Only comprehensive reform can enable UNSC to effectively manage global conflicts: India

Minister in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Pratik Mathur said that since performance assessment has become one of the focus areas at the United Nations as part of the discussions on global governance reforms, the Security Council, too, needs to prove its credibility and improve its performance.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 04:48 IST

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United Nations: India has asserted that as the United Nations turns 80 next year, it is "high time” to reform the Security Council by expanding its permanent and non-permanent categories to enable it to manage today's global conflicts effectively.

Delivering India's statement at the UN General Assembly debate on the Annual Report of the UN Security Council, Pratik Mathur, Minister in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, said that since performance assessment has become one of the focus areas at the United Nations as part of the discussions on global governance reforms, the Security Council, too, needs to prove its credibility and improve its performance.

“Speaking today in 2024, a year before the United Nations turns 80, it is thus high time to bring the Council in line with its Charter responsibilities to act on behalf of the entire membership,” Mathur said on Tuesday.

Mathur said this will not be achieved without enhancing the Council’s membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories.

Mathur underlined that India remains convinced that the only remedy is a comprehensive reform of the Security Council involving expansion in its permanent and non-permanent categories.

“Only this can enable the Council to manage effectively today's conflicts around the globe, as well as the increasingly complex and interconnected global challenges the world faces today,” he said.

India has been at the forefront of years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member at the UN high table, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.

India last sat as a non-permanent member in the Council in 2021-2022, and New Delhi has declared its candidature for the next tenure at the powerful UN body for the 2028-29 term.

In the 15-nation Security Council, only the five permanent members - China, France, Russia, the UK and the US - have veto powers. The remaining 10 members are elected non-permanent members for two-year terms and do not have veto powers.

"We hope that views and comments expressed by the Member States today are given serious consideration in this process,” he said.

Mathur noted that annual reports of the Security Council must inform, highlight and analyse measures it has decided upon or taken to maintain international peace and security during the reporting period.

However, he added that “unfortunately” the debate on the annual report has become “a ritual without much substance".

Moreover, the annual reports have become compendiums containing details of the meetings, briefers and outcome documents, he said.

Mathur voiced concern that the annual report, which in its truest form, is also meant to be an analysis of the running of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the flagship tool for maintaining international peace and security.

But in reality, “we find that there is little information" in the report on how peacekeeping operations are run, the problems they face, why certain mandates are set or changed, or when and why they are strengthened, scaled down or ended, he said.

“As most peacekeepers are contributed by non-Council members, including by my country, who put the lives of our troops at risk to serve the cause of international peace, we strongly advocate for a better sense of partnership to be developed between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries,” he said.

India is the second largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping.

It currently deploys more than 6,000 military and police personnel to UN operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.

Nearly 180 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, the highest number from any troop-contributing country.

Mathur added that the report is presented every year to the General Assembly in the second quarter as a mere formality.

“This needs to be rectified. There should be definite timelines for completing the report, circulating to the wider General Assembly membership and holding this debate earlier, not towards the close of the session,” he said.

The annual General Assembly session begins in September.

Published 26 June 2024, 04:48 IST

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