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Pakistan calls for making UNSC more representative

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Pakistan calls for making UNSC more representative

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UNITED NATIONS:

Pakistan has called for making the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) more representative, transparent and accountable to ensure world peace and security, but warned that expanding the 15-member body would “statistically multiply the prospects of its paralysis”.

Addressing the General Assembly debate on the UNSC reforms, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Ambassador Munir Akram pointed out that the inability of the UNSC’s permanent members to agree on decisive action was the primary reason for frequent failures to respond effectively to conflicts.

“For more than a month now, a brutal war has raged in Gaza, with blatant war crimes and genocide being perpetrated by Israel against innocent Palestinian women and children,” Akram said, highlighting the UNSC’s failure to stop the “slaughter” of Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

In this regard, the Pakistani envoy said that adding new permanent members to an enlarged council would statistically multiply the prospects of its paralysis. “The problem cannot be the solution,” Ambassador Akram told the meeting.

“Any country seeking a more frequent presence on the Security Council should do so by subjecting itself to the democratic process of periodic election by the General Assembly,” he said, adding that the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group opposed the creation of additional permanent UNSC seats.

The Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform, which began in February 2009 have remained stalled. The Italy-Pakistan-led UfC opposed the so-called Group of Four – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – who seek permanent seats on the Council.

The IGN process deals with five key areas – the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged UNSC, and the working methods of the council and its relationship with the General Assembly.

Despite a general agreement on enlarging the UNSC, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain divided over details. The Group of Four has shown no flexibility in its campaign for expanding the council by 10 seats – six permanent and four non-permanent members.

“The four individual aspirants” would be accountable to no one and seek to advance their own national interests and ambitions,” Akram said. Besides, the African demand for two permanent seats was different, as they would be filled by states selected by Africa and accountable to Africa.

The UNSC currently has five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members elected for a two-year term. The UfC Group proposes a new category of non-permanent members with a longer duration of term and a possibility to get re-elected.

Ambassador Akram said the UfC’s proposal to add up to 12 new non-permanent seats would offer greater representation to the vast majority of small and medium states, 59 of which have never served on the Security Council.

“Besides ensuring equitable geopolitical representation”, he said, a larger number of non-permanent members could balance the influence of the five permanent members and the periodic election of the non-permanent members would ensure accountability as well as the democratisation of the UN.

“There are more than four or six states, perhaps over 20, which can, based on their size, defence capability, economic status, peacekeeping role and contributions to peace and security, claim the mantle of more frequent representation on the Security Council,” he said.

“The UfC’s offer for longer-term seats could accommodate them,” Ambassador Akram continued. He warned that no model of UNSC reform could be developed until member states reconcile the key divergences within the five clusters of issues.

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