UNITED NATIONS, Nov 8 (APP):Pakistan has told the United Nations General Assembly that lack of political will on part of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — known as G-4 — continued to threaten efforts to reform the Security Council, warning that the resulting inertia risked jeopardizing the 15 member body’s credibility and that of the entire U.N. system.
“These countries seek a privileged and unequal status for themselves, anchored in power politics, which is in sharp contradiction to the democratic spirit of our times,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said Monday, referring to the G-4’s push for permanent membership in an expanded Security Council. In this regard, she reaffirmed Pakistan consistent opposition to the creation of new permanent seats, as they contravened principles of democracy, accountability and transparency. Such a measure would promote the self-serving interests of a few and would compromise the Council’s efficiency and effectiveness, Ambassador Lodhi added.
Meanwhile, she said Pakistan favoured expansion in the non-permanent category of membership, based on equitable geographic distribution, as the natural starting point for any reform of the Council. The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.
Full-scale negotiations to restructure 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. Ambassador Lodhi, associating herself with the statement made by Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Group, said certain delegations had been blaming others for the slow pace of Council reform when the responsibility for the impasse lay squarely on them.
While they remained firmly wedded to their own positions, they asked others to be flexible. “It is not a lack of will on the part of the many, but a lack of will on the part of a few, that remains the most persistent stumbling block in the way of achieving a more representative, transparent, accountable and effective reform of the Security Council,” the Pakistani envoy added. The General Assembly decision 62/557, she said, provided the overarching framework for intergovernmental negotiations and agreed parameters for reform. Unfortunately, she said, there had been a tendency by some to sidestep consensus through quick fixes and procedural manoeuvres. Such attempts undermined mutual trust and betrayed a lack of common understanding over the fundamentals of the issue.
Seeking to introduce a text into this chasm would only widen differences, Ambassador Lodhi said. “What is required is not setting artificial deadlines, but instead, to heed the call for flexibility and readiness and to find common ground,” she said. “The UfC has lived this ideal, by calibrating its position to reflect the interests and aspirations of all member states – small, medium-sized and large. It is time for others to show the same spirit of compromise and flexibility. In conclusion, Ambassador Lodhi reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment towards a comprehensive reform of the Security Council. “Anything less would be a great disservice to the United Nations and the inspiring vision that it espouses for our collective humanity.”