India, an aspirant for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, says the 15-member body is “completely out of tune on what is happening in the world”, while pushing for its expansion.
“I have absolutely no doubt that the Council, as it is presently structured, serves no one’s purpose… You need to coop other countries which carry weight,” Ambassador Hardeep Sing Puri of India, which holds the Security Council’s presidency for November, told press conference at which he briefed journalists about it’s programme for this month.
India’s intensive bid for the Council’s permanent membership seems to have come to a halt, at least for the time being, after failing to muster majority support in the 193-member General Assembly. Even a year after claiming the support of 80 members for its proposals to restructure it, New Delhi has failed to prove it.
The figure given by India is also well short the twothird majority, 128 votes, required for any proposal to succeed in the Assembly.
India’s two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council would end at the end of this year.
From his national perspective, he said, there was a need to enlarge the size of the Council, given changes in the international community, with permanent seats provided for Africa and South America, and Asia. He said some of the Council’s permanent members would find it extremely difficult to justify their place on a new high table.
The Security Council currently has five veto-wielding permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms.
Puri said the veto could be retained, but a discussion was needed for some sort of agreement on restraint of its use, particularly in situations when genocide threatened and the Council was deadlocked. “There could be a veto restraint agreement.”
Pakistan, which along with Italy leads the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, opposes any addition to the Council’s permanent members, but seeks enlargement of the non-permanent category, with longer terms.