India condemns the UN Security Council for being ‘outdated’ and ‘frosted’

Reforms to address the new world realities debated

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News - India & You

January 11, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

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The Security Council Chamber while Secretary General Guterres addresses

The Security Council Chamber while Secretary General Guterres addresses

As the Security Council of the United Nations had its first debate session after the new Secretary-General took his office, India made its stand clear by urging the Council to reflect on the new world realities in terms of conflict prevention and sustaining peace in the world.

Syed Akbaruddin, the permanent representative of India to the United Nations pointed out that majority of the decisions taken by the Security Council represents a small minority of the world population and the council needs to reform its ideas and undertakings to regain the ‘lost legitimacy’ in the world. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was holding a debate on ‘conflict prevention and sustaining peace’ as the new UN chief, Antonio Guterres began his term on January 1, 2017. Addressing the debate, the prime concern was to investigate the contemporary conflicts which are essentially internal but affecting global peace.

Guterres was prompt in highlighting the challenges on the global front and said that it is very important to rebalance the approach to peace and security. “We spend far more time and resources responding to crises rather than preventing them. People are paying too high a price, we need a whole new approach,” he was quoted in a release from the United Nations.

Security Council should look at new world realities – India

India, a longtime negotiator in terms of having a reformed structure of the UNSC, has pointed out the crucial aspect of ‘new world realities’. Akbaruddin, in his speech, spoke in favour of measures such as analytical instruments, diplomatic initiatives, fact-finding, agenda setting and peace operations in a renewed and reviewed structure. As he took a strong offense against the latest institutional efforts of the UN peace-building activities, he voiced India’s urge to the UNSC to provide resources to the countries to make peace efforts in their own lands.

Calling the UNSC ‘frozen’, ‘outdated’ and a body that has ‘lost legitimacy’, the permanent representative of India has argued in favour of reforms on an urgent basis.

“Addressing new issues, threats and challenges of the 21st century need an updated, not an outdated instrument. There are and can be actors at local, national, sub-regional and regional levels that may be in a better position to do so and can manage these issues better,” Akbaruddin said.

Guterres initiates reforms

The new chief at the United Nations has admitted that UN’s role to conflicts and peace-encroaching challenges have been fragmented over the years and there are changes that should soon look at prevention rather than the cure. “For decades, this has been dominated by responding to conflict. For the future, we need to do far more to prevent war and sustain peace,” he said.

He also informed the Council members on reform initiatives within the UN Secretariat, in particular with regard to the decision-making process and strengthening the capacity to integrate all pillars of the UN – peace and security; human rights and development – and called on the Security Council as well as the 193-member General Assembly for their support.

While Guterres urged member nations to have mutual trust, he took the opportunity to caution the Member States citing past opportunities lost due to lack of trust and cooperation.

Responding to the concern, India’s representative has said that the efforts for reforming the Council and expanding it have virtually come to a standstill after the last General Assembly. He said that the new mandate should look at policies that originate in the ground level and goes up to the higher levels rather than having a top-down policy. It is the nations with their quintessential problems that should come up with solutions and implementation primarily.

Calling out to the member states for an improved communication, candour and transparency, Guterres concluded his speech saying, “I think it would be naïve to say that 2017 will be a year of peace, but at least it is our obligation to do everything we can to make it a year for peace.”

While talks on India’s membership at the UNSC was stalled last year, renewed efforts from the Indian government looks like an imperative approach under the new regime of Guterres. At the recently concluded Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Bengaluru, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault met the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and has expressed France’s support for India’s membership of NSG and candidature as a permanent member of the reformed and expanded UN Security Council.

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