Pakistan

NEW YORK (Staff Report/PR) – Pakistan on Friday reiterated its firm opposition to an expansion in the number of permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, questioning how new permanent seats in the 15-member body would enhance its representativeness, efficiency and effectiveness.

Speaking in the Inter-governmental Negotiations (ING) on Security Council Reform, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Maleeha Lodhi said no cogent answer had ever been given to explain how an expansion in permanent seats would make the UNSC more representative.

Adding new permanent members would, in fact, have the opposite effect, the Pakistani envoy said.

Calling for comprehensive reform the Security Council, Ambassador Lodhi warned against a piecemeal approach and argued that the negotiating process must be member-state driven and aimed at achieving the widest possible political acceptance.

Reform, she stressed, must also be based on principles of democracy, transparency and accountability.

Pointing to the role of non-permanent members in the Security Council in bringing about a gradual improvement in its working methods, Ambassador Lodhi said that an increase in such members would further improve the functioning of the council.

“The fate of the rules of procedure of the Security Council is also dependent on the composition of the council,” she added.

She said that all member states had expressed a desire for greater participation in Security Council’s work as well as “enhanced transparency and accountability of the council.”

This desire for increased and meaningful communication, open meetings and briefings, consultation with the troop-contributing countries, submission of analytical reports by the council to the General Assembly, “all point to the shared desire for participation, accountability and transparency,” she added.

“If we all truly share these ideals”, Ambassador Lodhi said, then “we must be able to justify our positions in other key areas of reform on the same principles.”

“One cannot claim to seek a more democratic, accountable, transparent, effective and representative council in one key area of reform and then propose ideas in other areas that undercut the same principles,” she argued.

Ambassador Lodhi, while underlining all member states’ desire to participate in and be informed about the Security Council’s work, said that they do not view the council as the preserve of a few ostensibly powerful states.

“This is why Pakistan has always stressed expansion of the council’s membership that serves the interest of all the member states,” she added.

Additional permanent seats, she said, will “usurp the equal opportunity rights” of the other member states of the General Assembly to serve the council. “How can justice, fair play, transparency and accountability be promoted by such an unfair expansion of the council,” she asked.