More permanent seats must for UN reformation: India

More permanent seats must for UN reformation: India
PTI
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First Published: Thu, Mar 05 2009. 03 16 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Mar 05 2009. 03 16 PM IST
New Delhi: India has underlined the need for expansion of the UN Security Council, saying any reform that does not increase the permanent members of the top group would be “incomplete and futile”.
India also rejected the idea of increasing the seats in the non-permanent category as an interim measure as “fallacious”.
Pointing out that an overwhelming majority of member states strongly supports expansion in both the categories, Indian UN Ambassador Nirupam Sen said any reform that does not increase the number of permanent members would be “incomplete and futile.”
Participating in the informal inter-governmental discussion on the expansion of the 15-member Council, Sen strongly rubbished the argument of a minority of member States that since the expansion of both categories cannot be fulfilled, the intermediate option is the best way forward.
Though he did not name any country, Pakistan is one of the supporters of the intermediate option which envisages expanding non permanent category and reviewing the issue after a set number of years.
Sen said such an argument is “fallacious” as the number of countries which oppose the interim model far exceed those who support it.
The interim option is untenable, he said, because there is unanimous recognition that the 15-member Council does not reflect the realities of 21st century and is not representative of the vast majority of its membership.
The primary reason for this, he told the member States, is that its composition of permanent members, which dates back to post World War II scenario, is flawed.
Thus the Council expansion that maintains the same permanent members cannot bring it in line with the today’s realities or enhance its legitimacy, “representativity” or effectiveness.
The fact that an expansion of only non permanent members carried out in 1965 did not result in improvement in the working methods validates the argument for expansion in both categories is necessary, he said, adding that is unrealistic to expect the situation to change unless number of permanent members increase.
In this context, he also pointed out that non permanent members remain excluded from the core decision making of the Council and increasing their number would not change the fact, he stressed.
The current permanent members were victors of the Second World War and were not elected by the Assembly. But in any expansion, the Assembly would have new permanent members by two-thirds majority, thus, it argued, they would be more responsive to the sentiments of the member States.
The Group of Four of which India is the member has proposed increasing the number of permanent members by six and of non permanent member by four to take the total to 25.
Access and participation of non-members, particularly small island states and landlocked countries and other vulnerable countries, in the work of the Council, Sen said, is crucial to any reform effort, apart from a dedicated seat for them.
Given that non-permanent seats, including those occupied by some of these countries, have not resolved the problem, the only effective response is to elect new permanent members, who can be held accountable through a review, he added.
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First Published: Thu, Mar 05 2009. 03 16 PM IST