India calls for decisive reform action in UN Security Council
Courtesy: ANI

India calls for decisive reform action in UN Security Council

India on Tuesday called for decisive action on Security Council reform, championing an inclusive framework that truly represents the dynamic global landscape of today.

During the 6th round of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform on Tuesday (local time), the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York, Ruchira Kamboj said, " India is in favour of expansion of UN Security Council membership in both the permanent and non permanent categories, as we believe that this is the only way to achieve genuine reform of the Security Council and make it legitimate, representative, responsive and effective."

She said that India needs a council that caters to the geographical and developmental diversity of the United Nations today.

"In a nutshell, we need a reformed Security Council that better reflects the geographical and developmental diversity of the United Nations today. A security council where the voices of developing countries and unrepresented regions, including Africa, Latin America and the vast majority of Asia and the Pacific, also find their due place at the horseshoe table. And for this, an expansion of the council in both categories of membership is absolutely essential," she said.

Kamboj underlined that India's position is widely supported by the majority of the member states, adding that "this fact is on record in the 2015 framework document on the issue of categories of membership."

"A total of 113 member states out of 122 who submitted their positions in the framework document supported expansion in both of the existing categories specified in the charter. This means that more than 90 per cent of the written submissions in the document were in favour of expansion in both categories of membership specified in the charter," Kamboj emphasised.

"On the contrary, longer term non permanent seats, which was an idea mooted during the inception of the United nations to only be discarded due to its ineffectiveness, cannot be treated as a convergence as it is only backed by a handful of member states. This information is readily available in the framework document of 2015 and needs absolutely to be reflected clearly in the next updated iteration of the elements paper, she added.

Highlighting how it has become a common notion in the council that expansion in the permanent category would be undemocratic, she said, "We fail to understand how something that is clearly being called for by the majority of the membership would be undemocratic. We cannot continue to be hostage to a minority in the intergovernmental negotiations. Further, we all acknowledge the fact that the present structure of the Security Council is not reflective of contemporary realities and that there is an urgent need to reform it. Expanding only in the non permanent category will not solve the problem. I stress this."

Stating that in the present scenario, we are not discussing whether a specific member state should occupy or would occupy the new permanent seats in an expanded, rather "we are discussing a possible framework for the creation of new permanent seats."

"The subsequent election of these new permanent members would obviously be by a vote of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly through a secret ballot, per the rules of procedure of the United Nations General Assembly co-chairs. We look for strong reform-oriented language in the pact for the future. The pact is an inter-governmentally negotiated document. Hence, the mention in the elements paper of the contribution of the intergovernmental negotiations through consensus to the summit of the future cannot be agreed upon by my delegation without text based negotiations, as it is intrinsically against the process of the intergovernmental negotiation framework," she added.

Kamboj asserted that "unless the IGN can actually begin text based negotiations, it cannot provide any language to a process which we all know will work on the basis of tax based negotiations and give and take that is inherent in such a process."

India has long sought a permanent seat on the Security Council to better represent the interests of the developing world.

The nation's quest has gained momentum with support from influential figures like Dennis Francis, who believes in India's capability to contribute positively to global peace and security.

India has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for eight terms (16 years).

India is a member of the G4, a group of nations that back each other to seek permanent membership in the UNSC. The countries advocate for reform in the UNSC.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his France visit in July 2023, made a strong pitch for India's permanent membership in the UN Security Council, saying the primary UN body cannot claim to be speaking for the world when its most populous country and the largest democracy is not a permanent member.


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