India concerned UN reforms being held hostage

India at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) said a vocal minority of nay-sayers has held the entire process of UN Security Council (UNSC) reform hostage over the last four decades while calling for a more representative, credible and legitimate UNSC through the inclusion of more underrepresented voices. UNGA was taking an action on the 'Resolution on standing mandate for GA meeting in case of use of Veto'.

Explaining India's concern on the draft resolution informally called "veto initiative" aims to bring the requirement of a justification in case 'veto power' is used in the UNSC, India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN R Ravindra called the resolution a 'piecemeal initiative'.

The draft was co-sponsored by dozens including the US and the UK. With it now adopted, any time one of the Security Council's five veto-wielding permanent members -- China, France, Russia, US and UK -- use that power to block a resolution in the UN's most powerful body it will require a meeting of the General Assembly, where all UN members will be able to voice their views on the veto.

It is therefore ironical that the same set of Member States who argue vociferously against 'piecemeal reform' in the IGN (Intergovernmental Negotiations framework), are today themselves supporting a piecemeal initiative, which ignores the root cause of the problem," Ravindra said.

India also pointed out that "all five permanent members (of the UNSC) have used the veto over the last 75 years to achieve their respective political ends."

"The veto as a matter of principle should be abolished. However, as a matter of common justice, it should be extended to new permanent members so long as it continues to exist," the Indian representative said quoting the position of African nations at the IGN.

"Either all nations are treated equally in the context of voting rights or else the new permanent members must also be given the veto." Ravindra said.

"We regret the lack of inclusivity in the manner this resolution was put forth. We have serious concerns about such 'take it or leave it' initiatives which do not make a genuine effort to take into account the perspectives and concerns of the wider membership," Ravindra said. "My delegation was therefore left with no option but to abstain on this Resolution," he said.

For years Russia has used its veto power to hinder Security Council resolutions -- which, unlike General Assembly resolutions, are enforceable under international law -- against its military tactics in Ukraine and, before that, in Syria.


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