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Pakistan seeks representation in UNSC! By Kashif Mirza


Dec 3, 2022

The writer is an

economist, anchor,

analyst and the

President of All

 Pakistan Private

Schools’ Federation



Pakistan has already formally submitted to the UN mechanism working to expand the UN Security Council the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s demand to ensure adequate representation of its member states in the 15-member body. The Islamic world, which represents one-fifth of total mankind, cannot remain excluded from the activities of the Security Council which assumes a fundamental role in keeping security and peace in the world. A UN Security Council reform has been overdue for decades. Throughout its entire history, reform only took place in 1963 with the addition of four non-permanent seats. Calls for an increase in the number of the Security Council’s permanent seats for representatives of developing nations have been loud. The 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest Muslim organization in the world and the second largest inter-governmental organization outside the UN spreading over four continents, are demanding a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Calls for increasing the number of permanent members have been resonating since Germany, Japan, India, and Brazil announced their wish to have veto-wielding positions like the current big five of Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States. In 1995, Italy, Pakistan, Mexico, and Egypt, founded the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group that counters the bids for permanent seats proposed by G4 nations — Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan. UFC calls for a consensus before any decision is reached on the form and size of the Security Council. Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan, known as G-4,  continue to push for permanent seats in the Council, while Italy and Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly oppose any additional permanent members.  The founders of the group were soon joined by other countries and in a short time, the group came to include about 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In May 2011, the number of member-states, which have participated in the group meetings, rose to 120. Earlier, in 2005, the UFC group proposed enlarging the number of non-permanent UNSC members from ten to twenty. In 2009, they proposed creating a new category of seats, still non-permanent but elected for an extended duration without the possibility of immediate re-election. The G4 proposes expanding UNSC membership from 15 to 25 by adding six permanent members and four non-permanent members, with the objective of the G4 obtaining permanent membership. The G-4 agrees to forego their right to the veto for at least 15 years. Six new permanent members would include two from Africa, two from Asia-Pacific, one from Latin America and the Caribbean, and one from Western Europe. Pakistan argues that consensus on Security Council reform has been impeded, from the outset, by the demand of four countries that they be selected as new permanent members in an expanded Security Council. Pakistan believes that G4’s demand violates the principle of sovereign equality of States; it ignores the reality that permanent membership and the veto often prevent the council from being effective. To achieve agreement on reform, Pakistan suggests addressing divergence on key issues, such as expanding the size of the Council with proposals ranging from 21 to 27. Creating two categories of membership. At least 4 different options for a veto, from abolition to expansion. A regional model for representation on the Security Council. The size of an expanded Council should be 26 with the additional seats distributed proportionally among the 5 regions. Each region could, however, be allocated some longer-term seats, or seats against which immediate re-election is possible. The reform of the Security Council involved the vital national interest of each and every UN member. That is why the General Assembly decided in resolution 53/30 that any decision relating to Security Council reform will be adopted by a two-thirds majority of all member states, he reminded the member states.

According to Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations, “Permanent membership in the Security Council was granted to five states based on their importance in the aftermath of World War II.” Sometimes referred to as the P5, the permanent members of the Security Council have a unique role that has evolved over time. According to the UN Charter, Article 23, “The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations”. The Security Council has 15 members: 5 permanent members with veto power; China; France; the Russian Federation; the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America. Whereas, 10 non-permanent members, five of which are elected each year by the General Assembly for a two-year term. Originally, there were 11 members of the Security Council: 5 permanent and 6 non-permanent members. In 1963, the General Assembly recommended an amendment to the Charter to increase the membership of the Security Council:  A/RES/1991 (XVIII) of 17 December 1963 entered into force on 31 August 1965 and increased membership from 11 to 15. It changed the number of affirmative votes required from 7 to 9. The pattern for geographic representation was 5 from African and Asian States; 1 from Eastern European States; 2 from Latin American States and 2 from Western European and other States. Rules 142-144 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly (A/520/Rev.20) concern the Security Council elections. UN Charter Article 27(3) states that votes in the Security Council on non-procedural matters “shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members”- this is often called the veto power of permanent members. The resolution, entitled,  “Reform of the United Nations and expansion of Security Council’s membership”, stressed that ‘any reform of the Security Council must ensure adequate representation of the OIC Member States in any category of membership in an expanded Security Council. It emphasizes that the OIC’s demand for adequate representation in the Security Council is in keeping with the significant demographic and political weight of the OIC Member States, which bears particular importance, not only from the perspective of increased efficiency but also to ensure the representation of the main forms of civilization in that body. The Wars in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Indian-occupied Kashmir, Rohingya Muslims, and Russia exposed and exploited weaknesses in existing international systems, the most glaring of which could be the legal framework of the United Nations. One of five veto-wielding permanent members of the U.N.’s highest peacekeeping authority, the Security Council. This abuse of power, in the cause of destroying a recognized U.N. member no less, certainly appeal for U.N. reforms and address to the General Assembly in a timely one. The situation unfortunately also illustrates why they did not spend too much more of their valuable time on this oft-stated but elusive goal. In proposing to all permanent Security Council members — including the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain — should avoid using the veto, and that they should express detailed reasons when they do. This suggestion might help a little short-run diplomatic favor with these nations. No these nations have their own ideas for new permanent Security Council members, but it’s unlikely Japan and Germany — with which they have warred in the past, and which are all permanent Security Council member’s military allies — are on the list. Hopefully, China would recommend its friend Pakistan as well as the candidate. Pakistan is arguably deserving of the permanent Security Council member given its vast population size, geographical importance, nuclear arsenal, and most important as a representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Pakistan is arguably deserving for the permanent Security Council member given its vast population size, geographical importance, nuclear arsenal and the most important as a representative of Organization of Islamic Cooperation. 

Better for the UN and all permanent Security Council members to focus on shoring up what still does work at the United Nations. Though not living up to its loftiest global-governance promises, the U.N. has real crisis management capabilities and can facilitate limited cooperation among warring parties — when their mutual self-interest dictates. Ironically, all permanent Security Council members in the past have shown aggression against weak countries that demonstrated the U.N.’s incapacity to prevent war has demonstrated the U.N.’s capacity for at least some damage control. There is no ready-to-hand procedural fix for what ails the United Nations because its failures ultimately stem from substantive conflicts of interest among states, on the Security Council, and in the body as a whole. If and when those conflicts can be lastingly resolved, institutional reform will become much easier — but also much less necessary. Pakistan has once again called for a consensus before changing the form and size of the Security Council (UNSC), countering India’s effort to add more permanent members to the world body. Pakistan opposes the creation of new permanent seats at the UNSC and demands greater representation for non-permanent members in UNSC. That’s why the countries that include Italy and Pakistan have blocked the adoption of a negotiating text, unless there is a consensus, although a consensus cannot be reached without meaningful discussions which require a basic document. The OIC should play a significant role in discussions over the reform of the Security Council. OIC countries constitute more than one-fourth of the UN membership; OIC should, therefore, have proportional representation on an expanded Security Council, especially since the council’s agenda contains many items of direct concern to Islamic countries. As the world’s second-largest inter-governmental organization, the OIC should play a proactive role in the reform process and seek adequate representation in the reformed Security Council as laid down in numerous OIC resolutions. The UN General Assembly has agreed — repeatedly — that the Security Council needs to be reformed through its expansion on the basis of equitable geographic representation. We need a more representative, democratic, transparent, effective, and accountable Security Council. 

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