"Genuine reform in the working methods of the Security Council requires a comprehensive reform in the membership of the Council, with expansion in both  permanent and non-permanent categories, and not only improvement in its working procedures," Member of Parliament Ashwani Kumar said at an open debate on the 'Working Methods of the Security Council' in United Nations on Tuesday.

"This is essential both for the credibility and continued confidence of the international community in this institution," Kumar said. He said it has been India's "considered view" that reform of the Security Council in tune with the contemporary realities is an "idea whose time has come".

The Council's five permanent members must recognize both individually as well as collectively that the Council has to be reformed to make it reflect contemporary realities of the international system.

"It is self-evident that the expansion of the Security Council reflecting the contemporary geopolitical realities would improve its representative character and grant greater legitimacy and credibility to its decisions," Kumar said. Improvement in the Security Council's working methods would also enhance the Council's effectiveness and efficiency.

"We strongly believe that real improvements in the working methods need change in both the process and approach, which require reform of the composition of the Council," Kumar said. He stressed that the most important change required in the Council's working methods is to make them transparent and inclusive by increasing access to documentation and information and curbing the tendency to hold closed meetings that have no records.

"What is worse is the practice of taking decisions among the P-5 (permanent five) members to the exclusion of other Council members," Kumar added. Outlining suggestions made by India to improve the working methods of the Council, Kumar said the UN body should amend its procedures so that items do not remain on its agenda permanently.

He further said that "penholders" should allow greater and systematic participation of elected members as "co-penholders".

Non-members should also be given systematic access to subsidiary bodies of the UNSC, including the right to participate.

Another crucial suggestion was that participation of Troop and Police Contributing Countries in decision making about peacekeeping operations should cover the establishment, conduct, review and termination of such operations.

The Council should also concentrate its time and efforts on dealing with issues concerning its primary responsibility of international peace and security instead of encroaching upon the mandate of the General Assembly and other UN organs, Kumar said.


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