India pitches for greater say to UNGA in selecting UN Chief

Wednesday, Nov 4, 2015,14:36 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

United Nations | Pitching for greater say to the UN General Assembly in the selection of the next Secretary General, India has said that it is in the collective interest of the international community to have the most appropriate chief of the world body. The General Assembly, being the voice of the international community, must be given a greater say in the selection of the Secretary General, visiting MP Ram Gopal Yadav said here yesterday at a debate on revitalisation of the work of the General Assembly.

He said this is in the interests of the UN system in general, and the Assembly’s prerogatives in particular. It is in our collective interest to have the most appropriate next Chief Executive of the UN as we are beginning to implement the most ambitious Agenda 2030, Yadav said. Yadav said that at the heart of the Secretary General election is the question of the prerogatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council and the rest of the membership of the UN.

And, that is, to a large extent, determined by something as seemingly innocuous as the working method of the Council, he said, adding that India has pressed for the Security Council to recommend two or more names to the General Assembly. While the pronouncements of the General Assembly do not specifically provide for this, there is in our view no legal impediment for the Security Council to do so, he said.

Reiterating India’s demand for an early reform of the Council, he expressed regret that an ineffective Security Council has meant huge human costs in terms of wars and conflicts, which the international community cannot justify. The figures speak for themselves, especially the single biggest statistic of more than 60 million people affected by the malfunctioning of the Security Council.

It is our firm believe that urgent and comprehensive UN reform is imperative to make it reflective of current geopolitical realities and enhance its capability to meet increasingly complex and pressing transnational challenges of our time, he said. Yadav noted that the General Assembly will not be empowered merely by strengthening procedures and streamlining working methods. It will only be empowered if its position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations is respected in letter and in spirit.

This requires that the General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the United Nations in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues. In particular, revitalisation must restore the primacy of the UN in development matters, he said. He noted it is critical that the issue of preventing encroachment upon the mandate of the General Assembly, and making the Security Council more responsive to it must be addressed.

The encroachment by the Security Council on issues that traditionally fall within the GA’s competence are of particular concern. The balance between the principal organs of the United Nations as stipulated by the Charter must be respected and maintained, he said.