United Nations, April 26: Here is the text of the speech made by Praik Mathur of the Indian delegation at the UN General Assembly debate on the veto issue.
“We meet today to acknowledge that a year has passed since the adoption of the ‘veto initiative’ by this august Assembly. India’s position on veto has been consistent and clear.”
“As we all are aware, UNGA had unanimously agreed vide decision 62/557 in 2008 that all five aspects of UNSC reform, including on the question of veto would be decided in a comprehensive manner and therefore no single cluster could be addressed in isolation. The veto resolution, though adopted by consensus, unfortunately, reflected a piece meal approach to UNSC reform, thereby highlighting one aspect, ignoring root cause of the problem.”
“Regarding substantive aspect of exercise of veto in the Security Council, I have following observations:
i) All five permanent Members have used the veto over the last 75 years to achieve their respective political ends. In this regard, let me flag what our African Brothers have repeatedly stated in the IGN: I Quote “ The veto as a matter of principle should be abolished. However, as a matter of common justice, it should be extended to new permanent members so long as it continues to exist.” Unquote.
ii) The privilege of using the veto has been vested to only five member states. As rightly called out by our African brothers, it goes against the concept of sovereign equality of states and only perpetuates the mindset of the Second World War, to the victor belongs the spoils.
iii) Either all nations are treated equally in context of voting rights or else the new permanent members must also be given the veto. Extension of veto to new members, in our view, will have no adverse impact on the effectiveness of an enlarged Council.
iv) Moreover, the exercise of veto is driven by political considerations, not by moral obligations. As long as it exists, the member state or member states, who can exercise the veto, will do so, irrespective of the moral pressure, as we have seen in the recent past.
5. Therefore, we need to address all five aspects of UNSC reform, including the question of veto, in a comprehensive manner, through clearly defined timelines, in the IGN process. India is committed to support any initiative that genuinely furthers the objective of achieving meaningful and comprehensive reform of the key elements of the global multilateral architecture.
6. Lastly, the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of misinformation, rhetoric and propaganda from any country can deny this fact.
Deputy Permanent Representative R.Ravindra’s Statement
India on Tuesday told the UNGA that a vocal minority of nay-sayers has held the entire process of UN Security Council (UNSC) reform hostage over the last four decades while calling for a more representative, credible and legitimate UNSC through the inclusion of more underrepresented voices.
UNGA was taking an action on the ‘Resolution on standing mandate for GA meeting in case of use of Veto’. Explaining India’s concern on the draft resolution informally called “veto initiative” aims to bring the requirement of a justification in case ‘veto power’ is used in the UNSC, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN R Ravindra called the resolution a ‘piecemeal initiative’.
The draft was co-sponsored by dozens including the U.S. and the U.K. With it now adopted, any time one of the Security Council’s five veto-wielding permanent members — China, France, Russia, U.S. and U.K. — use that power to block a resolution in the U.N.’s most powerful body it will require a meeting of the General Assembly, where all U.N. members will be able to voice their views on the veto.
It is therefore ironical that the same set of Member States who argue vociferously against ‘piecemeal reform’ in the IGN (Intergovernmental Negotiations framework), are today themselves supporting a piecemeal initiative, which ignores the root cause of the problem,” Ravindra said.
“We, therefore, hope that other piecemeal efforts focusing on aspects of category of membership and working methods of the Council would be treated without any double standards and with a similar yardstick in future,” he added.