Making a clarion call for a united action for the restructuring of the present set-up of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India has warned that the UNSC is becoming a victim of “self-inflicted wounds of diminishing relevance.”
Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations since January 2016, on Monday ridiculed attempts to prevent the reform of the Security Council telling the General Assembly, “We cannot pose as guardians of a status quo that does not exist.”
The Council now “is all about primacy but with little purpose” and is not addressing the new challenges facing the world, he said.
Akbaruddin was speaking during a debate on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report on the work of the organisation which made no mention of UNSC reforms, a process that has stalled for decades.
“Updating the current architecture of international institutions, which are so out of sync with the modern world, is imperative if new global challenges are to be met,” he said.
“Nowhere is this need for common purpose required more than in reforming the Security Council,” he said, adding that this need to be done before it is too late and “the technologies of the future sharpen the conflicts of the past, while the Council remains nursing its self-inflicted wounds of diminishing relevance.”
Evaluating the functioning of the UN, Akbaruddin said the Council was failing to look at future risk scenarios and taking action to deal with them through “continuous attention rather than one-shot solutions.”
He said, “To counter terrorism, for example, we need to establish a reliable and efficient set of controls for monitoring borders and financial flows. Such efforts will work only if appropriate standards are widely adopted and cooperation in implementing them becomes routine.”
Even though UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has established a first-of-its-kind High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation with senior Indian diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill as the Executive Director, aimed at addressing concerns of cybersecurity threats and rise in hate speech, the UN as a whole has been found wanting in facing up to the challenges from technology, Akbaruddin noted.
He said, “For example, new technologies are increasingly changing the nature and dynamics of international conflict. Cyberwarfare, unmanned aerial drones, and combat robots are just three instances of technological change shaping the future of warfare and raising profound normative questions.”
“Yet there is no global approach in dealing with basic issues regarding frontier technologies,” he added.
(With agency inputs)