UN bodies should reflect current realities: India


India's views were expressed by its Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, as the world body discussed the issue of "responsibility to protect".

The discussion took place yesterday as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, had submitted a report regarding implementation of the responsibility to protect. The report examines some of the most heinous events during the UN's watch and notes the issue of mandate and means.

"Even a cursory examination of reasons for non-action by the UN, especially the Security Council, reveals that in respect of these tragic events that were witnessed by the entire world, non-action was not due to lack of warning, resources or the barrier of state sovereignty but because of strategic, political or economic considerations of those on whom the present international architecture had placed the onus to act," Puri said.

The key aspect is to address the issue of "willingness to act," he said. "Here, of course a necessary ingredient is real reform of decision-making bodies in the UN, especially the Security Council in its permanent membership, to reflect contemporary realities and make them forces for peace and capable of acting against mass atrocities."

Referring to the discussion that has been going on in the UN General Assembly, Puri said: "We don't live in an ideal world and, therefore, need to be cognisant that creation of new norms should at the same time completely safeguard against their misuse."

In this context, he said responsibility to protect should in no way provide a pretext for humanitarian intervention or unilateral action.

"... Perhaps finalisation and adoption of the definition of aggression under the Rome Statute would assuage to some extent the concerns regarding the misuse of this idea," he said.

Despite, all the safeguards and obligations, Puri regretted the international community has in the past failed in its duty to respond to mass atrocities even when they were a clear threat to global peace and security.

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