Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the Second Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform (27 February 2018)

Before delivering remarks in my national capacity, I want to align myself with the statement made by Italy on behalf of the UfC.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

In your letter of 15 February, you had asked us for concrete suggestions to improve and update the “elements of commonalities” and reflect on “issues for further consideration”.

You also asked us to address and reflect on the “inter-linkages “between all five key issues of reform and the core principles of reform.

I shall take up each of these issues before suggesting what should be the next step in our deliberations.

During the last IGN in the 71st session of the GA, my delegation had made a number of suggestions to improve the “elements of commonalities”. For example: We had questioned the wisdom behind a general commonality mentioned, which states that the “reform of the Council should reflect the realities of the contemporary world”. In fact, what we need is a Council that continues to reflect the realities of the world.

There is a huge difference between these two approaches. After all, when the Council was created in 1945, it did – as some argue – respond to the realities of the world at that time. Those realities changed and the Council could not, and we all know why.

Are we to repeat the same mistake again? We must therefore strive for a reform that ensures that the Security Council continues to be a mirror of the contemporary world, a world that is not static, and not frozen in time, but ever changing.

Furthermore, we invite your attention to the paragraph on commonality under “categories of membership”.

It is clear that while the first sentence of this paragraph is a commonality, the second sentence is an issue for further consideration. The nature, language and tenor of this sentence in fact clearly exposes divergences among delegations. A divergence can never become a “commonality” by mere placement.

Let me also point out an element that was shifted at the last stage in this document from elements of commonalities” to “issues for further consideration”. It was mentioned in the document, and I quote, “more discussions were needed on how to account for the principles of democracy and representation in pursuing the objective of a more democratic security council”.

I would first like to point out that in this sentence the phrase “objective of a more democratic Security Council”, is not a contested fact, and should thus be moved to the “elements of commonalities”.

Democracy should be pivotal in our deliberations. It should not be the elephant in the room. While all pledge allegiance to the ideal, some deny democracy its rightful place as the cornerstone of the reform process. They seek a democratic process, but not a democratic outcome.

Yet, fully aware of its significance, some still attempt to cloak their ambition by invoking quasi-democratic notions.

It is time that this aberration is corrected, and the principle of democracy is restored to its rightful place, as a central tenet of the reform process.

Anything less would mean that the reform of the Council seeks to address its existing dysfunctionalities by merely reinforcing them.

A democratic reform would also speak to the imperative of achieving enhanced and more equitable representation on the Council. At a time when different proposals for an expansion in the permanent category are being promoted in the name of ‘regional representation’, the only region asking for such a representation is Africa.

One would therefore, rightfully ask how other regions could hold a permanent member to account, when the member is neither accountable to that particular region, nor has the region bestowed the privilege of representation to that member state. It is only through an expansion in the non-permanent category that the avowed goal of this IGN process, the question of a more equitable representation on the Council for all regions, can be achieved.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

As you can see, the document of the last IGN session, in the section on “Issues for further consideration”, poses a multitude of thought provoking questions under all five key issues. While it would be difficult for us to address all of these issues in this meeting, I would like to share with you a few impressions that readily emerge from a cursory reading of this section:

Similarly, on the question of veto, a one-liner under “commonalities” stands in contrast to more than ten lines under “issues for further consideration”. On the issue of “regional representation”, there are a whopping nine fundamental questions raised in the document.

And more importantly, Distinguished Co-Chairs, the chapeau of “issues for further consideration” also stipulates that the list of the issues provided in this section is a “non-exhaustive” one.

This clearly meant that the Co-Chairs of the last IGN session understood the complexities and were aware that there may be more issues brought to the table as and when these matters are further discussed.


Another way to look at the document of the 71stsession is that it puts forth about 21 points on commonalities and presents to us a non-exhaustive list of 31 points where Member States have divergent views.

In the view of the Co-Chairs of the last IGN session, these 31 points, and other points that may emerge during their discussion, need to be considered further to develop more convergences among the Member States.


In your last letter, you also asked us on how to move forward. I would say that the way forward is already contained in the document you are examining today. The Member States while endorsing the oral decision on this agenda item last year, acknowledged the progress made in the 71st session and showed their readiness to further discuss the issues identified by the last Session’s Co-Chairs.

Therefore, we believe that it should be our effort to now discuss these important issues, identified in the document under each key issue, in a focused yet inter-linked manner. As Co-Chairs, presiding over these discussions will enable you to identify more commonalities, if possible. We believe this is how the work of the IGN can be taken forward in a constructive and consensual manner.

I thank you Co-Chairs!