Pakistan calls for more democratic Security Council

New York, 04 February, 2018

At the UN, Pakistan took issue with the handful of countries who demand permanent seats for themselves, declaring that democracy should be the only basis for reform of the Security Council.

Speaking in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on SC reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said her country will not be complicit in any exercise that places narrow self-serving interests of a few over the collective good of the larger UN membership.

She told the IGN meeting that Pakistan and its partners in the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) has consistently outlined what the principles for reform should be: “The need for a more democratic, accountable, transparent, effective and representativeness Council is not only an imperative for a comprehensive reform, but reflects the ideal of the United Nations and the inspiring vision that it espouses for our collective humanity”.

She questioned as to how the Security Council, the preeminent body entrusted with global peace and security, could be exempt from democratic principles, on which rests the structures of global governance including national governments, regional and international bodies and multilateral institutions.

The essential requirement of democracy, she said, was elections, yet there are some countries who believe that a onetime election is sufficient to achieve a democratic Council, and stressed that, “Elections are a process not a onetime event”.

Ambassador Lodhi said that while we all agree on practicing democracy at home some countries argue against it at the UN. “The argument that is put forward by some when translated into our national context means that governments should be permanently installed by virtue of a single election. In other words we should have a permanent Prime Minister and permanent members of Parliament”, she said.

Criticizing the countries that demand a permanent seat on the Council based on 'current global realities', Ambassador Lodhi said that realities are always in flux and change over time. “There are no permanent realities. So if realities are tied to the present, how can a ‘permanent’ status be bestowed upon a ‘transient’ and ‘fleeting’ state”, she added.Hence, she said, we cannot perpetuate a privilege based on contemporary realities.

On the African position, Ambassador Lodhi told the meeting that Pakistan and the UfC countries distinguish between a national pursuit and the consensus demand on behalf of a region, such as Africa, emanating from a genuine sense of feeling disenfranchised and perceiving that a historical injustice was meted out to them.

“Perhaps African countries have suffered the most by the deadlock created by those harboring a false sense of entitlement. We believe the African demand can best be addressed in a just, equitable and pragmatic manner through the compromise solution offered by the UfC”, she concluded.