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India calls for building on the progress made on UNSC reforms

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 7:
India has called on the UN member states to build upon the progress made towards reforming the Security Council, warning them against continuing to “cocoon” from the enormity of the changes underway and having no framework for “setting our house in order”.
“It is unnatural and abnormal that even as the fundamental asymmetry between today’s global reality and the primary global governance mechanism relating to peace and security grows, we have confined ourselves to monologues rather than dialogue,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said here yesterday.
As the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on UN Security Council reforms commenced this year, Akbaruddin highlighted the progress and convergence already made over the years, saying in 2015, a total number of 122 member states had contributed to the framework document and enunciated their ideas for a reformed Security  Council.
In 2016 even more member states enunciated their positions on the reforms issue and worked together to find convergences, which formed the basis of an elements paper on working methods and the relationship between General Assembly and Security Council presented by the chair of the 70th IGN session.
“At that stage, no one questioned how many spoke and how many did not; why go down that path now,” he said at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on the Intergovernmental Negotiation on increase in membership of Security Council.
“I join many of my colleagues in highlighting that the process at this stage has all the conditions to build on the work of previous sessions and to move forward based on the work already done by your predecessors,” he said.
Akbaruddin stressed that it is now time to be “interactive, negotiate, discuss, resolve issues” and move forward on the very crucial and important issue.
“The formation of the Group of Friends demonstrates that many, many of us are willing to reach out and engage. We therefore urge you to lead this process into the phase of full-fledged negotiations, after all you are tasked for this purpose,” he said.
Akbaruddin said the result of “our inability” to progress is that while the prime example of anachronism – the Security Council – “may meet more and more, its actions now matter less and less.
“It also represents fewer and fewer of those who it is supposed to act on behalf of – ‘we the people’. Hence the Security Council’s effectiveness and efficacy is questionable and its credibility and legitimacy are at a low,” he said.
He emphasised that it is “not normal and not natural” that UN member states “continue to cocoon ourselves” from the enormity of the changes underway and “articulate views endlessly with no framework for setting our house in order”.
“It is not natural that we ignore the interconnectivity of all that we do here in this organization and the repercussions of running such a system with a fundamental legitimacy deficit,” he said.
He also criticised that multilateral interactions on the UNSC reform process proceeded without having a negotiating document on the table.
“There doesn’t exist an example in the history of multilateral interaction of states where any treaty or agreement has been achieved without a text on the table,” he said.
Akbaruddin said at a time of growing dismay with the existing international order, “our persistent inability” to move the reform process forward is viewed as the inability of the multilateral system to fix what is broken.
“We are at a cross road from where reform is the only way to maintain relevance. It is time now to do the natural and the normal thing. It is time to follow normal procedures and multilateral practices,” he said. (PTI)

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