Pakistan calls for more non-permanent seats in Security Council

New York, 12 May, 2017

At the UN Pakistan said that expansion of the Security Council would only be meaningful if non-permanent seats representing regional groups were added.

Speaking in the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council Reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said the Council needs to be expanded in a manner that gives a greater chance of representation to the regional groups that are under-represented due to the increase in the number of Member States.

She argued that the objective of a more democratic, accountable, representative, transparent and effective Security Council can only be met if the Council’s size is expanded in a way so that the question of equitable representation is fairly and adequately addressed.

The Pakistani envoy pointed out that over the last fifty years, new Member States have joined the UN but the number of these new Member States did not correspond equally to all regional groups. She pointed out that new entrants to the UN were not the aspirants for a permanent national status, but they are certainly interested in an equal opportunity to serve in the Council.

Arguing that the permanent category does not address the question of regional representation nor reflect any equitable distribution among regional groups, Ambassador Lodhi said, “When there is no election there is no representation. Period! Election is the only route to assure political accountability”.

The non-permanent category, the Pakistani envoy said, was really where the requirements of both equity and representation can be met. “The seats in this category are distributed according to regional groups”, she said and added, “Members are elected for a fixed duration. Every year, the General Assembly reposes its confidence in some members belonging to different regional groups, through a secret ballot, to act on its behalf in the Security Council – just as the UN Charter envisages”.

The permanent members, she said, do not represent any region nor were nominated in the Charter because they belonged to a particular region. “Their continued presence in this category does not require any endorsement from their regional group or, for that matter, a vote by any of us in the General Assembly”, she added.

That is why she said it is expansion of seats in the non permanent category that will assure fair and adequate regional representation.