India raises questions about the delay in UNSC reforms,

by

India has once again raised questions about the delay in UNSC reforms, asserting that the five permanent members of the powerful UN body should not continue to override the collective voice of the world organisation’s 188 member states.

Speaking at the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform on Friday, India’s Permanent Representative at the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj stressed that “equity” must be the cornerstone of global efforts to reform the 15-nation UN body. “Equity demands that every nation, irrespective of its size or power, be afforded an equal opportunity…to shape global decision-making,” she said, adding that “Our question therefore is how much longer will the will of five members continue to override the collective voice of 188 member states?”.

The top Indian diplomat at UN said that there are many fundamental issues in the discourse over UNSC reform but “the most fundamental is this question. Can we allow five permanent members, and we’ve all just agreed that this permanent category is not going to go away, to eternally override the collective voice of 188 member states?” “This must change,” she emphasised.

Permanent Five – China, France, Russia, UK and US

Kamboj’s comment was a reference to the five permanent members of the Council whose exclusive veto rights have the power to impact decision-making in the Security Council on matters of maintenance of international peace and security. The Council’s other 10 members are elected for two-year terms to the non-permanent category and they do not have veto powers. Kamboj also highlighted the need to redress “centuries of injustice”.

“I think we might all broadly agree that the historical injustices perpetrated against the Global South can no longer be ignored,” she said, adding that it is time to rectify these disparities by ensuring greater representation for regions like Asia, Latin America and Africa on the UN Security Council through reform in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Kamboj said.

She underscored the need for reform to amplify diverse voices, saying equity demands that voices of the marginalized and oppressed be elevated on the world stage. “Empowering nations from the Global South ensures that all perspectives are heard and respected, that a diversity and democracy of voices is brought to the table leading to more inclusive decision-making, a more inclusive Council to foster broader consensus and legitimacy in its decisions.” Kamboj highlighted the Indian example of “bold leadership” leading to change, as she cited the inclusion of the African Union as a full member of the G20 during Delhi’s presidency of the grouping.

This, she said, serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of political will. “India’s proactive stance underscores that where there is determination, there is a path to meaningful reform that will ensure equity,” she said. India asserted that reform must be guided by a bold vision for a more equitable and inclusive world. Comprehensive reform across all clusters under discussion, including an expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories are imperative to realizing this vision, she said.

Kamboj pointed out that expanding only in the non-permanent category of the Council will not solve the problem. “It will in fact not reform one category of the United Nations Security Council at all. And in fact will widen the difference between permanent and non-permanent members even more, thereby perpetuating inequities instead of removing these and further entrenching a dispensation that is no longer relevant to the current geopolitical context,” she said.

She questioned whether the international community wishes to perpetuate existing inequities through an expansion in the non-permanent category only or “do we wish to remove inequities through a comprehensive reform that touches upon all aspects of reform.” She emphasised that the whole purpose of UNSC reform was to right historical injustice to ensure inclusive decision-making through an expansion in both categories of membership, including reform in the working methods of the Council, which also includes the question of the veto.

India has been at the forefront of years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member at the UN high-table, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.

No tags 0 Comments 0

No Comments Yet.