We are incurable optimists: India on UNSC reforms

Published Sep 9, 2014, 7:31 pm IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 6:01 am IST
India expressed dismay that the draft decision was no different from last year
India's Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji (Photo: AP/File)
 India's Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji (Photo: AP/File)

United Nations: The UN General Assembly has decided to carry forward talks on Security Council reforms to the next session, with India expressing dismay that the draft decision was no different from the one adopted a year ago and hoping that there will be a "clear roadmap" on the issue in the upcoming session.

"We are incurable optimists. We believe that...the last obstacles to the negotiation text in the inter-governmental negotiations will be removed" and "we will have a clear roadmap to UNSC reforms" under the leadership of the General Assembly's incoming President for the 69th session Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, India's Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji said on Monday.


In a decision that mirrored similar proceedings from last year, the General Assembly decided that the intergovernmental negotiations on the issue of Security Council reform would carry forward to the forthcoming 69th UNGA session, which begins on September 16.

An open-ended working group would also be convened. Reforms of the Security Council had been mandated by the 2005 UN Summit by world leaders.

Mukerji referred to the words of the outgoing UNGA President John Ashe, who had "promised to strive to reinvigorate, advance and conclude discussions" on the reform of the principal organs of the UN.


Mukerji lamented that Ashe had presented to the UN member states a draft decision "which is no different from that adopted a year ago" even though he had vowed to move the process forward saying that "doing nothing would be an immense disservice to the world."

Mukerji said that ironically there actually had been progress, most notably in the form of the non-paper, which provided structure to the six meetings of the inter-governmental negotiations in which the membership of the General Assembly participated.

"We are surprised, even dismayed that there has been no reference to the non-paper in the rollover decision presented by you," Mukerji said.


The first meeting of the inter-governmental negotiations will be held from mid-November 2014, after the high-level segment of the UNGA is completed.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the world body on September 27.

Ashe said he would be transmitting to the incoming UNGA president the assessment given by Chairman of the negotiations Afghan Ambassador Zahir Tanin that brought together the views of various member states.

He said that in any negotiation, there had to be a negotiating text, even if the initial text did not enjoy universal support.


Ashe noted that a "fresh approach" was needed to move forward the reform agenda.

He said it would be "foolhardy" to underestimate the challenges that existed yet Security Council reform was an issue that Member States must not "shy away from".

On the "non-paper", which contained a set of ideas pertaining to the reform negotiations, Ashe noted that although views on the text were clearly mixed, he would communicate its findings to his successor for the sixty-ninth session.

Brazil said that although the roll-over decision was a mere repetition of events last year, the issue of Security Council reform has been advanced under Ashe, particularly when considering the contributions of the non-paper.


He however warned that without meaningful reform, there was risk of the UN being discredited.

Pakistan said that the Assembly had taken a wise decision to carry forward the reform process, which must be pursued in good faith in an open, inclusive and transparent manner that would result in a solution garnering the widest possible political consensus from Member States.

It said that divisiveness would not be helpful for future efforts.

China said that postponing a decision on potential reforms was a practical move and that efforts must be made to develop a package solution that took into account the interests and concerns of all parties.