There can be no doubt that the United Nations (UN) is an agency in need of reform at every level and across every strata of its operation. The Security Council is one of the six principal entities of the UN and is responsible for international peace and security, along with accepting new members to the UN as well as approving changes to the UN Charter. It is responsible for peacekeeping operations, defining international sanctions and authorizing military action via UNSC resolutions. Importantly for the debate about its permanent membership that has not changed since 1946 it is the only UN body that has the authority to issue binding resolutions to the member states â€” and therein lies Pakistanâ€™s opposition to the expansion of the permanent members group.
Anybody that thinks that the global apex body concerned with world peace was at peace with itself would be sorely mistaken. The rivalries and conflicts in the world beyond the UN are mirrored in its internal business and the unresolved conflict between India and Pakistan features regularly. India is seeking to gain membership to the permanent members group of the UNSC with some very obvious implications for Pakistan not the least of these regarding the matter of Kashmir.
Not for the first time our Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi in addressing the General Assembly session on UNSC reforms, has said that Pakistan opposes the creation of new seats on the UNSC but does support the expansion of the rotating membership that sits below that. We entirely support her. India is looking for a Trojan Horse and UNSC permanent membership is as good a horse as any. The power of veto would in all likelihood be deployed to halt or frustrate any move by Pakistan that India was opposed to â€” and other members would be obliged to follow suit. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of this debate, and the equal importance of Pakistan preserving a level playing field. Institutionalising inequality in one of the most powerful bodies in the world by permanising India would create an unacceptable level of insecurity in Pakistan. Carry on, Dr Lodhi.
[Published in â€˜The Express Tribuneâ€™ on Nov 9, 2016]