Maleeha stresses making UN more democratic
Pakistan ambassador to UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi says, adding more permanent members to the UN Security Council will not make the 15-member body more representative, democratic or accountable. She advocated expansion in the non-permanent category with the possibility of re-election. “Increasing the size of the permanent category will add nothing to representativeness of the Council,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — known as the Group of Four — push for permanent seats, while the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly opposes any additional permanent members. As a compromise, UfC has proposed a new category of members — not permanent members — with longer duration in terms and a possibility to get re-elected once. Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details. The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.
“Lodhi said, we believe that ‘representation based on equitable geographic/regional distribution’ is the crux of Security Council reform while ‘size of the Council’ relates more to practical limitations.”
“This is why the concept of regional representation does not, and cannot be assured by the permanent category,” she said. “This is why equitable geographic distribution is absent in this category.” “The fact is that it is only the non-permanent category where seats are distributed according to equitable geographic distribution.” Full-scale negotiations to restructure the Security Council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas — the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with the General Assembly.
At the outset of her remarks, the Pakistani envoy said that all aspects of Security Council reform are inextricably inter-linked and intertwined. She emphasized that representation and accountability were inseparable concepts – the more the accountability, the better the representation. —Agencies