Making UNGA more effective can’t be divorced from UNSC reforms: India

United Nations: Making the General Assembly more effective cannot be divorced from the wider context of the reform of the UN, including the Security Council, according to India.

“Revitalisation of the General Assembly must also be seen in the wider context of the overall reform of the United Nations,” Pratik Mathur, a minister at India’s UN mission said on Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting of the ad hoc working group on revitalising the Assembly, he said, “It is our firm belief that the urgent and comprehensive UN reform, including of the Security Council, is imperative to make it reflective of current geopolitical realities and enhance its capability to meet increasingly complex challenges of our time.”

“Let us strive to make this reform of global governance architecture that is fit for purpose for the 21st century a reality in the Pact of the Future that we are currently negotiating,” he said.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has convened a ‘Summit of the Future’ in September where the world leaders are to adopt the ‘Pact of the Future’ to make the world organisation more effective in meeting global challenges.

The primacy of the Assembly, which is the closest to a “global parliament”, must be recognised in any efforts to revitalise it, Mathur said.

“India has always been of the view that the General Assembly can be revitalised only when its position as the primary deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations is respected in letter and in spirit,” he said.

“The essence of the General Assembly is in its intergovernmental nature,” he said. “It is the closest thing to a global parliament.”

He said that any changes to its working methods should be to enhance its role “as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations”.

“The UN’s success rests on the effectiveness of the Assembly as the chief deliberative and policy-making body as envisaged in the UN Charter,” Mathur said.

He drew attention to the annual general debate at which the heads of state and government of most of the 193 members participate in September, but increasingly finds itself competing with other high-level events scheduled at the same time.

India “is of the view that for the revitalisation of the General Assembly, the sanctity of the annual general debate and its associated elements must be restored”, he said.

The meeting “has a special place in the annual agenda of the UN and we should not let it be equated with various high-level events which do not enjoy the participation of all member states”, he added.


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