As opposed to Western leaders like Donald Trump, many African presidents found themselves addressing empty general assembly with very few of chairs occupied by their own representatives. Below, we have identified and outlined six possible reasons as to why this was the case:

Africa is an impotent member of the UN with no Permanent Security Council Member

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (also known as the Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5) are the five states which the UN Charter of 1945 grants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council: China (formerly the Republic of China), France, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom.

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the United Nations Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is for the Security Council to determine when and where a UN peace operation should be deployed and Africa has not representation or voice since 1948.

What happened to most African presidents cannot happen to a president whose state is a permanent member of the UNSC because of the weight of voting influence and decision power at global level.

Many African states are  donor funded by the West, beggars are not respected by their masters

Most African states are donor funded by the West in many of their vital sectors such as health, education, welfare, agriculture, energy, sanitation, water and governance including the financing of their own periodical national elections. How do you expect the master to respect the beggar?  African states must prioritize to eradicate poverty among their citizens and donor dependence before they can start thinking of being respected by the West.

Africa is drawing closer China than the West, they feel unsettled and displeased

The West have made it very clear that China is taking over African in terms of investment opportunities and bilateral as well as multilateral dominance. In future, Africa must expect more of such treatments especially counties like Zambia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, etc that have made China their priority ally.

The UN is purely for the West to impose their values on global policies

The UN is a Western institution to impose or influence Western values and norms on the global stage.  This simply means their speeches are treated most important while African and non-Western speeches are treated as secondary agendas. The sooner African states realize this the better for them.

African presidents are no longer following the democratic dictates of the West

The West in America, Canada, Japan, Australia and across Europe are not happy that the tenets of democracy and good governance are on the decline in most parts of African while corruption, authoritarianism and human rights violations are on the rise in the region. By walking out of them, the West were protesting to African presidents.

African presidents are divided and lack regional solidarity due to the weak AU

Africa has 54 states that attended the UNGA this year. Where were the presidents of these 54 states and their respective delegates to sit in and show solidarity to their fellow Africans during the addresses? Generally, the AU does not help and prepare its members to stand up and speak as one at the UN. And if African states could not support each other, why do you expect European, Asian or American states to support Africans?

Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Zambian Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. or; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp. This article is made possible by Centre for Multiple Democracies, Good Governance and Peace (MDGGP) under Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU). But the views are attributed to the author and not CDU. 


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