Decrying the “out of date” structure of the UN Security Council, G4 nations including India have said the problem of “imbalance of influence” in the Council cannot be corrected if only non-permanent members are added to the powerful world body as part of its reform.
“We have heard some oft-repeated arguments that expansion in the permanent category would be ‘undemocratic’…in our view, expansion in both categories particularly in the permanent category is essential to reform the Security Council and make it democratic, legitimate, representative, responsive and effective,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said in a statement on behalf of the G4 group here yesterday.
Besides India, other G-4 nations are Brazil, Germany and Japan.
Akbaruddin stressed that the Security Council’s present structure is not reflective of contemporary realities and “not fit for purpose.”
Expansion in only the non-permanent category will not solve the problem presented by a Council whose structure and composition is “out of date” of the present day realities and not representative of the major shifts in geo-political and economic order, he said at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform.
“We do believe that the problem lies in the imbalance of influence within the Security Council between the permanent and non-permanent members. Expanding only in the non- permanent category is not going to solve the problem.
“It will actually widen the difference between permanent and non-permanent members even more, tilting further the scales in favour of a dispensation that was valid in the special situation in 1945 but is no longer now,” he said in the meeting, convened on the issues of ‘Categories of Membership’ and ‘Regional Representation’.
Akbaruddin said the decision-making process in the Council must be more participative and democratic and expansion in both categories is the “only way” to ensure an equitable distribution of influence and equilibrium that reflects the current situation.
“A larger permanent membership will ensure enhanced representation and say in the decision making from the regions and members which are currently not represented or under represented compared to their role and input so far.
“This would increase the legitimacy and effectiveness and responsiveness of the Council by ensuring that the decisions taken reflect the interest of the broad membership and thus will be better implemented,” he said.
Taking the opposite view, Pakistan’s UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi said more permanent members would diminish and not enhance the Council’s democratic credentials and effectiveness.