Pakistan's Position towards UN Reform
Security Council Reform
Security Council reform is of fundamental interest for all member states. It is in the interest of everyone to seek a more democratic, effective and credible mechanism for the maintenance of international peace and security through a comprehensive reform of the Security Council. We believe that Security Council should reflect interest of the wider UN membership. It cannot be based on the objectives of power politics. Pakistan has a longstanding principled position against increase of permanent members. Pakistan as part of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group has always advocated an effective and feasible reform of the Security Council reform based on consensus among the UN Membership. We support the General Assembly’s decision 62/557 to hold inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform in a comprehensive and membership-driven nature. After four years of negotiations, we note that deep differences persist especially regarding the expansion of the Council and the divisive ambition of some states to become permanent members. The Uniting for Consensus (UfC) proposal offers the best basis for a solution that can accommodate the interests of all states. This can be achieved through compromise and flexibility designed to achieve consensus on the broadest possible agreement, which could offer a win-win outcome. The UfC proposal is equitable, fair and democratic. It provides for a greater role of the regions in determining their representation on the Council. It has the necessary flexibility to accommodate the interests of all states and groupings in terms of their representation on the Council through rotation and re-election. Pakistan, as a member of the UfC, remains ready for constructive dialogue with all sides to reach broadest possible agreement on Security Council reform.
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- The Security Council has primary responsibility under the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Reform of the Security Council is an issue of vital interest for all Member States.
- Pakistan reform of the Security Council to make it more representative, democratic, effective, legitimate and accountable to the general membership.
- Pakistan supports a comprehensive Reform of the Security encompassing all five key issues: Categories of membership, the question of veto, size & working methods; regional representation; and relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. The complex inter-linkages of the five issues warrant comprehensive reform in a single undertaking.
- We also accord high priority to reforming the working methods of the Security Council, which will be of direct benefit to the vast majority of UN members specially the smaller countries.
- Although there is a general desire amongst the membership to reform the Council, there is yet no agreement on the modalities to achieve that. Most controversial and divisive is the question of adding new permanent members.
- We strongly believe all major issues in the reform process, including the issue of Security Council reform, must be decided by consensus or broadest possible agreement. We reject the idea of putting reform issues to vote or to adopt a piecemeal approach.
- Pakistan is against addition of permanent members without any exception. We have maintained this position over the years. Accordingly, we oppose the G-4 (Brazil, Germany, Japan and India) quest for individual permanent membership and unequal status.
- As a member of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, Pakistan advocates a just and equitable reform based on consensus that corresponds to the interests of all member states, not just a few states.
- No reform proposal has so far garnered the requisite 2/3rd support in the General Assembly. Besides, the vital support of each of the P-5, needed for ultimate ratification of Charter amendment to bring into effect any SC reform, is not assured.
- The discussions in the General Assembly on the issue of Security Council reform clearly indicate that there is no shift in positions of major groups.
- We believe this vital issue cannot be resolved through divisive votes or artificial deadlines.
- UfC has not deemed it appropriate to submit again its draft resolution on the reform of the Security Council at this stage of the UN reform process. UfC favors a constructive, inclusive and bottom-up approach, through dialogue, in order to find a non-divisive solution based on the principle of equal participation of all Member States, be they big, medium or small in size. Any preconceived formula or forced vote is unlikely to lead to successful reform.
- Therefore we reiterate the need for a consensus approach and the broadest possible agreement, through negotiations involving all concerned parties, to arrive at a solution that can pass the test at the General Assembly and subsequent ratifications by the national parliaments.
- Pakistan along with its partners in the UfC favour expansion in non-permanent category only. Notwithstanding the original position, we have proposed a compromise formula --- Italy-Colombia paper, which offers to create a set of long-term electable seats, along with reforms in other four areas.
- We believe that long-term, electable seats can be a basis of a solution. It can meet aspirations of states who want to “play a leading role on matters of international peace and security” without squeezing space from Small States or comprising principles of accountability and democratization of the Security Council or concept of sovereign equality of all states.
- The UfC compromise proposal has clear merits. It has the flexibility to accommodate the positions and interests of all member states, large and small. We do not support the expansion of permanent membership. However, our proposal can accommodate the aspirations of some large states to play a bigger role on the Security Council e.g. through more frequent re-election if supported by their regional groups. Moreover, it addresses all five key issues in a single undertaking – thereby preserving the spirit of relevant GA decisions.
- The UfC proposal is equitable, fair and democratic. It provides for a greater role of the regions in determining their representation on the Council. It has the necessary flexibility to accommodate the interests of all states and groupings in terms of their representation on the Council through rotation and re-election.
UfC proposal and the African position
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- We recognize that Africa has a strong and legitimate case for redressing the historic injustice and seeks its rightful representation on the Security Council.
- The African common position has commanded respect and understanding. It has placed the African continent in a key role in the ongoing inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) in New York.
- Africa’s demand for permanent seats is made on behalf of entire region/continent, not for individual countries. It is fundamentally different from the G-4 countries who are seeking seats for themselves.
- Despite our principled opposition to permanent membership, the UfC has evolved its position, and as a special exception for Africa, and supporting the African position on the basis of continent-specific seats.
- Africa’s demand to be treated as a “Special Case” merits due consideration. Pakistan supports this demand.
- Pakistan, as member of the UfC, wishes to engage more closely with Africa, to share and understand each other’s perspectives, and to pursue our common objectives.
