Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Pakistan keeps up push against India’s bid for UN seat

Himalayan Paths

New York, Nov 8 (IANS) Pakistan kept up its opposition to India’s bid for permanent membership to the UN Security Council, warning that creation of new permanent seats would only “satisfy the hunger of a few states for power and privilege”.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN, Maleeha Lodhi, speaking at the UN General Assembly on Monday, also blamed the lack of any progress in the long-running negotiations to restructure the UN Security Council on a “handful of countries” – in apparent reference to India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – who, she said, have remained inflexible in their push for permanent seats on the 15-member body.

“This selfish pursuit of national ambition is the real reason that has prevented us from making the Security Council more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective,” the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Lodhi as saying.

The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US – and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.

Speaking in a debate on achieving equitable representation in the Security Council, the Pakistani envoy voiced support for expanding the Council’s elected membership, while warning that the creation of new permanent seats would only satisfy the hunger of a few States for power and privilege.

Pakistan, she declared, remains firmly opposed to the creation of new permanent seats on the Security Council.

Full-scale negotiations to reform the Security Council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas – the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with the General Assembly.

Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.

Pakistan, a leader in the Uniting for Consensus group, stands for creating a new category of members – not permanent members – with longer duration and a possibility to get re-elected.

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, known as the “Group of Four”, have been campaigning for expanding the Council by 10 seats, with 6 additional permanent and four non-permanent members.

Pakistan, Lodhi said, supported the Council’s expansion in the elected non-permanent member category, on the basis of equitable geographic distribution and a system of fair rotation. More elected members would enhance regional representation and ownership, adding legitimacy to the Council.

In the absence of periodic elections and rotation, new permanent members would not be accountable to the wider membership, she added.

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