African leaders say it is time for the continent to be given a greater role at the United Nations. When the UN was formed 75 years ago only four African countries were part of the organisation. Today all 54 African countries are among the 193 members states of which only Russia, the US, China, the United Kingdom and France are permanent members of the security council. That is the UN’s highest decision making body. In their addresses to this year’s general assembly – which was moved mostly online because of the coronavirus pandemic – the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria called for Africa to be given permanent seats on the security council.
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