In a fervent plea, the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has emphasised the need for urgent UN Security Council reform, saying it is time to make the powerful body “vibrant” with the inclusion of India as a permanent member.
She made the remarks during her meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. In the approximately 30-minute long meeting, Majahan discussed critical issues of UNSC reforms, terrorism, peacekeeping and climate change,with the UN Chief.
Ban commended the vibrancy of India’s democracy to which Mahajan responded that “now the time has come for a vibrant Security Council” which includes India as a permanent member. She told Ban that India is ready to accept this new responsibility and as the world’s largest democracy as well as emerging economy, it will make the Council more vibrant and representative.
She said the UNSC must be reformed and restructured to reflect current political realties and more developing nations should be included as permanent and non permanent members. Mahajan noted that the lack of reform has affected the credibility and effectiveness of the Security Council, and the said nations count on Ban’s leadership for urgent reform of the UN.
She stressed that India strongly believes that democratic norms must percolate in the institutions of global governance including the UN and an early reform of the UN and expansion of the Security Council is an important priority for India.
With the world body commemorating its 70th anniversary this year, she said the milestone provides a historic opportunity, which must be grasped, for UN reforms.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Pallath Joseph Kurien, as well as other Indian officials were also present during the talks. This was the second meeting between the two in about eight months. Ban had met the Lok Sabha speaker in January this year during his visit to New Delhi.
Voicing serious concern over the scourge of terrorism, Mahajan urged Ban that action must be taken not just against terrorism but also against states that support and sponsor such groups, and provide safe havens to terrorists.
She noted that acts of terrorism, wherever they take place, must be condemned by the international community. In this regard, she highlighted the need for the early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. She also voiced India’s commitment to assisting the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security.
Noting India’s long standing contribution to UN peacekeeping, Mahajan said India’s cumulative contribution of nearly 200,00 peacekeepers, including a fully formed Female Police Unit, exemplifies and cements India’s strong credentials as a responsible member of the world community.
Mahajan also voiced appreciation for Ban’s initiative to convene the Climate Summit in Paris in December and expressed hope that the developed countries will make good their commitment to assisting the developing nations in meeting the challenges in the common interest.