G-4`s UNSC expansion proposal `zero-sum`: Pak
Last Updated: Friday, January 27, 2012, 19:24
New York: Pakistan has opposed a key proposal by India, Japan, Germany and Brazil to expand the powerful UNSC, describing it as "zero-sum" that is likely to benefit only the G-4 nations.

The G4's draft resolution was the focus of the first day of the eighth round of inter-governmental negotiations on UNSC reforms that began here yesterday.

The four nations had issued a joint statement that said their proposal focuses on two aspects of Security Council reform, which is expansion in membership in both categories, permanent and non-permanent, and that the working methods of the 15-member Council should be improved.

Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Pakistani Ambassador to the UN, said the G-4's "short resolution," "is nothing but a short cut whose fate too is obvious."

Pakistan, which has joined the UNSC as a non-permanent member for a two year term beginning this year, said the "short resolution" has neither garnered meaningful support nor allowed progress in the reform process.

"Lacking space for compromise, the G-4 proposal is zero-sum in nature, with 4 winners and 184 losers. Therefore, it has neither garnered meaningful support nor allowed progress in the reform process. These important issues cannot be side-stepped," the top Pakistani envoy said.

The UN has 193 members but excluding the five veto- holding permanent members, the tally comes to 188.

Haroon said despite nearly a year-long intense campaign, the G-4 has not been able to muster significant support for its draft resolution.

"The Security Council is too important an institution to be subjected to such misadventures and experimentation," he said.

The Pakistani envoy underlined that the negotiation processes must be characterized by the spirit of flexibility and the political will to compromise.

Haroon sought to underplay the support for the G-4's proposal. The Pakistani envoy said the group claims that it has the support of 80 member states, but "the same number keeps being repeated ever since. This is not even a simple majority."

"This amounts to categorical rejection of the draft resolution. It is, therefore, time to move on. The process cannot remain hostage to individual desires and aspirations," he said.

He said the group's draft resolution of 2005 did not succeed for it was "divisive and inflexible". "Simple narration of known positions without flexibility, as done today by the G-4, flies in the face of objectivity and stultifies negotiations."

The envoy underlined that the principle of comprehensive reform of the Security Council must remain sacrosanct for the deliberations.

"It is clear that by adopting a piecemeal approach, question of the 'Veto' and the 'Size' are being avoided." He said proposals like surrendering the veto right and idea of permanent members without veto adds a third category of membership that contradicts the claim of balancing the P-5 in the powerful Council. Similarly, given the idea of limited expansion, adding four to six new permanent members will create imbalance between the elected and non-elected members, thereby impacting working methods and relationship of the Security Council, he said. He said such proposals will only help enlarge the "club of the privileged" who will have a vested interest in addressing most issues in the Council, "further draining the oxygen out of the Assembly, and enhancing the domination of the Security Council." "It will increase divisions and tensions, not only within the United Nations, but within various regions, contradicting the objective of promoting peace and security," Haroon underlined. He said on the issue of Council reform, Africa united the entire membership, while the G-4 is seen to divide it. It is evident from the ongoing negotiations that a number of member states favour a "compromise solution". Pakistan, along with its partners in the Uniting for Consensus Group (UfC), has always emphasized the value of a fair compromise, the envoy said. The UfC paper is unlike the G-4?s "take-it-or-leave-it" offer but provides workable basis for compromise. "The time for rigid positions and piecemeal initiatives, like the G-4 draft is over. After three years of intergovernmental negotiations, it is time to move beyond illusions and dreams," the envoy underlined. PTI

First Published: Friday, January 27, 2012, 19:24

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