UNSC reform still a long way to go: Tharoor

Last Updated 03 May 2018, 04:17 IST

"Its (quick reform) certainly possible, whether it's probable remains to be seen," Tharoor told PTI, during his visit to the UN along with other Members of Parliament.

He noted that the text-based negotiations were encouraging, but said: "anybody who looks at the text and its profusion of alternative formulations and square brackets recognises that we're still a long way from a draft resolution".

In fact, Tharoor who was at the UN for three decades, pointed out that the current negotiations were actually behind where they stood in 1995 under the then General Assembly President Razali Ismail of Malaysia, who had produced a draft resolution.

That draft, according to Tharoor, "went a long way to meeting our wishes but which couldn't get through at that time and was never put to the vote". The former Union Minister also recalled that Boutros Boutros Ghali, the UN Secretary General for 1992-1996 had declared that the Council reform would be completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the UN.

"This year we're celebrating the 65th anniversary of the UN and reform is still only an idea," Tharoor said. Three of the new non-permanent members (India, South Africa and Germany), elected on October 12 for two year terms starting January 2011, have aspirations for permanent seats.

After the vote, India made it clear that it would be pushing for change in the next two years as it serves out its term as a non-permanent member. "Not only are we entering the council but we're entering the council when inter-governmental text based negotiations are underway and those text based negotiations are expected to progress for a final outcome in the next twelve months," Hardeep Singh Puri, India's envoy to the UN said at the time.

India is hoping for the change to come in the next two years when it is already on the Council. "I would say that the positive is that there is a process in which we are engaged and it is further ahead than it has been for sometime," Tharoor said today.

"The negative is that it is not as far down the road as once we nearly were and at the same time it has a prior record of failure behind it so we should not be complacent," he added.

Speaking at the annual debate of the General Assembly in September, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had said that "an overwhelming majority" of nations wanted expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats.

"It is imperative that we take these negotiations to an early and logical conclusion," he said. Asked if he believed the US will support India's bid for a permanent seat, Tharoor merely said, "We'll get some indication on US's views on the subject when President Obama comes to India" in November.

(Published 20 October 2010, 04:23 IST)

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