Nice(France), May 31, GNA - President Nicholas Sarkozy of France on Monday called on the United Nations (UN) to consider making Africa a permanent member of the Security Council to enable governments to manage the numerous security challenges on the continent.
\"It is surprising and inappropriate that the African continent that has for so many years been saddled with peace and security issues has been left out of the permanent membership of a body that is supposed to restore peace, tranquillity and security to its people.\"
He said there should be thorough reforms in the UN structures, to include Africa in the permanent seats of the Security Council and modernize modalities and strategies that would make the African continent a conducive place to live in by investing in industrial and infrastructural projects.
The French President who made these comments during the official opening session of the 25th Franco-African Summit held at the Riviera city of Nice in France, said the days of ignoring Africa in international deliberations were over and it was for France and the whole of Europe and other continents to recognize the contributions and importance of Africans for a better partnership.
Fifty-six African Heads of State are currently attending the two-day summit. Also in attendance are Foreign, Finance, Tourism, Interior, Defence and Trade Ministers from the continent.
Vice President John Dramani Mahama, accompanied by Alhaji Mohammmed Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry are representing Ghana in the political and economic conclaves of the summit.
President Sarkozy appealed to African leaders not to see the summit as a new form of colonialism, but a form of cordial relations that would eradicate poverty, hunger, diseases and conflicts on the African continent.
\"The failure of Africa will be the tragedy of Europe because Africa is now a major stakeholder in the world\'s economy and development that cannot be swept under the carpet of history,\" he said.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Co-chair of the Summit, said although the African continent was plagued with armed conflicts, disease, and poverty, there were significant improvements in economic growth as the continent was recording an average growth of five per cent.
He said the African Union had put in place a workable mechanism that would diversify and reform economic, food security and infrastructural development for Africa to make a significant leap in socio-economic development.
The Egyptian President gave the assurance that plans were underway to organize quarterly meetings for African Foreign and Trade Ministers to come out with areas that they could collaborate effectively for the development of the entire continent.
\"Africans have the same objective and a common destiny and need support from France and everybody here to achieve our aims and objectives of development in the next few years.\"
(From George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA Special Correspondent, Riviera City of Nice, France)