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more permanent members. Others seek their support for obtaining and like South Korea and Sweden prokeeping this seat. African states, on pose a reform process in stages, the the other hand, are mostly in favour first stage being an enlargement limof rotating seats.15 8 Views were similarly divided on ited to non-permanent members. The African states stake claim for how, if there was to be an expansion both permanent and non-permanent in permanent membership, such categories to rectify the historical members should be selected. Some injustice done to them. The demand of the countries favoured a global for seats at the high table was also approach whereby the General based on the fact that Africa is the secAssembly would choose the new ond-largest and second-most popupermanent members, possibly on the lous continent after Asia; and also one basis of an agreed formula for regionthe largest groups of states in the al distribution. Others believed that U.N. In fact, it was felt in the OEWG primary responsibility for selection that “Africa, which consists of 1/3 of should lie with regional groups, with the world population, has the right to the possible need for endorsement a permanent seat with veto in the by the General Assembly.16 India also is against the selection of permaSecurity Council. In line with the An attempt was made at the nent members by the regional groups principle of geographical and equiturn of the century to bring and wanted it to be done globally. table representation, Africa is entitled about a radical change in the African states are in favour of selecto an appropriate representation of no less than two permanent seats on composition of the U.N. Security tion by regional groups. The third major issue is the critethe Security Council”.9 In addition, Council. A new wave of activities ria for enlarging the composition of there is also the demand to increase started when the U.N. faced a the non-permanent seats in proporthe Security Council. The suggestion tion to an increase in permanent seats serious political crisis following has been made that the Charter’s and they should be allotted to regions two-part criteria in Article 23, which the divisive debate over the use is currently applicable to the election that are under-represented, includof force in Iraq in 2003. The ing Africa.10 Furthermore, 60 perof non-permanent members, should cent of the agenda of the Security Secretary General appointed the be amplified and applied to all cateCouncil is relating to African states gories of members. The two existing High-Level Panel to examine the criteria are the contribution to the and therefore the need for greater whole gamut of U.N. reforms. African representation “in the inner maintenance of international peace chambers of the Security Council and security and equitable geographwill ensure that greater prominence ical distribution. It is pointed out that is given to African issues”.11 They also felt that they are enti- the U.N. principle of equitable geographical representation has tled to have a part in the decision-making processes of the not been adhered to in the case of the composition of the council to make it effective and democratic.12 Security Council. In 1945, while the European region was Proposals have also been made for the creation of a new cat- given three seats, Latin America and Africa were not providegory of membership: Semi/quasi and/or rotational permanent ed representation in this privileged category, and the huge membership. This third category is proposed by “midsized” Asian continent was given only one seat. Therefore, it is argued states who realise that their chances of becoming permanent the two unrepresented geographical regions, along with the members are minimal. They see the third category as a possi- underrepresented region of Asia, must get their due share, at bility of being represented more often on the council. For least one for each region. Within each region, consideration instance, Italy suggests the creation of 10 permanent seats must be given to factors like population, relative regional influwhich rotate among a group of countries. Some of them envis- ence/stature, size of the economy and future potential. These age the sharing of seats by groups of states (“permanent region- are the arguments made by countries like Brazil, India and al rotating seats”) and these seats should rotate among mem- Nigeria chiefly to project their own candidatures. As a matter bers of the respective regional group, according to criteria of elaboration of the second part of the Charter criteria, India, established by the region. A number of delegations stressed that Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan suggest criteria of adher“if rotation was applied within a group, it should be ensured ence to the U.N. purposes and resolutions, contribution to the that no country in that group was excluded”.13 India has gone peacekeeping operations, track record of timely payment of on the record opposing the regional rotation schemes as dis- assessed contributions, including to voluntary funds and procriminatory because only developing countries would be sub- grammes.17 Lately, India has also projected itself as a “responjected to this procedure.14 India is not inclined to share the seat, sible” nuclear-weapon state to justify its claim for a permanent to which it feels entitled, with other states of the region or to seat in the U.N. Security Council. Germany and Japan under-


February-April 2007


February 2007-April 2007