Share collective angst of Global South countries of not having voice at UNSC high table: India

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Published : Nov 17, 2023, 11:07 AM IST


India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj addressed the annual UN General Assembly Plenary on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council. She asserted that the reform of the UN Security Council was identified as a critical and immediate priority but but "we have no voice at the UN high table."

United Nations : India has said it shares the collective angst of countries of the Global South that they have no voice at the UN Security Council high-table on core issues concerning them, as it joined nations in stressing that a representative UNSC is required to deal with the proliferation of global crises.

Several aspects of the United Nations system urgently require reform. Among these, the reform of the UN Security Council was identified as a critical and immediate priority, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said. "In spite of that collective call, we have had no results to show so far. Why? Kamboj asked.

Addressing the annual UN General Assembly Plenary Thursday on Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council', Kamboj said "as a member of the Global South, we share its collective angst that on issues of core concern to the South, we have no voice at the high table.

She noted that 164 member states have joined in calling for a concrete text to serve as the foundation for negotiations on UNSC reform. This resounding support emphasises that any further delay in Security Council reform exacerbates its representational deficit. Representation, which stands as the unassailable prerequisite for both legitimacy and effectiveness, Kamboj said.

At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the UN. The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any resolution.
Kamboj voiced concern that 15 years since the inception of the Inter Governmental Negotiations on UNSC reforms, the dialogue between member states remains largely confined to exchanging statements, speaking at, rather than with each other."

"No negotiating text. No time frame. And no defined end goal. We turn up each, year make statements and go back to the drawing board," Kamboj said.
Further, she said the argument of consensus is pushed by the naysayers. That even before we begin text-based negotiations we must all agree on everything. Surely, we cannot have a more extreme case of putting the cart before the horse, Kamboj said.

Germany, speaking on behalf of the Group of Four nations of Brazil, India, Japan and itself, said the urgency of reform cannot be overstated. The current composition of the Security Council fails to reflect the contemporary geopolitical realities and does not provide the effectiveness to address current global challenges.

It is no surprise, that, time and again, we have witnessed the Security Council unable to live up to expectations in addressing some of the most serious threats to international peace and security in a timely and effective manner, the G4 nations said.

These days, we are faced with a proliferation of crises that dramatically impact international peace and security. More than ever, we need a representative and well-functioning Security Council to fulfil its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. To make progress towards that goal is our responsibility, the G4 nations added.

France voiced support for G4 nations to be permanent members of a reformed UNSC. French envoy at the UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere asserted that Paris wants the Council to be more representative of today's world, in a way that further strengthens its authority, legitimacy and effectiveness.

France supports the candidacy of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan as permanent members. We would also like to see a stronger presence of African countries, including among the permanent members. The remaining seats will have to be allocated so as to achieve equitable geographical representation, he said.

The French envoy added that to preserve its executive and operational nature, an enlarged Council could have up to 25 members, including new permanent and non-permanent members.

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