General Assembly General Assembly

Annual UNGA Plenary

Agenda Item No. 121

"Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council"

[16 November 2023]

Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

Permanent Representative of India to the UN


We welcome your leadership, Mr. President, in steering us toward tangible outcomes during this session. Be assured, we stand ready to wholeheartedly support you and the Co-Chairs in this endeavour.


Several aspects of the United Nations system, Mr President, urgently require reform, a sentiment unanimously echoed by world leaders at the 2005 World Summit. Among these, the reform of the UN Security Council was identified as a critical and immediate priority.


In spite of that collective call we have had no results to show so far. Why?


One, the nature of the process of the Inter Governmental Negotiations themselves. Fifteen years since their inception, our dialogue remains largely confined to exchanging statements, speaking at, rather than with each other. No negotiating text. No time frame. And no defined end goal. We turn up each, year make statements and go back to the drawing board.


Then, there is the argument pushed by the naysayers of consensus. That even before we begin text based negotiations we must all agree on everything. Surely, we cannot have a more extreme case of putting the cart before the horse. In a recent Joint Ministerial Statement, signed by more than 35 UN member states, the L69 had voiced concerns over the IGN's lack of openness and transparency. They had stressed the urgency of improved working methods and a clear set of procedural rules to guide the process.


Three, as a member of the Global South, we share its collective angst that on issues of core concern to the South, we have no voice at the high table. 164 Member States have joined in calling for a concrete text to serve as the foundation for negotiations, as laid out in document A/72/510/Rev. 1, conveyed in the letter from the Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the Secretary-General dated 2 October 2017. This resounding support emphasizes that any further delay in Security Council reform exacerbates its representational deficit. Representation, which stands as the unassailable prerequisite for both legitimacy and effectiveness.


Under India's presidency of the G20, a significant stride was made by securing Africa a permanent seat at the table, proving that with political determination, change is indeed achievable. This example serves as a compelling call to action: we must resolutely align the Council with its charter mandate to represent the interests of all member states. Such alignment is crucial for adeptly navigating the intricate global challenges and conflicts we face today.


In our interconnected world, Mr President, a more equitable Council is essential. This should be clearly reflected in the '2024 Pact for the Future' document, particularly in the section on “Transforming Global Governance”. Any diluted language in this context would amount to mere lip service, failing to address the crucial need for reforms.


India has consistently championed a cooperative, inclusive, and consultative approach to international relations. We firmly believe that the calls for reformed multilateralism, with Security Council reforms at its core, is supported by the overwhelming majority of the membership.


If we fail to address this longstanding cause in the UN’s roadmap during its Summit of the Future, it would signify our failure to fulfill a pivotal commitment to ourselves and the Organization’s roadmap. Rest assured, the Indian delegation is committed to working collaboratively with you and the Co-Chairs to steer this process toward results, in line with the General Assembly's mandate. Let this year be the turning point when we seize the opportunity we have long awaited.


Thank you.