MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. Russia is in favor of fair representation of African countries in the UN Security Council, especially since African issues make up a sizable portion of the international organization’s agenda, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the pan-African Hommes d'Afrique magazine in the run-up to his tour of African countries beginning on Monday.
"We are well aware of Africa’s consolidated stance on reforming the UN Security Council outlined at the 2005 Ezulwini Consensus," Lavrov noted. "We share the need for Africa’s equitable representation in the UN Security Council, particularly because of the fact that Africa-related issues make up a considerable part of the UN agenda." Moscow is ready to help African countries realize their aspirations "on the basis of the Council’s expansion model, which would enjoy the widest possible support among UN member-states."
According to Russia’s top diplomat, Moscow expects the African Union to continue adhering to a common approach outlined in the "Ezulwini Consensus." "This is a reliable guarantee that Africa’s interests will not be ignored, the way it happened in the past," he noted. "It is impossible to ignore the shared vision of 50 countries. We are confident that the strength of the African continent is in toeing the common line."
Lavrov reiterated that Russia had maintained trust-based dialogue with African countries on the issue at the UN and on a bilateral level. "In particular, Sierra Leone’s foreign minister visited Moscow in July 2017 as the chairman of the African Union’s Committee of Ten set up to promote African interests in the process of expanding the UN Security Council," Lavrov explained. "[The parties] held an enthusiastic exchange of views and expressed a common understanding that the Security Council could only be reformed through the process of intergovernmental negotiations in New York."