Statement by Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations IGN on Security Council Reform (13 June 2017)

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Yesterday, we offered our views on some aspects of your “Food for Thought” paper. Today I would like to comment on some views expressed in the meeting thus far.

Yesterday, we heard two interventions against a sentence mentioned in Section I, Para 1(d). Let me read out that sentence - “the principles of democracy and representativeness shall also be taken into consideration”.

I have to say, the objection to this sentence left us dumbfounded.

How then can we differ on these principles as important considerations for Council reform?

So we agree on practicing democracy at home but  some countries here argue that it should not be practiced at the UN!

I would nevertheless like to respond in some detail to the arguments advanced by those who opposed this sentence:

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

During the IGN in the 69th session, the then IGN Chair, Ambassador Rattray of Jamaica, made an apt remark.

He said that in the IGN process, the Member States talk ATeach other rather than talking to each other. This was all too obvious yesterday. The UfC statement, in the meeting in May this year, had clearly said that its proposal of 2006 seeking expansion only in the 2-year non-permanent seats was still on the table.

Yesterday, Italy, on behalf of the UfC, reiterated this proposal again. Yet, some interventions that followed immediately after claimed that no one supports expansion only in the 2-year non-permanent seats. This makes us ask - are we not hearing each other or have we chosen to ignore inconvenient facts?

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

We respect the right of every negotiating group to call for inclusion of its proposal in the document. By the same count, we also expect them to support, or at least respect, our call for inclusion of our proposal. But we were startled yesterday when some countries that called for inclusion of the proposal of one negotiating group in the document, in the same breath, opposed including our proposal.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Based on the reasons I elaborated, I urge you to maintain Section 1, Para 1 (d), as well as reflect in Section II, Para 4 (b) the option of expansion only in the 2 year non-permanent seats – a proposal to which the UfC and Pakistan still firmly subscribe.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

We listened carefully to your response to our comment on the paragraph on categories of membership in the section on “commonalities” (Section I, Para-4). We appreciate your assurance that the latter part of this paragraph did not reflect any political preference.

But while we fully understand your predicament in balancing the conflicting views of Member States, this paragraph actually does not present such a challenge. No political position needs to be at stake in this paragraph. If the options for expansion need to be negotiated, they are obviously an issue for further consideration. This is a fact. It needs to be reflected as such.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Reflecting on some of the other comments made yesterday let me briefly share our views:

Perhaps a simpler construction of this paragraph could be more useful. Nevertheless, it is important that any objective assessment of such contribution deals with it in all its aspects.