India has accused the UN Security Council of "progressively" undermining the authority of the General Assembly on matters of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security and said the blame for this lies partly with the 193-member UN body for focusing on procedures rather than addressing substantive issues.
India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu stressed that the primacy of the General Assembly flows from the universality of its membership and the principle of sovereign equality of all its members.
"The ownership of Assembly's deliberations and decisions are reflected in the widest possible participation of the full membership of the UN which is unmatched by any other organ," he said on Tuesday.
There is, however, a general feeling that the prerogatives and authority of the General Assembly have been progressively undermined by the Security Council through its frequent attempts to redefine its scope of competence through wider and permissive interpretations of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security and by engaging in discussions on issues that clearly fall within the purview of the General Assembly, he said.
Speaking at the ad-hoc working group on the Revitalisation of the Work of the General Assembly, he said a "part of the blame for this situation" must also be taken by the General Assembly and its member states for focusing on procedures rather than addressing the substantive issues.
Reiterating the urgent need for revitalisation of the world body, he said "a revitalized General Assembly must focus on substantive deliberations rather than spending considerable time and resources on procedural issues."
Mr Naidu stressed that the growing number of complex challenges facing the world, such as those related to peace and security, climate change, sustainable development that cut across boundaries and regions, can be addressed only through a genuine multilaeral and participative process.
"The General Assembly, which is the closest institution to a world parliament, must take the lead in setting the global agenda and in restoring the centrality of the United Nations in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues," he said adding that the revitalization process must also restore the primacy of the UN in development matters.
India also emphasised on the importance of the main organs of the United Nations working in synergy with one another while fully respecting their respective mandates given by the UN Charter.
"The General Assembly must be in the vanguard of global agenda-setting and lead the multilateral process for finding solutions to the challenges faced by the world," he said, noting that the political will and commitment of member states are required to reinforce the role and authority of the Assembly as mandated by the Charter.
With the United Nations commemorating 75 years of its existence in two years'' time, Mr Naidu said this milestone should galvanise member states towards strengthening the multilateral system by restoring the leadership role of the General Assembly on issues of global importance.
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