Pakistan

Pakistan calls for increase in non-permanent seats at UNSC

NEW YORK: Pakistan has called for adding more elected seats to United Nations Security Council and said that it is the only way to assure fair regional representation on a reformed council.

Participating in the resumed inter-governmental negotiations on Security Council reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said that council’s seats were are presently distributed to an equitable geographic principle only in the non-permanent category.

Ms. Lodhi said Pakistan wants to enhance the representation of UNSC in a geographically equitable manner based on sovereign equality and the principles of democracy, accountability and effectiveness.

“We believe that a principled, logic-based approach can enable the negotiations to address the legitimate aspirations of all regional, cross-regional and sub-regional groups,” she added.

Referring to the G4 demand, without naming Germany, India, Brazil and Japan, who want permanent seats, she said, “It was the ambition for national power and privilege of some countries which has eclipsed the common and collective benefit of all UN Member States.”

The Pakistani envoy stressed that in the political arena, the only way to ensure accountability was elections on fixed terms.

“Absent elections”, she said, “there is no genuine political representation”.

“This is why the concept of regional representation does not, and cannot be assured by the permanent category,” she stressed.

Lodhi said that increasing the permanent category will add nothing to the Council’s representativeness.

“The fact is that it is only the non-permanent category where seats are distributed according to equitable geographic distribution,” she asserted.

She emphasised that accountability and representation were inseparable concepts, and representation ceases to exist when there is no accountability.

“The more the accountability, the better the representation”, she added.

With regard to representation of cross- and sub-regional groups such as the OIC, Arab Group and Small Island Developing states, Lodhi said “We believe that our options to address their aspirations will obviously increase with the increase in size that is available to meet these aspirations”.

She said the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) led by Italy with strong support from Pakistan “proposes a significant increase in the number of elected seats for Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.”

She also stated Pakistan’s position that every additional seat that increases the Security Council’s size “must contribute to the Council’s representativeness.”

“Do we even have the luxury to serve each hard-fought additional seat on a platter to a single country for eternity?”, she asked .

She also posed another question: “Does it make sense to undermine the Council’s representativeness while ostensibly enhancing it?”

Lodhi reiterated that the council’s size and working methods represent one indivisible key issue of reform and said, “It would serve us well if they are treated in the same manner”.

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