UN Security Council must become truly representative of global community: PM

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New Delhi, July 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said the structure of the United Nations Security Council must evolve to become truly representative of the global community.

In his article 'The Vision of Emerging Powers - India' published in the compendium brought out by the G-8 nations on the eve of its summit in Italy, Dr Singh said, "As we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the challenges of global governance in an increasingly inter-connected and multi-polar world are truly formidable."

"Our institutions of global governance, centred on what may be called the UN system, were designed for the most part at the end of the Second World War and reflected the politico-economic realities of that age.

The world was then dominantly bipolar, in the political and military sense, international trade and international capital flows were low, the developing countries were not economically important, indeed most of them were not even independent," he added.

"The world has also become much more interconnected through the expansion of trade in goods and services and expansion of financial flows generated by capital account liberalisation. Interconnection has in turn greatly increased problems of contagion and vulnerability especially through financial linkages," he added.

"Our established institutions of global governance have evolved to some extent in response to these changes, but much less than they should have and the pace of evolution is likely to remain well behind the rate at which the world is changing. The centre piece of the post-war global architecture is the United Nations, conceived originally as the Parliament of the nations with the Security Council at its apex," he said.

"The size of the international parliament has expanded and while there is occasional cynicism about how effectively the General Assembly can reflect global opinion, and especially evolve workable solutions on key issues, there is no doubt that it serves a valuable purpose in giving voice to every country," he added.

He further said that the Security Council has not changed at all and its present structure poses serious problems of legitimacy. The system of two-tiered membership, which gives a veto to the five permanent members i.e. the nations that emerged victorious after the Second World War, is clearly anachronistic. Germany and Japan, which have significantly larger economies than Britain and France, both permanent members, are excluded.

"China is the only developing country in the P-5 and it is there for historical reasons, not as a large and economically important developing country. It is obvious that if the system was being designed today it would be very different. However, while the problems have long been recognised, efforts to reform the system have made little headway," he added.

Regarding the expansion G-8, Dr. Singh said, "Some years ago the G-8 has been expanded into the G-8 + 5 by adding China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. More recently, the group has been expanded even further to include a handful of countries in the name of achieving additional outreach."

"The expanded group is not cohesive since the countries included for purposes of outreach do not participate fully in the proceedings, or the preparations, and the expanded group therefore does not have a composite identity. Second, these groupings do not have any special legitimacy within the UN System." he added.

About the G-20 meeting in London, he said it certainly achieved a great deal more than normal meetings of this type, especially in two respects. First, it succeeded in expanding the perimeter of financial regulation and endorsing the establishment of global standards to which national standards can be aligned. Second it achieved a significant expansion in funding for the Bretton Woods Institutions. (ANI)

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