UNITED NATIONS: Senior BJP leader L K Advani has made a strong case for reform of the UN Security Council, emphasizing that it should be expanded to include nations willing to share responsibility of combating global threats like terrorism and piracy and help in maintaining security.
“A reformed Council must include countries that are willing to bear additional burdens relating to the maintenance of international peace and security and be able to sustain worldwide campaigns against new and emerging global threats including terrorism and piracy,” Advani told a session on ‘Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly’ here.
He yesterday said the Security Council needs to be expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories in order to make it reflective of current geopolitical realities.
Given the political upheaval in West Asia and North Africa and financial crisis, he said that global responses to these most challenging socio-political and economic crises of the last 50 years cannot be “patchy and half-hearted.”
“The process should begin here at the UN and must be guided by a sense of urgency,” said Advani, who is leading a group of visiting Indian Parliamentarians here to attend sessions of the UN General Assembly.
The senior BJP leader also made a strong appeal for revitalization of the 193-member General Assembly to change it from a “mere talk shop” to a place where “transnational issues that impact each and every one of us are addressed swiftly and truly global solutions prescribed.”
Advani pointed out that India believes the General Assembly can be revitalized only when its position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN is respected both in letter and spirit. The Assembly should take lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the UN in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues, Advani said, adding that revitalization must restore the primacy of the UN in development matters.
Outlining India’s views on the issue, Advani said a relationship of respect for respective mandates must be established between the General Assembly and Security Council.
Under this approach, the Council should not encroach upon the mandate of the Assembly through “extremely wide and permissive interpretations” of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression.
Advani pointed out that the Council’s agenda is “overburdened” as it has “anointed itself with the responsibility of dealing with issues, which though seemingly important, leave it with less time to deal with the real hotspots that constitute the real threats to international peace and security.
“The balance between the General Assembly and the Council is only one of the dimensions of what needs to be addressed,” he added.
He further stressed that the General Assembly should have a greater say in the process of selection of the Secretary General.
“The continued circumscribing of the Assembly’s role and responsibilities in the process of selection and appointment of the Secretary General needs to change in the interests of the United Nations system in general and the Assembly’s prerogatives in particular,” he said.
In selection of the Secretary General, due regard should be given to regional rotation and gender equality besides encouraging interaction with member-states.
Advani promised India’s support to efforts aimed at strengthening the role of General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative body of the international community.