Additional Permanent seats in UNSC contrary to democracy, transparency: Maleeha

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has said that additional permanent seats in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would be contrary to the universally agreed principles of democracy, accountability, and transparency.

She was speaking at the General Assembly on Security Council reform. She reiterated that Pakistan firmly opposed the creation of new permanent seats in the reformed Security Council in the United Nations, according to a press release.

“After all, permanent membership remains at the core of much that is flawed about the existing Security Council”, she remarked. “It is, therefore, counter-intuitive to us that an expansion of the Council could be advocated as a means to address its inherent dysfunctionalities”.

She also said that the growing and complex challenges to global peace and security warrant a firm and clear action by the Security Council.

“An enlarged permanent membership of the Security Council would also compromise its efficiency and effectiveness”, she added.

The envoy criticised that the states demanding a permanent seat in the Security Council, essentially seek a privileged and unequal status for themselves, which is something that is directly in contradiction to the democratic spirit of our times.

“Even more telling, while they remain firmly wedded to their own positions, they ask others to be flexible”, she commented.

She argued that it is basically a lack of will on the part of a few that remains the most persistent stumbling block in the way of achieving a more representative, transparent, accountable and effective reform of the Security Council.

Lodhi, instead, said that the non-permanent category of membership should be expanded, a solution that was both fair and just, and supported by all member states and groups. “This should serve as a natural point of departure for any reform of the Council”, she added.

Regarding the position taken by the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group, of which Pakistan is a member, Lodhi said that the UFC has calibrated its position to reflect the interests and aspirations of all member states – small, medium-sized and large. “It is time for others to show the same spirit of compromise and flexibility”, she commented.

On the issue of regional representation, she said: “We fully respect the Common African Position, which voices the demand of an entire continent, and see this as inherently different from the demand for permanent seats in pursuit of narrow national ambitions”.

Lodhi concluded by reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment towards a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, saying that anything less would be a great disservice to the UN and its vision for our collective humanity.

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