United Nations: India has said that it is “untenable” that 137 developing nations are represented by only one permanent member in the UN Security Council, as it insisted that maintaining the status quo on the Council’s membership is “definitely not an option”.
Participating in a briefing on UN Security Council reforms on Thursday, India’s Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said there is need to “urgently” broaden the Council to make it more representative, effective and democratic.
“Maintaining the status quo as far as the membership of the Council is concerned is definitely not an option. For many developing countries, it is simply untenable that out of 137 developing country members of the UN, only one has so far been accommodated as a permanent member of the Council,” he said.
During the briefing, Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations Ambassador Courtenay Rattray tabled a framework document designed to reflect the various positions of the membership, aimed at moving the intergovernmental negotiations process towards text-based negotiations.
However, it is learnt that China “led the charge” in blocking the UNSC reforms process by rejecting the proposed road map, saying that the Chair had no right to table a text.
While pro-reform groups like the L-69, CARICOM bloc of Caribbean nations, Small Island Developing States, G4 and Africa supported the Chair’s proposal, China, Pakistan and the Uniting for Consensus group of nations rejected it.
Among the permanent five nations, the US and UK are learnt to have voiced their support for working with the Chair. The US and Russia, however, said that there should not be any timelines to achieve results in the reform process.
India feels that the framework document presented by the Chair is a positive breakthrough as it noted that world leaders had unanimously agreed at the 60th anniversary of UN Summit in 2005 to achieve “early reforms” of the UNSC.
“When we meet again, we hope to at least have the outlines of a negotiation text on the table,” Mukerji said.
General Assembly President Sam Kutesa underscored that moving towards a negotiating text is a way of building mutual trust and creating an atmosphere conducive for constructive engagement and dialogue and he was “heartened” to hear the broad support for such a process.
“It is for this reason that I encourage Member States to adopt a constructive attitude” towards the Chair’s approach of laying out the framework document.
“I call upon you not prejudge the approach or second guess the contents of a document that has not yet been presented for consideration,” Kutesa said, expressing confidence in Rattray’s “genuine commitment” to an open, transparent and consultative, Member State-driven process.
He said reform of the UNSC is of critical importance and a “key priority” during the current UNGA session.