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India calls for text negotiations for UNSC reform by 2015

India calls for text negotiations for UNSC reform by 2015 Describing the unreformed UN Security Council as a “seriously impaired organ,” India has emphasised the urgent need to achieve reform of the powerful body by next year, saying a text should be tabled to begin “actual negotiations” on its reform and expansion.

Highlighting the shortfalls of an unreformed Security Council, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said that even in the area of its core competence, the 15-nation body is unable to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature.

“The Council, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, is today a seriously impaired organ. The litany of crises dotting the international landscape, involving the lives of millions of people, which the Council does not have the will or there sources to address, demonstrates this vividly,” Mukerji said here yesterday in a General Assembly session on ‘Equitable Representation and Increase in Security Council Membership’.

Mukerji said a text would provide a “refreshing contrast” to all previous rounds of the process so far where “we must be the only forum in the United Nations to be negotiating without actually having a negotiating text on the table before us”.

He stressed that without a negotiation text, it is “impossible” for nations to demonstrate their commitment to multilateralism and flexibility to reach an outcome by 2015.

He added that the inter-governmental negotiations should not be perceived to be biased against any individual country or group of countries just because a text is on the table.

“However, if there is no negotiation text on the table, then we would surely have just cause to detect a bias against those of us who are seriously engaged in implementing the explicit mandate given to us by our leaders in the 2005 for early reform of the Security Council,” he said.

Mukerji welcomed the appointment of Jamaican Ambassador Courtney Rattray as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations and called on the General Assembly to “truly empower” Rattray by giving him “a text on the basis of which all of us can begin to engage in actual negotiations”.

He urged that once the negotiation text authorised by the President of the General Assembly is placed before member states by Rattray, “we engage in the give and take of actual negotiations to define what early reform of the Council actually means for the vast majority of us in this Assembly.

“It would be a blot on the collective integrity of this organisation if we were to turn our backs to this subject and ignore it completely when our leaders meet next year for the historic 70th Anniversary Summit of the UN,” he said.

Significantly, the US also supported for the first time the need to achieve UNSC reforms by next year saying “the landmark year of 2015 is a compelling moment for the membership to consider appropriate ways to achieve successful Council reform”.

The US position is similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in the General Assembly in September in which he said that the UN, including the Security Council, must be reformed by 2015 to make it more democratic and participative.