UNITED NATIONS - Reaffirming its opposition against adding new permanent members in a reformed UN Security Council, Pakistan Friday urged aspirants -- India, Brazil, Germany and Japan -- to show "flexibility" to break the deadlock in the negotiations aimed at enlarging the 15-member body.

"Had there been flexibility on the part of delegations that had unjustifiably insisted on securing permanent seats, many Member States would have already played a positive role in the Security Council,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, said in the course of a General Assembly debate on achieving equitable representation in the Council. 

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, known as the Group of four, call for expanding the 15-member Council by 10 seats, with 6 additional permanent and four non-permanent members.

Pakistan, along with other members of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC), oppose any additional permanent members, and for enlarging the non-permanent category. They support the Italy-Columbia proposal that would create a new category of members -- non permanent members -- with longer duration and a possibility to get re-elected.

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 on the Council.

The Pakistani envoy told the 193-member assembly that UfC had demonstrated flexibility by revising its initial position for further dialogue.

But --without naming them -- Ambassador Lodhi said, "Few countries have sought to promote their self-arrogated right to a privileged and unequal status...This rigidity and blind pursuit of national ambition is the real reason for our persisting failure to achieve a more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective Security Council."

The Intergovernmental negotiations on the Security Council reform have been taking place for two decades and key issues under discussion are the category of membership, the question of the veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council, and the Council’s working methods and its relationship with the General Assembly.

"In evaluating lack of progress on Security Council reform, we have to acknowledge that the absence of flexibility and compromise is at the root of the impasse we face today," she said.

Commenting on G-4's push for permanent seats, the Pakistani envoy said, "Quick fixes and procedural maneuvers have always come to naught; and, second, no agreements are to be found at the extreme ends of political positions. An honest appraisal of these facts will mark the first meaningful step towards reforming the Security Council."

Pakistan, she pointed out, opposed the creation of new permanent seats in the Council as it was contrary to the universally agreed principles of democracy, accountability and transparency. The council needed expansion in the category of elected seats given the increase in the United Nations’ membership since the Council was last expanded five decades ago.

Democratisation of the Council required the aggregation and promotion of the interests and aspirations of all Member States, no matter their size, Ambassador Lodhi went on to say. There was no evidence to support the argument that more permanent seats could enhance the Council’s legitimacy, she said, calling on Member States to “soberly” think whether permanence was a solution to “so-called present day political realities” that were themselves transient.

Ambassador Lodhi expressed continued support for Africa's greater role in the Security Council, saying, "Pakistan distinguishes between the demands motivated by selfish ambitions and the collective demand of an entire continent." In this regard, she said, Pakistan had always respected the African Common Position, the Ezulwini consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

Ambassador Lodhi welcomed the appointment of Luxembourg's UN Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, to head the negotiations on Security Council reform. Ambassador Luca replaces Jamaica's Ambassador Courtenay Rattray.