United Nations:Pakistan on Thursday criticised India and other G-4 nations for seeking expansion of the UN Security Council’s permanent membership, saying proposals that promote “national aspirations" of some member states cannot enhance representative nature of the powerful organ of the world body.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi opposed the G-4 nations’—India, Brazil, Germany and Japan—position on Security Council reform during Intergovernmental Negotiations in United Nations.
The G-4 grouping has been seeking expansion of the permanent and non-permanent seats of the Security Council to make the powerful UN body more representative and reflective of the changing global order.
The four nations support each other’s bids for permanent seats on an expanded Security Council. Lodhi criticised the G-4 nations position, saying “without prejudice to the Common African Position for representation on behalf of an entire region, we are at a loss to understand how proposals that seek to promote the national aspirations of some member states, can enhance the representative nature of the Security Council, when the region in question, has neither bestowed that privilege on them, nor does it enjoy the right to hold them to account".
A press release issued by Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN said that the G-4 nations “have shown no flexibility" in their campaign for expanding the Security Council by 10 seats, with 6 additional permanent and four non-permanent members.
It said the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group opposed any additional permanent members. “As a compromise, UfC has proposed a new category of members— not permanent members— with longer duration in terms and a possibility to get re-elected once," the statement said.
Noting that representativeness and accountability were two sides of the same coin, Lodhi said the greater the accountability, the better the representativeness and that one cannot co-exist without the other. “Applied in the context of the Security Council, it is evident that these conditions cannot be met by an expansion in the permanent category," she said.
“This is acknowledged by UN charter itself, wherein permanent members are identified by name without creating any pretence of regional or equitable distribution," she said. Lodhi said that it was in the non-permanent category where the elements of equitable representation were embedded, adding that the reform process itself has to be a membership-driven one.
Earlier, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, speaking on behalf of the G-4 at the informal meeting on Intergovernmental Negotiations, had called for transparency in negotiations on Security Council reforms, underlining that countries and groups making proposals, specifically on veto and regional representation, should necessarily be named in the documents framed for the discussions.
“Currently, we see several unattributed propositions. Serious proposals made with genuine intent are not orphans without support. Or is it that those who have initially suggested these no longer desire to be associated with them. If that is so, we need to know. If not, we should not be selective in attributing,"
Akbaruddin had said at the session on 27 March as member states discussed the paper circulated ‘Revised Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration’.