UNSC impaired organ failed to act with credibility UNGA India response

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UNSC an ‘impaired organ’, failed to act with credibility: India at UNGA

India on Tuesday said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had become an “impaired organ” as it “failed to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature”. Speaking at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), TS Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, noted that the IGN (Intergovernmental Negotiations) has become like a platform for debate in the university rather than a serious result-oriented process in the UN consisting of sovereign member states. 

“Today’s Security Council is an impaired organ. It has been unable to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature. But then, what is happening inside the IGN process, which we seem to be wedded to,” Tirumurti asked at the session. He further said that nothing had moved inside the IGN for over  a decade “except hearing passionate statements on the need to reform”. 

“In fact, it has not progressed since it is not only informal but it has no rules of procedure and has no records. For a decade it has remained that way. We are forced to keep our own notes placing a tremendous burden on all small and medium states. The same countries who shed crocodile tears for small and medium states are the same ones denying them even the basic courtesy, which is to help them keep official record of discussions. What happens here has no record and we start again the next year as if nothing has happened. And of course, we don’t even have a single negotiating text,” the Indian representative to the UN said. 

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He said IGN had bcome like a platform for debate in a university rather than a serious result-oriented process in the United Nations consisting of sovereign member states. “And why have we come to this pass? That’s because just a handful of countries don’t want us to proceed They have stopped the IGN from progressing. They are using the IGN as a smoke-screen to stop themselves from being identified by paying lip-service to Security Council reform. The conditions they are laying out are impossible to fulfil- which is full consensus of all member states. Ironically, this is happening at a time when we were in a tearing hurry last week to give ourselves e-voting rights. But for IGN, they want no voting, leave alone e-voting, but only full consensus,” he said.

Further, Trimurti said that there was no mention of the words “instil new life in the discussions” on the reform of the UN Security Council in the letter of the PGA (President of the General Assembly) which gives the mandate given to the co-facilitators. “I hope we have not started disctancing outselves from the UN@75 declaration even before the ink is dry,” he said.

The Indian representative urged for an application of the General Assembly Rules of Procedures to the IGN to bring about an open, inclusive and transparent process. He further called for text-based negotiations to start – a text reflecting all positions and proposals from member states to make progress. “Let us reaffirm our firm support for the Common African position, as specified in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration. In the last summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, 120 NAM leaders for the first time added their voice of support to the Common African Position. Let us not sidetrack this discussion by asking for greater representation only for Africa, but we need to ask for greater representation for all those who deserve to be in the Security Council, including Africa, Latin America, and others. For all this, we need a serious and credible process,” he said. 

Kirti refused to comment on Pakistan’s recent remarks on India and dismissed them as “irrelevant”. “I do not wish to waste the time of this assembly by responding to the irrelevant and irresponsible remarks made by the representative of Pakistan, which has become “Pavlovian” whenever India is mentioned. This is a forum for serious debate, not frivolous allegations,” he said. 

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