India along with other members of the G4 has offered to initially forgo veto powers as permanent members in UNSC. It is in the reformed Security Council as a bargaining chip for getting the reform process moving.
Syed Akbaruddin is a permanent representative of India and was speaking on Tuesday on behalf of G4. It was at the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on Council Reforms.
UNSC: Importance of Veto Power
He says, “The issue of veto is important, but we should not allow it to have a veto over the process of Council reform itself.”
The newer permanent members in principle are having veto powers which the current five is having. Akbaruddin says, “they shall not exercise the veto until a decision on the matter has been taken during a review.”
India, Brazil, Germany and Japan is constituting the G4. It is lobbing for Council reforms. They are mutually supporting each other’s candidature for permanent seats over the expanded body.
G4 group has rejected suggestions for creating a category of long term elected members of the Council. It is as a ploy to block adding newer permanent members.
Expanding only the non-permanent categories would only worsen the imbalance of influence in the Council. It will even tilt the scales in favor of an outdated set-up.
Akbaruddin was reporting to Italy’s Permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi. It responded over expanding the permanent membership. It even suggested for creating a newer category of elected membership with longer terms than the current two years.
UNSC Permanent membership: Details
Cardi has made the proposal on behalf of Uniting for Consensus. It is a 13-member group which includes Pakistan. Group has been waging a decades long battle against the expanding permanent membership. It even includes blocking the reform process.
While approaching reforms from a narrow national perspective for ensuring that certain countries do not get permanent membership. It includes Pakistan’s opposition to India through the reform process. To that UfC suggested for adding 11 seats to the council with nine of them having longer terms.
Deriding the UfC proposal as ‘old hat’, Akbaruddin says about the 1944 Dumbarton Oaks conference which was held in Washington. It was to negotiate the shape of the UN, which had rejected the suggestions for longer term council membership.
He adds that any of the proposal for the council reforms without an expansion of number of permanent seats does grave injustice to the aspirations of Africa for equality. G4 has also pointed out that the number and allocation of non-permanent seats have outlived their relevance.
It was since the UN was formed and the reform in 1965. It was when the number of non-permanent members was increased from six to 10.
Akbaruddin says that 53 members of the Asia-Pacific group of nations have only two elected seats on the Council. It was while the 26 member Western Europe group also got two.