Adding Permanent seats to Security Council a red line for Pakistan: Maleeha tells UN

New York, 08 February, 2017

Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told the world body that any expansion in the permanent category of Security Council seats is a ‘red line’ for Pakistan.

Participating in the second day of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform, Ambassador Lodhi said that such expansion would undermine each and every principle of democracy and accountability to which Pakistan attaches importance. She also called for developing a clearer understanding on the red lines of all member states.

Clarifying Pakistan’s position on text-based negotiations on reform she said that a text was a vehicle to facilitate an outcome when a broad agreement exists among Member States. A text does not “create” an agreement among fundamentally different positions.

She said this was the reason why such an approach has not worked inside the IGN – or even outside it - if efforts are not to forgotten that were undertaken by some negotiating groups outside the IGN process a few years ago.

Pakistan's approach Ambassador Lodhi said, has always been to address the fundamental questions on reform. “We believe that if they are addressed in an open, objective and pragmatic manner, the broad contours of a possible reform model would emerge quite easily”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi quoted statistics to supplement her arguments against the addition of more permanent members. In 1945, she said, only 6 seats were available for 46 members of the General Assembly. In 1965, 10 seats were available for 112 members of the GA. “Today, the same 10 seats are available for 188 members of the General Assembly – a ratio of 1:19. To us, it is clear from this that there is neither logic nor room for more permanent members in the Council”, she added.

The second day of the inter governmental negotiations which took the form of an interactive session , saw divergent positions being expressed by representatives of different countries.

Pakistan aligned itself with a group of countries called Uniting for Consensus UFC) that advocate creating a new category of seats in the Security Council of longer term duration and with the possibility of one reelection. Other countries that spoke from the UFC, included Italy, Mexico , Spain, South Korea and Argentina. All made a strong case for expanding the number of elected seats while the G4 (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan) argued for adding to the permanent category.