Pakistan urges reform in UNSC working

Dr Lodhi says idea of more transparent and open council should not be mortgaged to narrow interests of a few countries


APP April 07, 2019
PHOTO COURTESY: RADIO PAKISTAN

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has cited the lack of implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, which pledged self-determination to the Kashmiri people, as an example of the 15-member body’s inability to fulfil its responsibility.

Speaking during the General Assembly’s inter-governmental negotiations on Security Council reform, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Dr Maleeha Lodhi said that this was another compelling reason for reform of the world body.

“Solemn promises have been broken on not one but several resolutions on Kashmir, and undertakings reneged on,” the Pakistani ambassador said in her statement in the two-day session that began on Thursday.

Urging reform of the Security Council’s working methods, Ambassador Lodhi said that such moves should be aimed at enhancing the transparency, openness and inclusive decision-making in the functioning of the body.

“It goes without saying,” she stressed, “that the majority of member states attribute the non-transparency and exclusive nature of working and decision-making of the council to its permanent members”.

Referring to Pakistan’s experience, having served seven times as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Dr Lodhi said that the elected members had done more to reinvigorate the working methods of the council. “Therefore, an expansion in the council in the permanent category could imperil those gains”.

Stressing that the ideal of a more transparent and open council should not be mortgaged to the narrow interests of a few countries, the Pakistani ambassador maintained that aspirants for permanent status in the council would fail to prioritise collective good over individual interest.

“We know only too well that permanent members of the council jealously guard their domain. There is no reason to believe that any new permanent members would act otherwise,” she said. “True representation is inherently linked to active and continuous accountability, and any measure of effectiveness is contingent on redressing the council’s existing dysfunctionalities, and not reinforcing them,” she added.

“We, therefore, need to increase, not diminish, the ratio of non-permanent to permanent members”, she stressed. She underscored that the best way to ensure a responsible and accountable council would be to strengthen the role and authority of the General Assembly in determining its representation in the council.

“If elections and accountability are fundamental to our governments, parliaments, regional and international bodies and multilateral institutions”, she asked, “Why should the Security Council be an exception to this?”

Ambassador Lodhi emphasised that the so-called “quick-fix” solutions that aimed to address substantive issues of Security Council reform without finding common ground would be counter-productive. “The reform process is too important to be reduced to procedural shortcuts.”

Pakistan, she reiterated, would continue to seek a comprehensive reform of the Security Council to turn it into a more democratic, representative, accountable, transparent and efficient body. “This is an ideal that we all espouse. This is also an ideal that will make the UN ‘fit for purpose’ to confront the challenges of tomorrow,” she added.

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