Adding more permanent seats to Security Council will worsen its dysfunctionalities: Maleeha

New York, 02 May, 2018

At the UN Pakistan said that adding more permanent seats will compound the dysfunctionalities of the Security Council and not resolve them.

Speaking in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) debate on Security Council reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that the advocates of permanent seats claim to address inherent dysfunctionalities of the Council but their proposal means more of the same. This will in fact, she added, compound dysfunctionalities, by embracing anachronism, inefficiency and potential paralysis that has already deadlocked the working of the Council.

“It undermines the democratic and representative nature of the reform process; it denies the larger membership their democratic right to hold Council members to account.” “Indeed,“ she pointed out, “in an environment where the elected members are already on the sidelines on some of the most important issues being addressed by the Council, doubling permanent members would further diminish the role and standing of elected members”.

Full-scale negotiations to restructure the Security Council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas “categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Council, and working methods of the body and its relationship with the 193-member Assembly.

Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.Known as the “Group of Four” — India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — have shown no flexibility in their campaign for expanding the Security Council by 10 seats, with 6 additional permanent and four non-permanent members. On the other hand, Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group say that additional permanent members will not make the Security Council more effective and also undermine the democratic principle.

Ambassador Lodhi said that consensus only exists for enlarging the Council by more elected, non permanent members while criticizing those member states seeking permanent seats. “While some predicate their claim for permanent seats on the ostensible imperative to address contemporary realities, they offer ‘fixed’ solutions to ‘transient’ situations”, she commented.

She also assailed the self-serving claims by some to represent their regions, when the region in question, has neither bestowed that privilege on them, nor does it enjoy the right to hold them to account.

Arguing in favour of adding non-permanent seats to the Council, she said, “As non-permanent members have usually championed greater inclusiveness and transparency in the work of the Council, we believe that the issue of veto can be counterbalanced by strengthening the voice of these elected members”.

This is why, she said, Pakistan and the UfC call for expansion only in the non-permanent category, leading to an improved ratio of non-permanent to permanent members. “Only this outcome can realistically change the nature of decision-making in the Council, thus granting it greater legitimacy and effectiveness”, she added.

She concluded by reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to work towards a consensual pathway of reform based on inclusiveness and a spirit of compromise.