Somalia's Ascent to the UN Security Council - A Call for Radical Change

Somalia's Ascent to the UN Security Council - A Call for Radical Change

Somalia's election to the UN Security Council is a watershed moment for Africa, with the potential to reshape global power dynamics. Find out the critical role that Somalia must play to help in realizing Africa's dreams for a radically reformed UN Security Council.

On June 6, a monumental shift occurred in the hallowed halls of the United Nations. Somalia, a nation long defined by its struggles and resilience, was elected to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for two years. Alongside Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, and Panama, Somalia now finds itself in a position of immense responsibility and potential influence. As the world watches, Somalia must seize this moment to champion radical changes within the Security Council, changes that have eluded its predecessors for nearly eight decades.

The Security Council, the UN's most powerful body, was designed to maintain international peace and security. However, it has often been paralyzed by the self-interests and veto powers of its permanent members— the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France. This paralysis is starkly evident in the Council's inability to stop the ongoing bloodshed in Congo, Gaza and Sudan.

Current permanent members almost always act with unacceptable selfish interests.  It’s no wonder the US has constantly vetoed the UN Security Council’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza. In the same vein, how can Russia, another permanent member of the Security Council, vote objectively on any UN resolution touching on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict?

For Somalia, this is not just an opportunity to participate but a mandate to disrupt. The African continent has long been underrepresented and, when present, often relegated to the sidelines in the geopolitical chess games of the Security Council. Somalia's election represents a chance to voice the unspoken, to advocate for the ignored, and to push for a Security Council that truly reflects the global realities of the 21st century.

A Voice for Radical Reform

The current composition of the Security Council is an anachronism, a relic of a post-World War II order that no longer mirrors the contemporary geopolitical landscape. Virtually every nation agrees that the Council needs to expand and evolve. However, the devil is in the details—how to expand, who should be included, and how to balance regional representation. For four decades, these disagreements have stymied any significant reforms. Somalia must rise to this challenge by advocating for a Security Council that is more inclusive, representative, and effective.

Firstly, Somalia should team up with other African countries in the Security Council and push for the inclusion of more African countries as permanent members with veto power. Africa, with its 54 nations, is currently underrepresented despite being the second-largest continent and a significant player in global affairs. The voices of Africa must be heard not just as a choir but also as soloists with the power to shape outcomes.


Championing African Issues

Beyond structural reforms, Somalia has the unique opportunity to bring African issues to the forefront of the Security Council's agenda. From the devastating impacts of climate change to the scourge of terrorism, the challenges facing Africa are manifold and complex. Somalia must advocate for comprehensive strategies that address these issues holistically, recognizing the interconnectedness of security, development, and human rights.

Somalia's own history of conflict and recovery positions it as a powerful advocate for peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. By sharing its experiences and lessons learned, Somalia can help the Council craft more effective interventions in other conflict-ridden regions. The focus should be on sustainable solutions that prioritize local ownership and long-term stability over short-term gains.

A Moral Imperative

In a world where the Security Council's actions – or inactions – can mean the difference between war and peace, life and death, Somalia's role cannot be overstated. This is not merely a political appointment; it is a moral imperative. Somalia must be unafraid to challenge the status quo, to question the efficacy and fairness of the Council's decisions, and to call out the hypocrisies that have long undermined its credibility.

The stakes are high, but so too is the potential for transformative change. Somalia must channel the spirit of its people—resilient, courageous, and unyielding—into its tenure on the Security Council. It must be the voice that says what others are too afraid to say, the force that pushes for the reforms that others have deemed impossible.

As Somalia steps into this new role, it carries with it the hopes and aspirations of not just its own citizens, but of millions across Africa and the Global South. This is Somalia's moment to lead, to inspire, and to succeed where so many have failed. The world is watching, and the time for radical change is now.
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