- AU and UfC have common interests that no proposals are marginalized during the negotiations and all proposals are treated equally and reflected in the negotiating document in their entirety.
- The UfC and African positions are compatible in many ways, most notably on regional representation, rotation and consensus.
- Considering the Ezulwini Consensus, UfC proposal has the flexibility to respond to the principles stated in the African Union position i.e. the African Union should be responsible for selection of African representatives in the Security Council and for determination of the criteria for such a selection.
- UfC model can accommodate representation for all 5 sub-regions of Africa at the same time.
- We believe similar approaches for other regions can build wider consensus around a reform model.
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- Establishment of the Peace-building Commission, an intergovernmental advisory body to assist countries emerging from conflict, was a major achievement of the 2005 World Summit.
- As a founding member of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Pakistan attaches great importance to the work of the Peace-building Commission and is deeply committed to its success. Pakistan will continue to participate actively in the meetings of the Commission in New York.
- Pakistan was among the pioneers of the idea of a dedicated UN institutional mechanism for peace building. In 2004, Pakistan first proposed the idea of ad-hoc composite committees (with membership drawn from the principal organs, major troop contributing countries and donors, relevant UN agencies, etc.) to address complex crises, particularly in Africa. Building on that, Pakistan actively participated in the discussions on the Peace-building Commission during the 2005 World Summit and the subsequent negotiations on and adoption of the General Assembly resolution (60/180). The Commission’s country specific formats resemble closely our concept of ad-hoc composite committees.
- Pakistan has a constructive, balanced and pragmatic approach in the Commission: i.e. work with other like-minded countries from NAM to promote greater participation and inputs from the countries concerned; encourage fuller engagement of all members of the PBC and of all principal organs and relevant actors in its work; attach great importance to the role of the Organizational Committee as the nucleus of the Commission and call for utilizing its full potential (Pakistan has been serving in the Organizational Committee in its capacity as the top troop contributor. 5 TCCs are selected from among the list of 10 top contributors).
- Pakistan also took part in review of the PBC done in 2010 and its ongoing follow-up.
- We have also contributed to the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
Pacific Settlement Of Dsiputes
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- The Charter of the United Nations offers vast possibilities for pacific settlement of disputes and conflict prevention. Unfortunately, these possibilities remain grossly under-utilized, with the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary General not playing their due roles.
- Good offices, mediation and other means for peaceful settlement could be applied in a range of situations from pre-conflict to post-conflict.
- We support efforts for enhancing the role of the ‘good offices’ of the Secretary General as provided for in 2005 Summit Outcome.
- Other provisions of the Charter for pacific settlement should also be operationalized and institutionalized.
- The Security Council should reinforce the Charter obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force, to avoid war and to seek and build peace, through the vast spectrum of modalities envisaged in Chapter VI and other provisions of the Charter.
- Requests to the International Court of Justice for advisory opinions to clarify legal questions may be considered, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter. The Council should make optimal use of advisory opinions, once rendered, to further the efforts for pacific settlement.
- The Secretariat and the SG in particular should take initiatives when situations so require. Impartiality, neutrality and non-selective application of means of pacific settlement should always be observed in doing so. The Mediation Support Unit of the UN Secretariat is well positioned to provide logistic support for such endeavors.
- Special attention should be paid and initiatives for good offices taken in case of intractable and long-outstanding situations.
- The Secretary General should make greater use of his prerogative under Article 99 and bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
Disarmament and Non-proliferation
Pakistan considers arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts as vital tools to promote the goals of peace and security at the global and regional levels. Accordingly, Pakistan has always advocated the need for inclusive forums for deliberations and negotiations, taking into account the security interests of all States.
Even as existing challenges to the disarmament and non-proliferation regime remain unaddressed, some new challenges have emerged. Pakistan believes that cooperative multilateralism, underwritten by the time-tested instruments of diplomacy and dialogue, represents the best way forward in addressing old and new challenges.
Pakistan shares the concerns arising from the potential misuse of WMD materials and technologies by non-state actors. Pakistan is therefore part of global efforts and processes to establish effective barriers against this common threat.
The on-going growth and sophistication in several types of technologies has added further complexity to the disarmament and non-proliferation discourse and institutions. The increasing reliance on unmanned aerial vehicles, the deployment of missile defence systems and the hostile use of ICT require responses in view of their potentially negative impact on global peace and security.
Excessive production and proliferation of some conventional weapons has understandably caused a great degree of unease in the international community. Pakistan supports efforts that seek to promote a comprehensive reform and regulation of the entire cycle of global trade in conventional arms. In doing so, a balanced approach is needed that addresses humanitarian concerns and protects legitimate defence needs of all States.
As part of its efforts to contribute to the global discourse on disarmament and non-proliferation, Pakistan presents four resolutions annually in the United Nations General Assembly. These resolutions are aimed at reinforcing the global norms on conventional arms control, regional disarmament, confidence building measures in the regional context and the continuing importance of providing Negative Security Assurances to non-nuclear weapon States.
As a member of the UN Security Council, Pakistan has underlined the need for dialogue, diplomacy and international cooperation to address non-proliferation issues as well as the sanctions regime. A Pakistani expert is member of the Group of Experts assisting the 1540 Committee.
Over the years, the global consensus underpinning disarmament and non-proliferation has eroded. The multilateral disarmament machinery is in a state of limbo. The reasons for differences in perspectives and modalities are primarily political. Pakistan has therefore consistently called for renewing the international consensus on these important subjects.
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