Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says it’s a “moment of truth” for the United Nations, as he urges reform at the world body to address the “historic injustice against Africa”.
Japan will push for an African seat at the United Nations using its place on the world body’s Security Council.
At the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Tunis on Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that “Japan affirms its determination to lift the historical injustice against Africa for not being represented through permanent membership in the Security Council.”
“For the United Nations to work effectively for peace and stability, there is an urgent need to strengthen the United Nations as a whole through Security Council reform,” he said.
The United Nations is facing a “moment of truth”.
In June, Japan was one of five countries elected to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2023 and 2024.
The UN Security Council is made up of 15 members, five of which are permanent and have veto power: the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
The other ten positions are filled by states for two-year terms, five of which are announced each year.
Speaking live from Tokyo after he tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago, Kishida reiterated his pledge on Saturday to invest about $30 billion in Africa over the next three years, promising smaller amounts for food security in coordination with the African Development Bank.
He also announced that Japan would appoint a special envoy to the Horn of Africa, where a prolonged drought prompted the United Nations Meteorological Agency to warn last week of an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe”.
Kishida said Japan will inject $8.3 million into the volatile, gold-rich Liptako-Gorma tri-border region between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, which has been devastated by attacks by armed groups in recent years.
He said the assistance would aim to “develop good cooperation between residents and local authorities” and help improve administrative services for the area’s five million residents.
The Japanese leader also promised to help train police officers and support “fair and transparent” elections across the continent, and pledged Japan’s support for the rule of law in Africa.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”