The UN Security Council expansion must include Pakistan & OIC
The world is changing. The populations of the planet is increasingly exponentially. The colonial era ended about six decades ago. There is stirring in yesterdays colonial countries to break the monopoly of the powers that control the resources of the world. Part of it is prestige and part of it is the lust of power by the newly emancipated. Instead of breaking the monoply of the privilaged, some powers are trying to perpetuate a caste system among nations.
The UN currently has five permanent members with veto powers in the Security Council: The People’s Republic of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The G4 nations are regularly elected to two-year terms on the Security Council by their respective groups: in the 24-year period from 1987 to 2010, India was elected for six terms, Japan for five terms, Brazil for four terms and Germany for three terms.
The campaign for the proposed new permanent seats in the reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC), while producing fireworks around the world, has also opened up old historical wounds and heightened regional rivalries. Although the hottest rivalries are in Asia, particularly between India and Pakistan, and between Japan, South Korea and China, Africa is also exhibiting deep divisions along regional and language lines as countries scramble for the coveted seats.
UfC 8 core members
The 40 member Uniting For Consensus group is brought together because of geo political reasons:
- Argentina, Italy, Netherlands, Spain – opposed to a bid for Germany (wishing for a seat for the whole European Union)
- People’s Republic of China, South Korea – opposed to a bid for Japan
- Pakistan – opposed to a bid for India
- Canada – opposed in principle to expansion not achieved by consensus or near-consensus
Among the criteria laid down by the UN ‘Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change’ (the Report on UN Reforms) is that the new members of the UNSC must have contributed “most to the United Nations financially, militarily and diplomatically,” particularly through contributions to United Nations assessed budgets and participation in mandated peace operations. The other conditions spelt out are that new members should represent the broader UN membership, increase the democratic and accountable nature of the Security Council, and should not impair its effectiveness. A working group that was appointed in January 2005 during the Abuja Summit of the African Union to come up with recommendations on the proposed UN reforms presented its report to the Foreign Ministers on March 7 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but was deafeningly silent on the selection criteria for Security Council permanent seats.
As part of the current third round of the intergovernmental negotiations on restructuring the Security Council, the world body’s power centre, a session had been scheduled for exchanging views on “an expansion in both the present categories, including its different varieties”. The full-scale negotiations began in the assembly in February on five key areas – the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with the 192-member assembly. Despite the general agreement on enlarging the council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remained sharply divided over the details. A UN panel meeting on the subject on Wednesday was the scene of testy, but indirect, exchanges between the Indian permanent representative and his Pakistani counterpart, who had earlier opposed not only creating “new centers of privilege” in the world body, but even the focused session to discuss the issue.
In February, full-scale discussions began at the assembly on five key areas — membership categories, the issue of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, working methods of the council, and its relationship with the general assembly.
The proposed expansion of the 15-member U.N. Security Council has been thrown into disarray once again — this time by a spirited political campaign to block the permanent membership of Japan, Germany, India and Brazil. The campaign is being led by a group of about 40 “like-minded” countries — headed by Italy, South Korea, Pakistan, Argentina and Mexico.
The G4 member states were:
Despite the general agreement on enlarging the council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details. There are three groups. One group is led by Germany and includes India, Japan, and Brazil .
- The G-4 group wants to perpetuate the monopoly of of the caste system in the United Nations. India, however, strongly favored the G4 proposal of expanding the body by including six new permanent seats and four additional non-permanent members. The most discussed proposal is sponsored by Germany, Japan, India, and Brazil—the so-called Group of Four (G-4) nations aspiring to permanent membership on the Security Council. This plan would expand the Security Council from 15 to 25 members by adding six permanent members without veto power (one for each of the G-4 nations and two for Africa) and four non-permanent seats elected for two-year terms. The G-4 plan is supported by the U.K. and France, but strongly opposed by China.
