WASHINGTON: The need to reform the UN Security Council cannot be denied forever, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said even as he noted that India never believed that revamping the top organ of the world body will be an easy process.
India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserved a place as a permanent member in the United Nations.
Currently, the UN Security Council has five permanent members — China, France, Russia, the UK and the US.
Only a permanent member has the power to veto any substantive resolution.
India, currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation UN Security Council, will complete its two-year tenure in December this year.
In the month of December, India will preside over the Security Council.
“We have, we have never thought that it was an easy process. But we do believe that the need for reform cannot be denied forever,” Jaishankar told a group of Indian journalists here on Wednesday while responding to a question on the seriousness on the part of the US on reforming the Security Council.
“My understanding is that the position that President (Joe) Biden put forward, is the most explicit and specific articulation of the US support for reform of the UN, including the Security Council,” he said on the last day of his visit to the US.
“So, I don’t think it’s a reiteration of something, I don’t think in that sense, it’s kind of business as usual.
Now, how this advances, where it goes, I think, depends on all of us: the members of the UN, and where we take it,” he said.
“It is not the responsibility of a single country, however powerful. I think it’s a collective effort that the members of the UN have to make. We have been pressing the reform effort, including through the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN). And you also know where the reluctance comes from and let’s stay focused on it,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar said on Saturday that negotiations for the much-needed UN Security Council reforms should not be blocked by procedural tactics and naysayers cannot hold the process “hostage in perpetuity.”
“India is prepared to take up greater responsibilities. But it seeks at the same time to ensure that the injustice faced by the Global South is decisively addressed,” Jaishankar said in his address to the General Debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
“In our term, we have acted as a bridge on some serious but divisive issues confronting the Council. We have also focused on concerns such as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism,” he said.
He also said that India believes that multipolarity, rebalancing, fair globalisation and reformed multilateralism cannot be kept in abeyance.
The call for reformed multilateralism “with reforms of the Security Council at its core” enjoys considerable support among UN members, he said in his UNGA address.
Jaishankar and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed reform of the Security Council as well as the situation in Ukraine and Myanmar during their meeting in New York.
Jaishankar met Guterres at the United Nations headquarters on Saturday after he addressed the high-level UN General Assembly.
“An extensive discussion on pressing global challenges with UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres. Agenda included the Ukraine conflict, UN reform, G20, climate action, food security and data for development,” Jaishankar tweeted.