–FM says ‘reform cannot become an instrument to further narrow self-serving interests of a few countries’
NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that Pakistan supported a comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make it a more democratic, representative, transparent and accountable body, but it will not endorse regression in name of reform.
“We don’t want to sign up for regression in the name of reform,” he said while addressing the ministerial meeting of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) on Security Council reform on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA session in New York. “Bad reform is no reform,” he remarked.
In recent years there have been discussions and specific proposals to expand the Security Council. One of the contenders is India. However, there has been no breakthrough so far given lack of consensus on the issue.
The Security Council has currently five permanent members — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France.
Pakistan has been a strong opponent of a group of countries campaigning for permanent seats on the Security Council. Pakistan has termed the attempts contrary to principles of the 21st century of achieving democratic representation through periodic elections.
India, Brazil, Germany and Japan are the countries demanding permanent membership of the 15-member body for the past 20 years.
In Wednesday’s meeting, the foreign minister said the principled position of UfC accommodates interests of all member states — small, medium and large. “The Security Council reform cannot become an instrument to further narrow self-serving interests of a few who seek permanent seats at the expense of the wider UN membership,” he added.
Qureshi said the Security Council reform has strategic importance for member states and underpins vital national interests. The reform process must reflect all views and perspectives to achieve the wisest possible support
The UfC meeting, held at the Italian Mission, has served as a useful opportunity for an annual high-level review of the reform process, and to chart a progressive way forward.
The foreign minister said an inclusive and transparent process within the framework of Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) is essential to this end. “Anything less would be counter-productive, for the membership knows all too well that any divisive or non-consensual approaches with a view to artificially pace the process have only served to accentuate existing differences instead of bridging gaps in respective positions,” he added.
Expressing satisfaction at the constructive role played by the UfC during the 72nd session of the General Assembly, the meeting undertook to broaden existing efforts with a view to gain further traction and support.
PAKISTAN TO CONTINUE CONTIBUTING TO UN PEACEKEEPING:
Separately, while addressing a high-level meeting marking the 70th anniversary of UN peacekeeping operations, Quershi called for ensuring that the mandates of UN peacekeeping missions are crafted to deal with the changing and growing asymmetric threats and equipped with resources commensurate with their operational requirements in the world’s troubled regions.
“That UN peacekeeping is a success story is due in large measure to the ultimate sacrifice of men and women in the field,” Qureshi said.
“We salute them and extend our deepest gratitude,” he said of the UN peacekeepers who laid down their lives while serving in hostile environments.
The foreign minister also highlighted that Pakistan, as a top troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping, had provided over 200,000 troops in 46 peacekeeping mission since 1960’s, 156 of its bravest had given the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace.
Pakistan, he said, would always be supportive of efforts to improve peacekeeping performance. Pakistan was first country to endorse the declaration, something that had been specifically appreciated and acknowledged by the secretary general.