The President of the Gabonese Republic, Mr. Omar Bongo, made an official visit to the?
The President of the Gabonese Republic, Mr. Omar Bongo, made an official visit to the United Nations on Friday (14 October) and addressed a meeting of the General Assembly. Mr. Bongo, who is President of the Organisation of African Unity, said the O.A.U. should have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
SYNOPSIS: In recent years, President Bongo has become one of the most influential leaders in Africa.
During his speech, President Bongo attacked the composition of the Security Council. He called the right of veto they exercised 'negative and paralysing', saying they did not consider the interests of smaller countries, unless these directly affected their own. President Bongo said that the Security Council sanctioned the supremacy of the five powers which had emerged victorious from World War Two. But since 1945, the world had changed, he said. The United Nations should recognise the existence of new alliances which had emerged since then. When it was formed, France and the United Kingdom, two of the members of the Security Council, ruled much of Africa. Now these colonial privileges no longer existed. President Bongo said that for this reason Africa should now be represented permanently by the Organisation of African Unity. His speech also included a strong attack on South Africa. He said the recent Soweto riots were a tragedy. He called on all powers to end aid to the Vorster regime. And there was a warning against foreign intervention which would aggravate the problems of black countries in Southern Africa. President Bongo's speech was a further indication of his active political role in the Organisation of African Unity. Since he came to power 10 years ago, Gabon has firmly aligned itself with the so-called 'mo derate' block in the O.A.U. The Republic's mineral wealth has helped make it one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. President Bongo has been anxious to reduce it dependence on other countries, but his relations with the West are good. Earlier this week on October the 10, he visited France and was given a full state welcome. He also met with President Giscard d'Estaing before going onto New York.