Reform, perform and transform, or face the “real danger” of being superseded by other organisations that are more representative, transparent and democratic in nature, India's UN envoy warned the United National Security Council (UNSC) on Monday, as she urged the global body to undertake urgent reforms.
Addressing members of the UN Security Council, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, said that the meeting is an opportune moment to engage in a serious discussion about India's call for reformed multilateralism, at the core of which lies the reform of the UN Security Council.
“A truly representative Security Council is the most pressing need of the hour. Else, there is a real danger of the United Nations being superseded by other plurilateral and multilateral groupings which are more representative, more transparent and more democratic and, therefore, more effective,” Kamboj told members of the Security Council.
India has been playing its part in being a trusted and reliable partner for all, based on its ancient Indian ethos that sees the world as one family, she said, in her remarks at the UNSC briefing on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Promote Common Security Through Dialogue and Cooperation.
“However, the question remains. Are multilateral organisations, especially the Security Council, ready to deal with the new world order and new challenges? In my country, which now represents more than 1/6th of humanity, we believe that until we “reform, perform and transform” multilateral governance structures, we would be continuing to found wanting,” Kamboj said.
In June, Kamboj, 58, was appointed India's first woman Permanent Representative to the UN.
A 1987 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, she was previously Ambassador of India to Bhutan, and succeeded Ambassador T S Tirumurti.
As a founding member of the UN, India has consistently displayed its commitment to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, she said, adding that India has been the leading advocate of the concerns and aspirations of developing countries and the creation of a more equitable international economic and political order.
“We have contributed immensely to maintaining international peace and security as one of the largest troops contributing country towards UN Peacekeeping Missions, having sacrificed the highest number of lives in that noble endeavour,” she said.
India has also worked to foster global socio-economic development, through transparent, viable, sustainable and demand driven partnership programmes, she noted.
“When the pandemic hit the world, we extended our hand of friendship to other countries by delivering vaccines, pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment to more than 150 countries across the world,” she said.
A body that was founded in the aftermath of the second world war, which continues to reflect in its decision making, 77 years later, the fundamentally flawed premise of “to the victors belong the spoils” will continue to be confronted with a crisis of confidence and credibility, she said.
“As my Prime Minister said at the UNGA in 2020, “Reform in the responses, in the processes, in the character of the United Nations is the need of the hour.” How can we aspire for common security, when the common good of the global south continues to be denied representation in its decision making,” she said.
“The most urgent thing therefore for us to do is to make the Security Council more representative of developing countries, so as to reflect current geopolitical realities. How do we explain away the fact that the African continent does not have a permanent representation in the Security Council, despite a majority of issues being dealt with by the Council belonging to that region? How can we aspire for common security in Africa when the body denies them representation on a permanent basis,” Kamboj asked members of the UN Security Council.
At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution.
In September 2021, the G4 nations of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan underlined the urgency of reforming the Security Council in order to make it more legitimate, effective and representative by reflecting the reality of the contemporary world, including developing countries and major contributors.
In January 2021, India joined UNSC as a non-permanent member for a two-year term and the country has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the powerful 15-nation UN organ, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century.
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