On Wednesday, in an Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) session, the General Assembly President, María Fernanda Espinosa, brought up the topic of reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as she regretted lack of progress towards restructuring the Security Council, and called for dialogue and flexibility to move forward. In the same IGN session, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi called for a “spirit of flexibility and compromise” and said that the concerns and interests of all member states – small, medium and large, should be considered.

Reform of the UNSC consists of five key issues- with the most pressing and controversial being that of increasing the permanent membership. The G-4 countries, Japan, India, Germany and Brazil, have been active in arguing that the permanent membership of the UNSC should be extended towards the G-4 as well due to their increasing political, social and economic influence.

The UNSC, as it exists today with permanent membership of only the five original allies in the World War, is unrepresentative and hierarchical. However, increasing permanent membership to other larger countries is not the solution since though those countries might be influential in their respective regions, the influence is often not always positive. The inclusion of the G-4 countries has been opposed by the Uniting for Consensus (Ufc) group, which has pointed out the imbalance in relations that permanent membership could lead to.

India’s inclusion into permanent membership is particularly problematic. India has had disputes with nearly all of its neighbouring countries and has explicitly gone against UN principles through its human rights violations in Kashmir. India’s permanent seat at the UNSC would give it exclusive veto power over any UNSC Resolution- making the UN an inaccessible organisation for Pakistan. It is thus important that Pakistan keep up the Ufc effort to protect that UN from becoming a hierarchical and unapproachable organisation for smaller states.a