Set own house in order, implement UNSC reforms: India to UN

India has said the United Nations should "set its house in order" and implement the much-delayed reform of the Security Council before it seeks to embark upon an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.

United Nations: India has said the United Nations should "set its house in order" and implement the much-delayed reform of the Security Council before it seeks to embark upon an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.

It also said the relevance of the world body is at stake if the UN is not reformed to be more effective and representative.

India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji yesterday said an "over-riding view" of a majority of participants in the previous five rounds of talks is that the requirement to reform the Council to make it more effective and representative cannot be delayed any longer.

He was addressing an informal plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on `Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council`.

"During these past months, even as we have engaged in making statements at each other, the Security Council has been paralyzed by its inherent flaws. The result of this paralysis is visible. The failure of the Security Council to respond to eruptions of crises, and create sustainable frameworks of political stability, whether on the continent of Africa, or in Asia and in Europe, has been starkly documented for the wider public.

"This failure has already extracted a huge human and material cost, which the UN can ill afford at a time our organization is poised to articulate the blueprint for the post-2015 Development Agenda for the World. At stake is the relevance of the United Nations to embark upon such an ambitious exercise when it has not been able to set its house in order," Mukerji said.

The sixth meeting of the IGN saw participation of 64 speakers, of which more than 40 spoke in favour of India`s position for early UNSC reforms.

There was broad convergence on expanding the Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership and for delivering concrete outcomes by 2015, a position supported by countries such as Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Germany, UK, France, Nicaragua, Palau, Benin, Malawi, St. Vincent and Grenadines and nearly 30 more countries.

Mukerji said the mandate for "early reforms" of the UN Security Council was given by global leaders at the 60th anniversary Summit of the United Nations in?2005 and UN member states must build on the convergences to carry the negotiations forward and concretise outcomes for adoption by the 70th Anniversary Summit of the UN in 2015.  )

Mukerji said the process of UNSC reform should be concluded within this timeframe given that many leaders at the UNGA high-level meeting in September 2013 had called for concrete results by 2015.

He noted that while there is agreement to reform the Council to reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century, there are differences "coming only from a small group of member states" on the categories of membership.

The official said any member state, which is willing to take on the responsibilities of permanent and non-permanent membership, and secures two-thirds vote in an election on the floor of the General Assembly would be "duly and equitably" elected on the basis of the UN Charter to occupy the additional seats in these two categories of the Council.

He said there is convergence on the need to improve the working methods of the Council and the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly.

During the various rounds of negotiations, delegations also agreed that number of countries in an expanded Council, consisting of permanent and non-permanent members, should be in the mid 20`s.

Mukerji urged the member states to work on text-based negotiations during the remaining months of the current 68th Session of the General Assembly and propose a resolution by the General Assembly in 2015 on "early reforms" of the UNSC.
He said the current round of inter-governmental negotiations must be continued for the remaining four months of the 68th UNGA session to enable member states to take the process forward.
"The Indian delegation assures you of our steadfast commitment to work with you, and all like minded delegations, in ensuring that our collective and seemingly?distant dream of reforming the Council becomes a reality sooner than later," he added.

Pakistan`s Ambassador to the United Nations Masood Khan
said the G4 countries are asking 189 countries to support their "exaltation" to the Council as?permanent members.

"They want to rally support for their individual state ambitions and then present a fait accompli to the Permanent Five. We are not their constituency, nor real interlocutors, but a means to an end. Their minority interests have been moved to the center stage and are now being peddled as majority positions," Khan said.

He accused the G4 of pursuing its "narrow national interests" and said the group is "monopolizing the discourse in many forums, including this one, and?creating the illusion that they are speaking on behalf of the majority or the largely disenfranchised developing countries. Some developing countries are chasing that mirage and we wish them good luck."

"Power realities move differently," he said.

Khan said the G4 "only want a slightly reconfigured Council that secures their national interests".

He said the group is in a hurry to reform the Council "especially before 2015".

"We are against the creation of the permanent seats and new centers of privilege. The only way to move forward is to explore a compromise solution that?reflects the interests of all member states," Khan said, adding the "four aspirants" are hanging on to a "narrow, self-serving proposal".

"If they give up their preconceived concepts of the Council composition, the space for real reform will open up. As long a as the reform remains hampered by ambition, the biggest losers will be the underrepresented developing nations," he said, calling for continued consultations to reach agreement on the next steps in the reform process.

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