General Assembly General Assembly

Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) meeting

(22-23 January 2024)

Discussions on ‘models’ submitted by member states

Distinguished co-chairs, colleagues,

I would like to thank Kuwait and Austria, as Co-Chairs for Inter-Governmental Negotiations, for taking the initiative to organize this meeting today to begin discussions on various views on how we perceive a reformed UN Security Council.

 

  1. In addition to the statements made by G-4 and L-69 colleagues, India has the following remarks to deliver in our national capacity.

 

  1. Today’s presentations were thought provoking and provided us with enriching discussions on the way forward.

 

  1. Over the past few years, the persisting conflicts in Eastern Europe and West Asia have exposed the Security Council’s inability to safeguard global security in the contemporary world, heightening public skepticism about its continued relevance and increasing doubts about its credibility. In order to meet the exigencies of the 21st century and discharge its mandate set forth in Article 24(1), the Security Council must be restructured in a manner that makes it more representative of the world today and the UN membership.

 

  1. Our delay in achieving comprehensive Security Council reform perpetuates a status quo that marginalizes the Global South, which remains unjustly underrepresented. As a voice of the Global South, we continue to believe that reform is a part of the decolonization process, and that the independence of individual countries, many of whom are now UN member states, cannot be complete without a deconstruction of the colonial structure as represented by the UN Security Council, which continues to project a post second World War structure in its composition and agenda.

 

  1. The international community today stands at a critical juncture. The emergence of transnational security challenges, the breakneck speed of technological advancements, and supply chain disruptions, coupled with the reversal or slowdown of globalisation and the pressure of climate change have created new challenges for nations worldwide. The global consensus that used to underline the spirit of international collaboration has frayed in recent years impairing the ability to tackle many vital questions that can enrich peace and strengthen security. This has created a crisis of credibility for the United Nations (UN)-led multilateral framework, particularly for the UN Security Council (UNSC). Thus the question of UNSC reforms is no longer a question which can wait for answers.

 

  1. In this context, let me offer my comments on the Mexico model presented earlier today and the Liechtenstein model that will be formally presented in the afternoon.

 

-We believe that models suffer from two fatal flaws. 

 

-one; they attempt a ‘piece-meal’ short gap approach to a problem which needs comprehensive solutions that try to holistically attempt and understand the problems that bedevil the UN from functioning to its optimal capacity; namely failure to expand the Council in the ‘permanent category’ and

 

-secondly, failure to address the issue with regard to granting of veto to new permanent members, if the Council is to be expanded; thus further setting back the agenda of the Global South, and perhaps, to condemn the Global South in perpetuity to a second class status in global governance architectural frameworks led by the UN.

 

-The long-term seats they espouse are like old wine in a new bottle. It does not solve the problem, but simply reinforces and further the current system.  Having failed to represent the Global South at par with the permanent members, these proposals are treating the symptom but not the cause. 

 

-Further, we strongly believe that the French-Mexican veto initiative and the Liechtenstein ‘veto initiative’ of April 2022, are both inadequate in themselves to address the challenge of why 5 member states should be granted the veto right in perpetuity.

 

-Our ask is for equitable geographical representation and equitable is a very loaded word that the other 2 proposals have chosen to ignore, offering us  a walk into the past, which is counterproductive since the current structure belonging to the past has clearly failed to ensure its peace and security mandate and hence we do not need to further it.

 

  1. We, therefore, strongly believe, that the ongoing Intergovernmental Negotiations process on UNSC reform must commence negotiations based on a single consolidated text, to deliver concrete outcomes within a fixed time frame. The introduction of the African Union in the G20 at the New Delhi Summit was a historic moment, which the UNSC reform process must leverage.

 

  1. In addition, the 2024 Summit of the Future is expected to generate productive discussions about UNSC reforms. However, without a strong language focusing on UNSC reforms including the expansion of both categories of the Security Council, A Pact for the Future would fall short of future proofing or even “present proofing” the bygone era’s structure of UNSC. Hence, it is essential that member states come together to incorporate language that is guided by the needs of the future in waiting.

 

  1. Colleagues, pressure for Security Council expansion and veto reform will continue to persist as the distribution of power and the nature of security threats shift ever further from what they were in 1945.

 

  1. Absent structural changes, the council’s performance and legitimacy will inevitably suffer. Given these stakes, the world requires fresh thinking on reform pathways that will help the council meet the moment. All these reform pathways require that member states begin discussions on the basis of a single consolidated text at the earliest. Thank You.