- The other group is led by Italy and includes Pakistan and some members of the Asia, the Islamic block, Africa and South America namely Argentina, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Malta are the most prominent supporters of this plan. Pakistan favors a proposal to increase only the non-permanent category, if at all. At the UN, Pakistan, supported by Italy (which is opposed to Germany’s promotion) and a few other countries have suggested a majority of member are against expansion. Under the proposal backed by the so-called G-4 (India, Germany, Japan, and Brazil), the UN SC membership would increase by 6 permanent and 4 non-permanent members. Two each of the new permanent members would be from Asia and Africa, and one each from Latin America and Europe. The four new non-permanent seats would be equally filled between Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
- A third proposal, advanced by the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group, calls for adding 10 non-permanent members to the Security Council, who can be re-elected. The African Union has made a proposal similar to that of the G-4, but suggested reserving veto powers for the new members. The second proposal is from the 53-nation African Union (AU) and calls for a 26-member Security Council. As with the G-4 plan, the AU plan would add six new permanent members, including two permanent seats for Africa. It differs from the G-4 plan in that it calls for an additional five non-permanent seats instead of four and insists that new permanent members possess the veto. Senegal is the latest African country to put forth its name for a permanent seat on the UNSC, should the body be expanded. Other African countries jockeying for the permanent seats are South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Libya. The African Union (AU) is flummoxed as to which of its member states to endorse, and has yet to establish the criteria to be used for selecting African countries to the reformed Security Council. The entry of Senegal into the race has only increased the dilemma, and is an indication of the AU’s indecision. In creating this leadership vacuum, the AU is leaving the selection of who will represent Africa on the expanded UN Security Council to be determined by foreign busybodies and regional power struggles.
The new permanent members would have rights and responsibilities “on parallel” with existing permanent members, including the right to the veto. However, they would not exercise the veto power until the question of the extension of the right of veto to new permanent members is decided through a review after 15 years from the date of entry into force of the reform measures
Pakistan, a longtime rival of neighbouring India, does not want see New Delhi elevated to the ranks of a permanent member. Although it is not publicly opposing India, Pakistan is against the expansion of permanent membership. South Korea is critical of Japan’s wartime past, and is currently in a dispute with Tokyo over a historically symbolic island midway between the two nations. “A country that does not repent for its historical wrongdoings and that does not have the trust of its neighbours cannot play a leadership role in international society,” South Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations Kim Sam-hoon said last month.. Speaking on behalf of the majority of the nations of the world, the Pakistani Ambassador made some cogent points.
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan, which opposes any increase in the number of permanent members in the UN Security Council, on Tuesday voiced concern over a move to discuss the UNSC’s expansion in both categories – permanent and non-permanent – as the General Assembly resumed closed-door talks on reforming the 15-nation body.
While supporting the Security Council’s reforms process, Pakistan has consistently opposed the creation of new centres of privilege and proposed expansion only in the non-permanent category.
Equally important: Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Abdullah Haroon voiced “serious concern” over the proposed session. “While membership categories is one of the five key issues, and it is certainly one of the most contentious ones, there is little justification to accord it a preferential status vis-à-vis the other issues,” he said.
Ambassador Haroon pointed out that all five issues were equally important and interlinked. “The proposed session is not on categories per se, but on a particular model of reform, which is all the more objectionable since it excludes all other proposals from the discussion, he said.
“This selective approach is not conducive to productive negotiations and cannot have our support.”
Speaking at the debate, the ambassador said he had shown in the two previous rounds that while major differences existed on the key issues, progress had been made on several aspects. New proposals and ideas had been presented by member states in an effort to overcome the impasse.
“It is, however, clear that we are far from achieving the objective of a negotiated solution, which can garner the widest possible political acceptance of the member states,” Ambassador Haroon said, adding, “The objective of reaching a negotiated solution cannot be sacrificed on any altar of expediency.”
The ambassador added that he had shown in two previous rounds that while major differences persisted on the key issues, progress had been made on several aspects. New proposals and ideas had been presented by member states in an effort to overcome the impasse. app. Daily Times
Bharat is leading the charge to get privilage for itself and the few other countries that had lost provilage as a result of their defeat in World War II.
