India suggests key elements of UN reforms

Days before taking an elected seat on the UN Security Council, India has suggested six key elements of reform, including expansion of the Council in both its permanent and non-permanent categories.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 11:24 AM IST

New York: Days before taking an elected seat on the UN Security Council, India has suggested six key elements of reform, including expansion of the Council in both its permanent and non-permanent categories.

The "overwhelming majority of UN member-states have expressed their clear preference" for such expansion, India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said at an informal plenary meeting on the intergovernmental negotiations on reforms on Tuesday.

"We have repeatedly stressed that reform of the Security Council is necessary in order to align it with today`s 21st century realities and to bring to the table large unrepresented parts of the world-Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, the Small Island Developing States and others."

Seeking a shorter negotiating text, he said it should also faithfully reflect the convergence regarding expanding the Security Council to 25/26 with an expansion in the permanent category from the present 5 to 11 and the non-permanent category from the present 10 to 14/15, he said.

New permanent members should have the same rights and obligations as the current permanent members, Puri said. "However, if some of the new permanent members decide not to enforce their veto right till such a time as a comprehensive review is undertaken, they should be allowed to do so."

Associating itself with the "growing clamour for early reform of working methods of the Council", he said, India calls for the General Assembly and the Security Council as two principal organs of the UN to respect each other`s distinct roles, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter, so as to secure the effective functioning of the UN as a whole.

"And finally, there must be a comprehensive review after a period of fifteen years during which the entire structure of the Security Council would need to be revisited," Puri said.

India, the envoy said, was "both ready and willing to reach out to other countries and to work in close cooperation with them towards the goal of achieving urgent reform of the Council in keeping with the changing realities of the current times".

"Let me assure you and the rest of the UN membership of our willingness to remain constructive and reasonably flexible on all issues on the table in the months to come and urge other delegations to do likewise," he said.

IANS