Matter of India’s UNSC seat
The proposal started with the idea of “Reforming the UN”, by increasing the number of the Permanent SC Members from its present strength of 15, i.e., Five Permanent Members plus ten non Permanent Members, to 20 or 21, adding 5 or 6 non-permanent members within the existing existing framework . What was under consideration was a mere arithmetical approach to “restructuring the SC.” The idea was that since UN members have more than tripled since its inception in 1945, the SC should also be enlarged. The Japanese Foreign Minister Ikeda in his TV interview used two key words to justify re-structuring of UNSC , one the “new realities” and two “increase in the UN membership” since it was created in 1945 when its Charter was written.
The new realities apparently meant that the UN would be dealing with not only political-security matters but also economic-social matters.It started with Ghali’s proposed increase in SC membership. He suggested that the new five additional perm members could be. India, Japan, Germany Brazil and Nigeria Boutous Ghali my friend from my Cairo Ambassadorship had floated the idea.keeping in view the emergence of new powers on the map. Kofi Annan went farther than Ghali and proposed in my view an authoritarian UN System, in his report “In Larger Freedom” His proposal was to subordinate the UN members to “a global order “ orchestrated by those “broadly representative of realities of power in today’s world” . This vision wanted a UNSC dominated by the Superpower and its associates Kofi .Annan proposed five criteria for grant of new permanent membership, two of which were “represent geo-political realities of the world” are more representative of the developing world”.
What is at issue in the proposal to “reform” the UNSC? Mere addition of numbers in the UNSC seats- an arithmetical approach to “restructuring the SC” or reforming the SC . If later it would include equitable representation not to power centers but to all the principal socio-economic cultural groups, elimination of the veto and democratization of the UN or of international diplomacy as against use of SC as an instrument of international diplomacy as against use of the UN as instrument of coercive diplomacy- example UN actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, earlier in Korea, etc. It seems that when the question of expansion of the SC comes up, the conflict between the arithmetical approach and drastic reforms in the UNSC will surface.
Veto is against the spirit of democratization of international relations. This arithmetical increase approach would in fact divide the SC into three categories of members: The Masters- the five- their allies the added Perm Members and the last the entire Third World as also OIC countries including Pakistan.. New realities should mean new economic-cultural groups in each distinct groups. Unless each of the distinct geographic-cultural economic group is given representation in the SC , UNSC would remaina rubber stamp of the rich and most powerful which in substance means white supremacy over the World. Does reform means merely representation to ‘new realities’ –which means to the new centers of military - economic powers which was the main idea of Koffi Annan’s proposals , less of Ghali’s.
Clinton’s statement made before his visit to India and the other by Robin Cook while he was in New Delhi indicated that there was Anglo-American unanimity for making India a permanent member of UNSC. Indian President visit to Paris in the same time frame intended to firm up French support, Clinton-Vajpayee “Joint Vision” spoke of India and US will have joint security responsibilities for “ Asia and Beyond”.
India’s talks with US over giving India the status of the Sixth Power are not new. It is pathetic how indifferently the moves for reforms in UNSC was dealt with both by Pakistan and OIC, in the early stages when India’s ambitions for having a permanent UNSC seat were being mooted .The point that in new realities the Muslim region should also be given representation was counted irrelevant in Pakistan. Pakistan Foreign Office in those days dismissed OIC’s locus standi to seek a seat for OIC in UNSC . It was said that in UN Representation is not given on religious ground. This meant that OIC is a religious body although each year in the UN FMs of OIC countries meet on General Assembly session. Two points were mooted in Pakistan: what does “ reorganization “ mean- mere addition of new members in the UNSC , or changing the character of the UNSC.
First point debated universally was whether UNSC should not be democratized that is veto power of Five in UNSC should not be abolished? Should the criterion for memberships not be based on regional representation of its members. This debate is quite old and Paj\kistan had not made up its mind what line to take: Reject any increase in UNSC Members and ask that the Veto be abolished or stand for regional representation in th UNSC. The Parliament has taken one firm decision, no permanent seat for India and by implication for none other too. In world politics every thing depends on power equations. Or the standing of a country in the world politics. The points to consider are therefore two. Why Obama made this declaration in India where no other visiting American President had done it earlier. Here we have to take stock of Pakistan’s standing in world politics. A very naïve idea was once moved by Barrister Sultan, a former PM of AJK Government. generously offering UNSC Perm Seat to India linking it to a “resolution” of Kashmir. It meant we are prepared to live under India-dominated Asia if Kashmir issue is solved. This idea was fully analyzed by me in my article in Observer in its issue of May 5, 2008.
The Parlaiment Resolution is an excellent card for our UN Representative to revitalize the issue in the UN. We need a balanced an eloquent person as our representative in the UN. Abida Hussain’s name has propped up as Haroon’s replacement, She is a sober speaker, and in UN one does not require fiery rabble rouser speaker but convincing speaker She can also discount the propaganda of Pakistan having become a terrorist country. UN assignment requires a thorough knowledge of major issues in the UN , Well she can be counted if she is assisted by a serving Foreign Office expert. In UN generally the significant powers or UN Members always sent well read persons of substance and grey matter coupled with scholarly touch.