India seeks ‘more credible, effective’ Security Council (Lead)

June 13th, 2009 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

United Nations, June 13 (IANS) India has proposed expansion of the UN Security Council to 25 members with 11 permanent and 14 non-permanent members as “the most optimal option” to provide greater representation without making it unwieldy.
“India is acutely conscious of the need for the UNSC to be efficient and effective,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s permanent representative at the UN, Friday noting the council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“It is in our collective interest that this body is able to discharge its functions effectively, in real-time,” he said, adding, “India’s proposal would also permit the UNSC to reflect contemporary realities, a key requirement for enhancing

legitimacy and credibility.

“A reorganization is definitely long overdue, hence inevitable,” he said during an informal plenary meeting on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council.

Under India’s proposed “most optimal option”, of the six new permanent members, two each would be from Asia and Africa, while one each would be from Latin America and Western European and Others Group (WEOG), he suggested. The four additional non-permanent seats would be distributed equally among Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

WEOG is one of several unofficial regional groups in the United Nations that

act as voting blocs and negotiation forums. Apart from Western European nations the 29-member group includes Canada, Australia, and New Zealand among others.

An expansion as proposed by India would provide the appropriate balance between the need for greater representation, including addressing the under-representation of developing countries, and the need to ensure that the UNSC does not become unwieldy, Puri said.

“There are a few who oppose real change, either by filibustering or attempting to put roadblocks,” Puri said. But “No one, however vociferous, can arrest the movement of history.

“While they may succeed in slightly deferring the change that is inevitable, they do so at the cost of making the UNSC lose more credibility and effectiveness. Such actions also do a disservice to multi-lateralism.”

The UNSC can truly reflect contemporary world realities only with new permanent members, and thereby enhance the credibility, legitimacy and representativity of the UNSC, he said.

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