President Robert Mugabe has once again reiterated the call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to ensure that Africa has a permanent seat or two with veto powers.
President Mugabe made the remarks when he was handing over the AU chairmanship to the incoming chairman President Idriss Deby of Chad during the official opening of the 26th AU Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday morning.
President Mugabe stole the show when he delivered his handover speech.
He did not mince his words when he told the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to relay the message to the super powers that are running the show in the world body.
“Down with the UN, we are artificial members and we can’t continue to be artificial members of it. How can a handful of people, in fact its only American and the Europeans, those who say they are white skinned, and anybody else who doesn’t have the white skin shall not have the power and the strength and integrity that they have.
"If the UN has to survive, we must be equal members of it. We want to be members with a voice that’s understood, respected and honoured. We met in Swaziland some years back to discuss the reform and we came up with the Ezulwini Consensus. We want two permanent members with veto powers if the veto is to be retained. If the veto is to be abolished fine. We are 54 members but they cannot give us two seats," said President Mugabe.
Speaking off the cuff, President Mugabe said:
“The whites are here with us, if not physically but through NGOs, through spies and pretenders who come to us and say they are here to assist us. What help is coming from them except regime change? The 54 countries, we are supposed to be free and independent. We come to the United Nations its ceremonial. Every year in September we are there we make speeches and go back home year in year out and the bosses in the Security Council say you shall never have the powers that we have as permanent members.
"We have asked and asked and asked reform, reform the Security Council. Mr Ban Ki Moon, you are a good man but of course we can't make you a fighter that is not what your mission is. We will fight a fight for our own identity, for our own integrity as Africans. We are Africans."
President Mugabe went on to thank Mr Ban for standing by Africa during difficult times, including when West Africa was hit by the Ebola outbreak.
"I hope you will hear from us on this issue but you have done a good job for us. You have visited our countries, you have worked with us where disease has visited us, Ebola, where calamities have occurred where fights and terrorism have affected us, we thank you for that concern. So that distinguishes you from others, of course you don’t come from those countries we know where you come from,” he said.
The auditorium reverberated with applause as heads of state and delegates gave President Mugabe a standing ovation.
Cde Mugabe added that Mr Ban must go and tell those with white faces and pink noses that Africa is saying enough is enough.
He said Africans shall no longer tolerate a position of slavery by any other name, by denial of rights, slavery by being treated in a manner were they are regarded as not equal to whites.
President Mugabe told the delegates that in line with the AU’s aspirations to silence the guns by 2020, matters of peace and security were high on the agenda in 2016.
In his acceptance speech, incoming AU chairman Chadian President Idriss Deby said he accepts the task with pleasure, and agony as the responsibility entrusted in him is heavy and fraught with challenges.
Other speakers during the opening session included chairperson of the AU Commission Dr Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas who is also chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee.
A song titled 'Agenda 2063' which was composed by a Zimbabwean named Kenako, was also played during the opening session.