Pak­istan op­poses ad­di­tional per­ma­nent seats to UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, says Mal­iha Lodhi

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan said at the UN that adding more per­ma­nent seats to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil was con­trary to the prin­ci­ples of democ­racy and rep­re­sen­ta­tive­ness. This would only sat­isfy the self-cen­tered in­ter­ests of a few states at the ex­pense of the le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests of all mem­ber states.

Speak­ing in the in­ter gov­ern­men­tal ne­go­ti­a­tions of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly on Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Re­form, Pak­istan's Am­bas­sador, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that en­hanc­ing the Coun­cil's size by more per­ma­nent mem­bers would be "a trav­esty of the prin­ci­ple of the sov­er­eign equal­ity of states".

In­stead, she ar­gued, Pak­istan be­lieved that Se­cu­rity Coun­cil's ex­pan­sion should take place by seats that were electable on the ba­sis of fixed ro­ta­tion and pe­ri­odic elec­tions. Am­bas­sador Lodhi told the packed hall of the Trustee­ship cham­ber that the ob­jec­tive to make the Coun­cil more rep­re­sen­ta­tive and ef­fec­tive could only be at­tained by re­in­forc­ing the num­ber and role of elected mem­bers.

She said it was disin­gen­u­ous to sug- gest that more per­ma­nent mem­bers would make the Coun­cil more ef­fec­tive when it was the stand­off and dead­lock among per­ma­nent mem­bers that has hob­bled the Coun­cil's func­tion­ing. "It makes no sense, on the one hand, to sug­gest ideas on ex­ist­ing work­ing meth­ods that aim to make the Coun­cil more open, demo­cratic, trans­par­ent and ac­count­able and, on the other hand, pro­pose ad­di­tional per­ma­nent seats that could un­der­cut the same ob­jec­tives in an ex­panded Coun­cil", the Pak­istani en­voy said.

Speak­ing on the work­ing meth­ods of the Coun­cil, Am­bas­sador Lodhi voiced Pak­istan's be­lief that ef­forts to im­prove the Coun­cil's work­ing meth­ods should con­tinue both within and out­side the Coun­cil. She re­called that dur­ing Pak­istan's last term in the Coun­cil, it rein­tro­duced wrap-up ses­sions, which have now be­come a norm. "Pak­istan also made spe­cific pro­pos­als on en­hanc­ing in­tra­coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tion and or­ga­nized open meet­ings. All th­ese steps were taken to aug­ment the "open­ness and trans­parency of the Coun­cil's work­ing", she said.

De­scrib­ing the Coun­cil as "a mas­ter of its own pro­ce­dures", Am­bas­sador Lodhi called for de­vel­op­ing a joint mech­a­nism be­tween the Coun­cil and the Gen­eral As­sem­bly on im­prov­ing its ex­ist­ing work­ing meth­ods. "Such a mech­a­nism could open the Coun­cil's Work­ing Group on work­ing meth­ods to the in­puts and pro­pos­als of all Mem­ber States and could help iden­tify com­mon grounds", she said.

Am­bas­sador Lodhi em­pha­sized the need for con­sis­tency in re­form on the five key is­sues and said, "We can­not cre­ate a mi­rage of pur­su­ing our goal of a more demo­cratic, rep­re­sen­ta­tive, ac­count­able, trans­par­ent and ef­fec­tive Coun­cil in one area, while at the same time weak­en­ing the same prin­ci­ples in an­other key area of re­form".

She con­cluded by say­ing that Pak­istan be­lieved that gen­uine con­ver­gence among Mem­ber States could only emerge by dis­cussing re­spec­tive po­si­tions and pro­pos­als in an "in­ter-linked man­ner". "This should be the bedrock of our ef­fort to achieve a com­pre­hen­sive re­form of the Coun­cil, which can garner the widest pos­si­ble political sup­port", she added.

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