France wants African States in G20

Irish Times website. France will push for Africa to have membership of the G20 economies in a similar capacity to the European Union when it takes helm of the group next year, a French political source said. France is using the 25th Africa-France summit, which ends in Nice on Tuesday 2nd June, to pave the way for reform proposals at next years G8/G20 meetings, aimed at giving Africa more of a say on the international stage.

“They [African leaders] are quite enthusiastic that we want to make the African Union a permanent member of the G20, like the presidency of the European Commission,” the source said late yesterday. South Africa is currently the only African member.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday it was time for the world to make a place for Africa on the global stage to discuss international crises and reform, calling for the United Nations to be reformed and for Africa to have a permanent member of the Security Council.

The source said the African leaders had agreed to discuss proposals for an interim reform on the UN Security Council at the next African Union summit.

African nations have been asking for two rotating permanent seats since 2005, given the continent has about 27 per cent of members at the United Nations, its size and the involvement of global powers on its territory.

The source said France had suggested a compromise, whereby there would now be three categories of membership on the Security Council: permanent members, members elected in the current system and a third option of members elected for a period of five or six years.

China, the United States, Russia, Britain and France are the permanent members of the council. Opec member Nigeria, Gabon and Uganda are among 10 members that hold rotating seats.

“They have accepted to discuss that at the next African Union summit in Kampala in a month…we think it [the issue] has really made a lot of progress,” the source said.

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