India Criticises Group That Is Opposed To UN Security Council Reforms

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India Criticises Group That Is Opposed To UN Security Council Reforms

India criticised the UfC group, which is opposed to creation of new permanent members of UNSC.

United Nations:

India has criticised a model for the UN Security Council presented by the Uniting for Consensus group that includes Pakistan, saying it stands against the idea supported by a majority of member states to expand permanent and non-permanent seats and underscored that the world of the 21st century “desperately needs a UN 2.0”.

The Uniting for Consensus or UfC comprises Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, San Marino, Spain, and Turkiye. China, a permanent member, and Indonesia are participating in the group as Observers.

The UfC group is opposed to the creation of new permanent members in the Security Council. The UfC model entails a Security Council with 26 seats, with an increase only in the non-permanent, elected members. It proposes creating 9 new long-term seats with immediate re-election possibilities.

“Threats to international peace and security have become more complex, unpredictable and undefined. The world of the twenty-first century desperately needs a UN 2.0 that is credible, representative, reflecting the needs and aspirations of the member states and capable of maintaining peace and security,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said in response to the UfC model presented by Italy at the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) meeting on UNSC reforms on Monday.

“The UfC which comprises 12 countries and 2 observers including a P5 country stands against the idea espoused by a majority of UN member states, namely that of the expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories,” she said.

Ms Kamboj asked how the UfC model represents Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Africa, a 54-member group, is calling for expansion in both categories. “When Africa themselves are asking for expansion in both categories of membership, isn’t it uncalled for to do what Africa was subjected to in perpetuity in the past – which is deciding on their behalf? I would look forward to hearing from you on the rationale of deciding that Africa amongst others should not be represented in the permanent category,” she said.

Ms Kamboj said the point on Africa also extends to the member states from the Global South.

She said India “believes that without representation, without a mandate, a seat, a voice – which representation entails, members of the Global South would just come and go, which I am afraid will be unacceptable to a large number of Global South countries in CARICOM, Arab group, Africa and others”.

Ms Kamboj stressed that for India, the “non-negotiable” aim is equitable representation of Global South and Africa in the permanent category. “African Union became a member of the G20 during India’s Presidency. We hope the UN, a much older institution, takes inspiration from this change.”

“Would the UfC solution of only adding 12 more non-permanent members make any difference to the dysfunctional dynamics of the UNSC emanating from the outdated composition of its Permanent category,” Ms Kamboj said.

And given that the statement today suggested no change in P5 composition is being made on behalf of also the country which is represented in the Permanent category. “Is that not a conflict of interest?,” she asked, referring to China.

The UN Security Council currently consists of five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. The remaining 10 nations in the Council are elected to sit as non-permanent members for two-year terms and do not have veto powers.

Earlier this month, India presented a detailed model on behalf of the G4 nations for Security Council reform. The G4 model proposes that the Security Council’s membership increase from the current 15 to 25-26, by adding six permanent and four or five non-permanent members.

Ms Kamboj asserted that there is nothing from the UfC group on text-based negotiations within a fixed time frame.

“To say ‘let us agree before we start negotiations’ is like giving every member country a veto. And while vetoes may be used in the UNSC, in UNGA we don’t operate on the basis of vetoes. Thus, when asking for an impossible consensus preceding text-based negotiations, isn’t UfC just vetoing the whole process, and suggesting ‘a my way or highway approach?” she said.

Ms Kamboj said the UfC model does not provide any checks or balances to the current issues related to the imbalances between the permanent members and the non-permanent members and it would not empower Africa or other developing countries.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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