Voice

Japan courts Africa on UN Security Council reform

Japan's Kyodo News reports on prime minister Shinzo Abe's bridgebuilding with African leaders on Security Council reform:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will host the first meeting between leaders of Africa and Japan to address U.N. Security Council reform on Monday in Yokohama, on the sidelines of a fifth international meeting on African development, the government said Thursday.

Invited are Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma as the coordinator of the "Committee of 10" African countries, other leaders from the group and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union Commission.

With the summit meeting, Tokyo aims to enhance dialogue and cooperation with African countries for an early realization of the stalled reform, given the significance they play on the matter, it said...

African leaders will be in Japan to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, a summit meeting on African development held every five years, to be held Saturday through Monday in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo.

The Africa group's voting weight in the General Assembly and its relative unity on many organizational questions make it a critical player. To this point, the four leading candidates for permanent seats--Japan, Brazil, Germany, and India (known collectively as the G4)--have struggled to break through with African states,  which have insisted on at least two new permanent seats for the continent and that all new permanent members must have the veto power. Neither condition is necessarily compatible with the G4 view of how the Council should be reformed. 

The Multilateralist

UN tribunal acquits Serbian officials

I've noted before the significant number of recent acquittals at international criminal tribunals. Add two more to the list, courtesy of the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Voice of America reports:

A summary of the ruling is available here. The reaction from the region has been predictable, with Serbian officials lauding the decision and Bosnians decrying it.