UN Security Council to be reformed on the principles of democracy: Maleeha

New York, 28 February, 2018

Pakistan has called for reforming the 15-member UN Security Council on the principles of democracy.

Speaking in the interactive meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said, that the principle of democracy should be restored to its rightful place, as a central tenet of the reform process.

Democracy, she said, should be pivotal to our deliberations.

She criticized those member states who deny democracy its key place in the reform process saying that while everyone pledges allegiance to the ideal, some seek a democratic process, but not a democratic outcome.

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

A democratic reform, she said, was imperative for achieving enhanced and more equitable representation on the Council.

Full-scale negotiations to restructure the 15-member Security Council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas — categories of membership, question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the Council and its relationship with the General Assembly.

Despite general agreement on enlarging the Council as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.

Ambassador Lodhi stressed that member states should 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.

Speaking on various proposals for an expansion in the permanent category being promoted in the name of ‘regional representation’, the Pakistani envoy said that the only region asking for such a representation is Africa.

Beyond Africa , Ambassador Lodhi asked as to 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”, she asserted.

Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as India, Brazil, Germany and Japan -- known as the Group of Four -- push for permanent seats in the Council, while the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly opposes any additional permanent members.