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Home > News > Report

UN Security Council needs balance: India

Suman Guha Mozumder at the United Nations | October 15, 2003 11:10 IST

India on Tuesday took the United Nations Security Council to task for its lack of balanced representation that it said prevents it from arriving at a unified decision on major issues, including on Iraq.

New Delhi said that it deeply regrets the SC was unable to reach satisfactory agreement on the issue of war and peace in Iraq earlier this year, alluding to the disagreement among the permanent members of the body over whether to go for war in Iraq or not.

"We can only attribute the inability of the council to arrive at a collective and unified decision on the major issues placed before it to the lack of balanced representation in its current composition," Deputy Permanent Representative A Gopinathan said.

Gopinathan said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee touched upon this imbalance in the composition of the council during his address to the General Assembly last month.

Vajpayee had said that for the council to represent genuine multilateralism in its decisions and actions, its membership must reflect the current world realities.

India said the non-permanent members of the council have taken responsibilities to pursue the agenda of greater transparency and reform in the working of the council.

Gopinathan faulted the council on four counts, including one on discrimination between members and non-members of the council on time limits for statements and what he said was surprise scheduling of open debates with selective notification.

"The discriminatory treatment between members and non-members of the council tends to be pronounced during the so-called ministerial-level meetings of the council, which now are held increasingly in two segments, one for the members and the other for the less privileged," Gopinathan said.

The deputy permanent representative cited recent examples of such discrimination and selectivity as well.

India said that in the area of counter-terrorism while every effort has been made by the council to maintain the momentum achieved, it is yet to place mechanisms in place that would hold countries accountable for their genuine commitment or lack of it in the fight on terrorism from territories under their control.

Although the obvious reference was to Pakistan, India did not name its neighbour.

"The council needs to move from the inexhaustible stage if helping to establish legal and financial frameworks to a more serious examination of the actual contributions or otherwise by State to counter-terrorism efforts," he said. "Only by doing so would it have come to grips with the real issues at hand."

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