WASHINGTON: India has urged Pakistan not to remain on the “wrong side of history” in an “inevitable” recasting of the UN Security Council membership as the world body finally began focusing on a reform model favored by a majority of the states in the teeth of opposition from Islamabad and a few other disgruntled capitals.
“While membership categories is one of the five key issues, and it is certainly one of the most contentious ones, there is little justification to accord it a preferential status vis-à-vis the other issues,” Abdulla Haroon complained bitterly, as Pakistan continued procedural stalling on the matter, fearful that progress in the discussion would result in India gaining an entry into the permanent security council category.
… the Indian envoy Hardeep Singh Puri, who, without naming Pakistan, challenged the “nay-sayers” to a straw poll to see which proposal had greater support. “To remain in this negative mould only defers the inevitable; it does not change it,” Puri said in cutting remarks clearly aimed at Pakistan, urging it and other opponents to join in focusing attention ahead “and not revisit old and discredited arguments.”
Puri said “only 12, or at best 15,” delegations have ever objected to an expansion in the permanent membership. The rest, even the P-5, have not objected, not once, in repeated rounds of open negotiations.
“The reality is they, the minority, are equally aware of the fact that it is they who stand on the wrong side of the tide. Hence their vociferous objections, in the forlorn hope that stridency can substitute for a lack of numbers,” Puri said, offering a straw poll on the issue. . Do not remain on the wrong side of history, India tells Pakistan Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN 4 September 2009, 02:39am IST
The Iranian representative spoke up against the current structure of the Security Coucile and proposed a role for the Islamic nations.
As the General Assembly began the third round of closed door talks on reforming the Security Council — the world body’s 15-memebr power center–, Iran’s Deputy UN Ambassador, Eshaq Ale-Habib, presented Tehran’s view on the talks.
Ale-Habib condemned the current “discriminatory” structure of the council as “a remnant of World War II” and called it “incompatible” with the current world affairs.
He said the planned increase in the number of UN Security Council members must be implemented in a way that would represent Islamic countries and other developing states in the body. Press TV
The Bush Administration has expressed its opposition to these proposals on two grounds. First, while the Administration has stated that it is open to a modest expansion of the Security Council, it does not support an expansion of 10 or 11 new members. Instead, the United States has formally backed Japan’s bid for permanent membership on the Security Council and has expressed a willingness to consider “two or so new permanent members and two or three additional nonpermanent seats, allocated by region, to expand the Council to 19 or 20
The US is apprehensive about the expansion because of the voting records of the nations that want to expand the Security Council.
Only Germany (55 percent) and Japan (50 percent) voted with the U.S. at least half of the time. Brazil, the only contender from Latin America, voted with the U.S. just 29 percent of the time, while India, often touted as a major future ally of the United States, voted with the United States just 20 percent of the time. The records of the three leading African contenders for Security Council seats are equally poor. Nigeria and South Africa voted with the U.S. just 25 percent of the time, while Egypt—a huge beneficiary of American aid—sided with the U.S. in only 18 percent of the votes.
The expansion of the Security Council of the US is dependent upon two centers of power in the United Nations. As an amendment to the U.N. Charter, a proposal to expand the Security Council must clear two key hurdles. First, it must be supported by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, or 128 nations. Second, it must be ratified by two-thirds of the General Assembly and all five current permanent members of the Security Council. Thus, the Council cannot be expanded without U.S. and Chinese approval. Neither the US nor the Chinese are any mood to allow rivals into the exclusive club.
The G4 draft requires a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly—128 votes out of 191—to be adopted and the support of the 54-member African bloc is seen as critical for passage. The African group has 54 members, the UfC group has 40 members. So allainces are very important.
Some observers of the debate on UN reform, such as Jim Paul of the Global Policy Forum, say that the stumbling blocks to finding agreement are so formidable that the outcome may only be a slight increase in non-permanent members.
Sources: Daily Times, Times of India, Press TV, The Heritage Foundation, Africa Focus, Global Policy Forum, Wiki