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UNSC seat: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa

Africa has 54 of the 193 total votes that will decide the Security Council's non-permanent seats in June. Canada is in the running against Norway and Ireland for two spots at the table, each lasting for two years.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Friday, February 7, where he will meet with African leaders at the annual African Union summit.


It's a chance for Trudeau to meet directly with several of the 54 African leaders, whose votes at the June vote at the UN will be critical to Canada's success.

He is in the continent with three of his cabinet ministers  and a celebrity element Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, who Trudeau invited to join the delegation. 

Canadian PM decided to bring Canadian-African star from the sports world to his game plane in Africa this week, as he pursues support for a seat for Canada on the powerful United Nations Security Council.

Ujiri, who raised in Nigeria, played professional basketball in Europe before becoming a player scout and executive in the NBA, is believed can help the PM in wooing African Leaders to favour his agenda come June. .

"I have relationships with leaders here and anyway we can help, anyway I can help, it's a big part of making the world better," Ujiri said.

He said he has already had several conversations with Trudeau and with Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister for families, children and social development, about how he can use his work as an ambassador for sport to help. Hussen is also on the trip.

Ujiri flew to Ethiopia with Trudeau Friday and is participating in official events with Trudeau in both Addis Ababa and later in the week in Senegal. Ujiri was among those on hand with Trudeau for his initial meet-and-greet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Friday.

Abiy and several of Ethiopia's key cabinet ministers and diplomats met Trudeau at the airport, where an official welcome ceremony included an honour guard, a dance performance and a red carpet.

This is Trudeau's third visit to Africa as prime minister, but his first time in Ethiopia. He told Abiy in a brief conversation at the airport that he had intended to attend the African Union last year but wasn't able to. Abiy assured him this time was a better time.

Addis Ababa , which is the capital of Ethiopia is the African Union permanent headquartered where African leaders gathered with the theme for this year's summit "Silencing the Guns." 

The continent works to reduce violence and conflict and promote economic growth and prosperity. Africa nations has 54 of the 193 total votes that will decide the Security Council's non-permanent seats in June. Canada is in the running against Norway and Ireland for two spots at the table, each lasting for two years.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited the continent in January, including a stop to visit Abiy in Ethiopia, while Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is also set to be at the African Union meeting this weekend. The three countries vying for the UNSC seats.

Canadian PM is spending three days in Ethiopia, and will travel to other African Countries such as Senegal and Munich.

He will also travel to Germany before returning to Canada next week.

With the assumed influence of the African leaders's votes to determine the non permanent members of the UN Security Council, right negotiations and bargaining can help pressure the world powers to do more in reducing the proliferation and illegal arms movement to African region.

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