The UN Security Council does not reflect today’s reality, is paralyzed and unable to carry out its basic task of maintaining international peace and security when one of its permanent members has attacked its neighbor, the president of the UN’s General Assembly said. UN, Csaba Korosi.
Russia, a veto-powered permanent member of the UN, attacked Ukraine in February 2022. Russia has vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Ukraine, while voting in the UN General Assembly against a resolution in which countries are called the four regions of Ukraine that Russia has claimed.
Korosi, a Hungarian diplomat who currently chairs the 77th United Nations General Assembly, said there is pressure from a growing number of member states to reform the powerful UN body.
“The Security Council that was then established” and given primary responsibility to “maintain international peace and security and prevent wars is now paralyzed,” he told PTI ahead of his visit to India.
Korosi arrived in India on Sunday for a three-day visit at the invitation of Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar. It is his first bilateral visit to a country since taking office as President of the UN General Assembly in September 2022.
“The Security Council cannot perform its basic task for a very simple reason. One of the permanent members of the Security Council attacked his neighbour. The Security Council should be the body to take action against the aggression. But because of the veto, the Security Council cannot act,” he said, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Korosi said this was a “very serious lesson we learned” for the future when we talk about improving the functioning of global organizations.
He said the issue of UN Security Council reform is both “burning” and “riveting” as the composition of the Security Council reflects “the outcome of World War II”.
India is at the forefront of years of efforts to reform the Security Council and says it rightly deserved a place as a permanent member of 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.
In the 77-year history of the UN, the composition of the Security Council has changed only once – in 1963 when the General Assembly decided to expand the Council from 11 to 15 members, adding four non-permanent seats.
“Since then the world has changed. The geopolitical relations in the world changed, the economic responsibilities in the world in some countries, including India, among some other very highly developing countries, even changed,” Korosi said.
“So the composition of the Security Council does not reflect today’s reality,” he said, adding that not to mention “a whole continent with more than 50 countries, Africa”, is not in (the Council) in terms of permanent members.
When asked if he hopes for any progress in the long-awaited reform of the UN Security Council, Korosi replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, I have hope,” he said, pointing out that United Nations reform spans several areas and that the Security Council is “a very important” part of it.
Korosi stressed that the reason for hope for UN Security Council reforms is that the issue has been on the agenda for decades and has been under negotiation for several years.
“But this particular issue, the urgency and the concrete steps to be taken in reforming the Security Council” was mentioned and urged by more than 70 world leaders at the high-level session of the General Assembly last September.
“More than a third of UN members addressed this question directly. So there is very clearly a push (of) membership. I have hope,” he said.
Korosi has previously noted that during the high-level week in September 2022, a third of world leaders underlined the urgent need to reform the Council – more than double the number in 2021.
Korosi has appointed Michal Mlynar, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations, and Tareq MAM Albanai, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait, as co-chairs of the intergovernmental negotiations on the reform of the UN Security Council.
He said he has asked them to do their best to try to convince the UN membership that it is their responsibility and a membership-driven process to bring about UN Security Council reforms.
“But if they really want to get results, maybe they think in slightly different terms, in terms of whether or not to compromise, negotiations. If they don’t, the chances are very small. But I do have hope,” he said.
Korosi said countries around the world would like to see the United Nations, an organization they fund, address their needs, help them navigate the multiple crises, alleviate conflicts in the world and end wars.
“If this organization fails because of the Security Council, because of some other component, the whole organization fails,” he said, adding that the UN’s credibility is at stake.
Last week, the G4 countries of India, Brazil, Japan and Germany told a meeting of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform that “we have been meeting in this informal form for 15 years, with nothing concrete to show for our efforts.” “We don’t even have a zero-draft consolidating the imputed views of interested stakeholders on which to base our discussions. We don’t have any factual record or record of the IGN proceedings,” they said.
The G4 has said that expanding into both permanent and non-permanent categories of UN Security Council membership “gains by far the most support from member states and is the only way to make the Council more representative, effective, transparent and legitimate”.
Korosi’s visit coincides with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on January 31, celebrated as Martyrs’ Day.
Korosi will lay a wreath at Raj Ghat on the anniversary of Gandhi’s death. Jaishankar, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Korosi jointly unveiled the bust of Gandhi on the sprawling North Lawns at UN headquarters last month.
Korosi said he will be “very proud” to lay a wreath at the Raj Ghat.
He described Gandhi as “one of my prophets” in terms of political philosophy, solutions through peace, traditions, cooperation and building on cultural values.
These are the issues he posed to the global community and “these values are still ours, and they are still very valid,” Korosi said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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