India said that the efficacy of most of the conflict prevention tools available with the UN Security Council depends on its moral authority, which can only be limited if the composition of the Council is ‘demonstrably’ out of touch with ground realities.

Participating in a general debate on 'Conflict Prevention' organized by the UK under its Presidency of the Council, Acting Permanent Representative of India Bhagwant Bishnoi said the concept note circulated by Britain refers to the need for the Security Council to move from a culture of action to one of prevention.

The note refers to the Council using “innovative approaches and taking forward the idea of preventive missions. We would advise abundant caution. Unless help is requested by sovereign governments, imposing solutions from outside can easily be a recipe for instant disaster,” Bishnoi said.

He said the UNSC is seen as “neither representative, nor reflective of the aspirations and views of the larger membership. It is only when the composition of the Council is reformed and it is seen as being responsive to the needs and wishes of the general membership, will its actions have the moral force that is required for them to be accepted in good faith and acted upon,” he said.

The concept note also refers to the need to respect the prerogative of national authorities to resolve internal crises.

“We are convinced that the interventionist trend, using humanitarian concerns as a pretext, runs the danger of exacerbating conflict between and within countries. The Council should be cognizant of the fact that the developing world consists of nascent sovereignties and its actions should not be such as to revive the insecurities of a bygone era,” he said.

On the role of the Secretary General and of his ‘good offices function,’ Bishnoi said only a role that is acceptable to all parties can be tenable. “Anything else would be perceived as interference and would be counter-productive.”

Bishnoi, however, said that any open debate will not serve its purpose since decisions are taken by the Council before the views of non-members are heard.

He said it is equally important for the Council to establish a culture of introspection.

“It is not that the Council has not had the tools that are required for it to fulfill its responsibilities. The fact is that the Council has decided to use these tools selectively and on the occasion that it has suited the convenience of those who have taken the decision. These are political issues and it is not as if they can be resolved by any technical fixes,” he said.

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