The "restricted and undemocratic" nature of the UN Security Council is preventing developing nations from being heard in the UN body, India has said as it warned that such a situation cannot be sustained for much longer and the Council must be urgently reformed.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said it is a "pity" that the "restricted and undemocratic nature" of the Security Council has so far prevented the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from contributing their unique perspective, as developing countries, into the Council’s deliberations.
Participating at the Security Council session on ‘Peace and Security Challenges facing SIDS’, he said the small island nations have instead participated effectively in the universal platform provided by the General Assembly to address their specific concerns.
"This situation cannot be sustained for much longer, especially if the Council has to ensure a stable and supportive international political environment for the successful implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda."
"We therefore call on you to include in your proposed non-paper a strong endorsement of the call of a majority of UN member states for urgent and early reforms of the structure of the UN Security Council, expanding the membership in both categories in order to allow the voices of developing countries to be heard, and acted upon, more regularly in the Council Chamber," Mukerji said here on Thursday.
He underscored that with a coastline of over 7,500 kms and several groups of islands located far away from the mainland, India is deeply conscious of the special challenges faced by the SIDS.
"Given their small size, remote location, vulnerability to sea-level rise, high costs for energy and transportation, not to mention small resource base and high dependence on external markets, SIDS face disproportionate challenges to their social and economic development, which in turn exacerbates challenges to their peace and security. The financial, energy and food crises of recent years have only served to accentuate these vulnerabilities," he said.
Mukerji noted that the issues of piracy, climate change and development, which are concerns for the small developing nations, have been better addressed in the forum provide by the General Assembly instead of the powerful 15-nation Council.
He said in all these areas, "clear effective" international cooperation on the concerns has been most viable outside the UN Security Council, enabling a democratic, inclusive and transparent approach to be formulated on each area.
"By allowing each member state, especially those belonging to the SIDS, to raise their specific concerns, and then agreeing on an agreed way or platform to deal with these concerns, the UN General Assembly has played the role in these areas given to it by the UN Charter, whose 70th anniversary we celebrate this year," he added.