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UNSC reforms necessary to make it transparent, credible: India

United Nations, Nov 22 (PTI) Pushing for early reform of the UN Security Council, India has said that involvement of a larger number of member states in the decision making process will make it more transparent, credible and representative.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji told the UN General Assembly yesterday that “Having a larger number of member states in the decision making process of the Council will make it more transparent, credible, legitimate and representative. This is directly linked to the early reforms of the Council as mandated in the 2005 Summit.”

Mukerji in his statement in the UNGA session on the Security Council’s Annual Report pointed out that the Charter mandated the Council to submit annual reports to the General Assembly, which exemplified the accountability of the Council to the larger membership of the Assembly.

However, Council resolutions agreed to before the participation of Member States, reduced the Assembly’s contribution to “mere tokenism”, he said. “If not checked in time, such actions defeated the principle of participation,” he said.

Though the outcomes of the Council meetings and actions were accessible through its website, he asked for more information on how those decisions were taken, the sensitivities with which they were made and whether the Council’s procedures were applied consistently.

As the General Assembly considered the annual report of the Security Council on its work supporting the peaceful resolution of conflicts, the delegations while acknowledging the progress made by the 15-nation body, also called for continued reforms to its working methods and greater transparency for the Organisation’s wider membership as it tackled complex international crises.

On peacekeeping, Mukerji urged the Council to consult troop contributing countries while adopting the mandates of such operations.

“It is not only the formulation of the mandates but the change of the mandates midstream which is a source of concern for us,” he said.

He added that the Council should consult the troop contributing countries for an objective assessment of the implications of mandates on the impartial nature of peacekeeping.

Using events in the Golan Heights and Mali as examples, he called on the Council to take urgent steps to investigate and penalise perpetrators of terrorist acts against peacekeepers. He also asked for regular interactive sessions with the Assembly to address issues of counter-terrorism.

“As a major troop contributing country, India would like to emphasise the need for an objective assessment of the implication of robust mandates on the impartial nature of UN peacekeeping,” he said, adding that provisions of the Charter do not allow the “misuse of our peacekeepers”.

He said “impartiality and neutrality” are key principles for ensuring effectiveness of UN peacekeepers, stressing that the threat posed by militias and terrorists to UN peacekeepers has to be taken seriously.

“It is the clear obligation for all member states to act against foreign terrorist fighters who attack UN peacekeepers. This should become an integral part of the peacekeeping mandates approved by the Council,” he said.

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