United Nations: Pakistan has said that the use of veto in the UN Security Council prevented a resolution of the Kashmir dispute and inhibited implementation of UN resolutions on the same. Pakistan’s UN Ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, in the inter-governmental negotiation process on Security Council reform reiterated the country’s opposition to add new permanent members to the Council with or without a veto.
She said that any privileged role in decision making would contradict the shared goal of making the Security Council more democratic, representative and accountable. Lodhi said Pakistan considers the veto as an important issue which needs to be tackled as part of a comprehensive reform of the Security Council. Pakistan supports the expansion of the Security Council only in the non-permanent category, she added.
Pakistan, she said, believed that ideally the veto should be abolished. She warned the UN that if the values of the 21st century like democracy, equal opportunity and non-discrimination were ignored in reforming the Council, there would be the grave risk of making the United Nations a ‘Divided Nations’.
The Pakistani envoy added that the Council should not remain paralysed and deadlocked over reconciling the interests of the five permanent members. According to UN records, Russia – a permanent member of the Security Council – had in 1962 vetoed an Irish resolution that had urged India and Pakistan to enter negotiations for settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
In the meeting, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had reaffirmed India’s position that the veto should, as long as it exists, be extended to new permanent members and as a measure of “flexibility and willingness for compromise” the use of the veto can be deferred till a future Review Conference.
Lodhi also said that the nations calling for the extension of the veto to new permanent members of the Security Council at the same time criticise its use or abuse. “But being cognisant that such proposals could themselves be vetoed, we support pragmatic approaches and measures that could restrict or limit the use of veto,” she added.