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Support for Muslim seat at UN urged
Publication Date : 23-12-2013
Turkey’s envoy to Brunei has said his country supports the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) call for a Muslim country to hold a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Oguz Ates, Turkey’s first resident ambassador to Brunei, said with Muslims making up a quarter of the world’s population, it was time the UN reformed the structure of the security council to “reflect today’s realities and dynamics in a more balanced way”.
“A Muslim country as a permanent member will contribute to understanding in respect to finding solutions to various international problems,” he said.
“In my opinion, the OIC’s secretary-general’s views on having a Muslim country gain a permanent seat in UN should be seen in the context of reform efforts.”
He added that Ankara has been actively supporting the United Nations’ reform process and that a ministerial meeting on the matter will be held in Turkey in the first half of 2014.
“(Turkey) wishes to see the UN security council structure reflect today’s realities and dynamics in a more balanced way, and in a more democratic and transparent way.”
A permanent seat requires a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly, and approval of the five permanent council members.
The council’s five permanent members — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — have the power to veto any substantive resolution. The remaining 10 seats on the council are filled on a rotating basis.
Turkey, a secular Muslim-majority country — which also boasts the world’s 16th largest economy — has held a non-permanent seat on UN security council just once in 48 years.
Last year during a speaking engagement at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, the OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said it was time Muslim countries were regarded as “global actors” in international politics.
“The secretary general of the UN (Ban Ki Moon) said he saw the OIC as a strategic partner of the United Nations,” Ihsanoglu said, adding that the pan-Muslim body served as an agent of moderation and modernisation in the Muslim world. “An OIC country needs a permanent seat on the security council, although I do not think this will happen during my tenure (as OIC secretary general).”