Pakistan says expansion in UNSC’s non-permanent seats only way to ensure regional representation

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UNITED NATIONS, May 12 (APP): Pakistan and it allies in a group opposing additional permanent members on the United Nations Security Council seek expansion only in the 2-year non-permanent seats because this is the only category in which members reflects equity among regional groups, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has told a U.N. panel.
“The Council needs to be expanded in a manner that gives a greater
chance of representation to the regional groups that are under-represented due to the increase in the number of member states,” The Pakistani envoy said as the long-running Inter-Governmental Negotiations aimed at reforming the 15-member Council resumed the process on Thursday.
India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — known as the Group of four — have
been pushing for permanent seats on the Security Council. But the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) stands for creating a new category of members — not permanent members — with longer duration and a possibility to get re-elected once.
The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members —
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.
Full-scale negotiations to restructure the Security Council began in the
General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas — the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with the General Assembly.
Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN
reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.
In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi pointed out that the countries in the
permanent category were “nominated” in the UN Charter. They do not represent any region, and no endorsement was required from regional groups for their continued presence in the permanent category nor, for that matter, a vote in the General Assembly.
“What is, however, most relevant is the fact that the composition of the permanent members does not reflect any equitable distribution among regional groups,” the Pakistani envoy said. “In short, the permanent category is not the place to address the question of regional representation.
“We can understand a consensual demand of a regional group emanating from a quest for equal status, rights and privileges,” Ambassador Lodhi said. “What we do not understand is the pursuit of national ambition of permanent status, trampling the basic needs of equity and representation,” an obvious reference to the relentless pursuit of permanent seats by G-4 countries.
Ambassador Lodhi also argued that any expansion of the unelected, or
permanent, category of seats — would not make the Security Council more democratic and representative.
“When there is no election there is no representation. Period!,” she
said. “Election is the only route to assure political accountability.”
When the Security Council was last expanded in 1968, she said it was
decided that ten of its fifteen members would be elected on seats allocated to five regional groups in an equitable manner. For equity, the seats were approximately distributed among the regional groups based on the size of their membership.
But over the last fifty years, almost 80 new member states joined the UN ,but the number of these new member states did not correspond equally to all regional groups, and this has to addressed, the Pakistani envoy said. But, she said It should be noted here that new entrants to the UN were not the aspirants for a permanent national status, but they are certainly interested in an equal opportunity to serve in the Council.