WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – At the United Nations, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi forcefully advocated Pakistan’s position on Security Council reform, stating that Pakistan opposes the creation of new permanent seats “as it is contrary to the universally agreed principles of our time – democracy, accountability and transparency”.
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Speaking in the UN General Assembly in a debate on Security Council reform, she said a few countries have sought to promote their self-arrogated right to a privileged and unequal status and this rigid position has hobbled progress on this issue for about two decades.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN cited this rigidity and blind pursuit of national ambition as “the real reason” for the persisting failure to achieve a “more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective Security Council.”
Further elaborating Pakistan’s position, she said that the Security Council needs to be expanded in the category of elected seats, allowing more representation from all and not some member states, which has become necessary in view of the increase in UN membership since the Council was last expanded five decades ago.
Pakistan’s goal, Ambassador Lodhi said was the democratization of the Council through a reform that promotes the interests and aspirations of all UN members – small, medium or large.
She told the 193-member Assembly that two important lessons should be kept in mind from the experience of the inter-governmental negotiations undertaken on this issue in recent years. First, she 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,” she added.
Ambassador Lodhi emphasized that a positive atmosphere for the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) was crucial for member states to engage constructively. She regretted that genuine efforts have not been made to bridge divergent positions on substance, rather the focus has been on looking for procedural shortcuts.
She said that the goal set by General Assembly decision that provided a mandate for the IGN process was to achieve comprehensive reform of the Security Council on five equally important and interlinked issues and a solution that could enjoy the “widest possible political acceptance”.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi concluded by referring to the UN Charter, which lays strong emphasis on democracy and accountability and to which “we all pledged to respect and support”. And she expressed the hope that this pledge to UN Charter will yield progress towards democratic reform of the Security Council.