Pakistan vows to resist UN reforms serving interest of few countries

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 04 (INP): Pakistan has criticised the aspirants for permanent seats in an expanded UN Security Council – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – for opposing reform of the 15-member body based on the principles of democracy, and vowed to resist any move that serves the interests of a few countries to the detriment of the larger membership.

“We will continue to uphold values of democracy, equal opportunity and non-discrimination for as long as it takes, but we 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,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told an interactive session of the deadlocked Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN).

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“We all agree on practicing democracy at home but some argue against it at the UN,” the Pakistani envoy said while dealing with the points raised during the debate in the first session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations.

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

Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as the four countries push for permanent seats while Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly oppose any additional permanent members.

The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.

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