- By David BoscoDavid Bosco, a Foreign Policy contributing editor and assistant professor at American University's School of International Service. He is at work on a book about the International Criminal Court's first decade.
South African president Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan met this week and downplayed the notion that the countries are in competition for a permanent Security Council seat:
Jonathan told a joint sitting of Parliament that the need to work together was evident in instances like the drive to secure Africa a permanent seat on the United Nations’ Security Council.
“If South Africa and Nigeria do not lead that struggle, then who will lead that struggle?” he asked, after denying that Africa’s two biggest economies were competing for a position that is still hypothetical.
That notion was “very wrong”, he said.
There are some signs that Security Council reform will soon get another push. Brazil’s foreign minister, Antonio Patriota, recently hosted a seminar on the subject in Brazil that included Indian, German, Japanese, and South African diplomats. For other signs of stirring on the issue, see here, here and here. If the slow-moving process does gather pace, the position of the African group at the UN—which includes 54 states—will likely determine whether a reform package can secure the required two-thirds support in the General Assembly.
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |