Despite the divergent positions, the current Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) process to reform the United Nations Security Council to make it more effective, representative and accountable, was the “best avenue” to accomplish that goal, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram said.
“It is only through patient exchanges, mutual accommodation and compromise that we can broaden the areas of convergence and reduce the points of divergence and thus evolve a ‘model’ for the reform that can be accepted by the widest possible majority of member states,” he said at the last IGN session of the UN General Assembly’s 77th session.
The Pakistani envoy’s remarks came amid a stepped up campaign by India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — known as Group of Four — for permanent membership of an expanded Security Council.
Ambassador Akram said he looked forward to the resumption of negotiations to restructure the UN’s most powerful body at the next session of the General Assembly, which opens in September.
At the same time, he warned that any attempt to change the current process or its substance “will have a dramatically negative response.”
“We should move forward – but we should move forward with caution – speeding ahead is likely to lead to a serious accident and wrack the vehicle that we have — which is the IGN process,” the Pakistani envoy added.
Full-scale negotiations to reform 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.
Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as G-4 countries continue pushing for permanent seats in the Council, while the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group strongly 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.
The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members elected to two-year terms.
Responding to Brazil’s statement, Ambassador Munir Akram said that that the UfC has displayed the maximum flexibility during the discussions over the years, but G-4 has not reciprocated. “Their (G-4’s) position has not changed a bit,” he added.—NNI