"The Security Council is, undoubtedly, one of the most important institutions of global governance. If its legitimacy is in doubt, then so would be the legitimacy of United Nations. And, in fact, of the notion of global governance itself," Speaker of Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan said here on Wednesday.

She was speaking at the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments.

Addressing a session on 'Key challenges to world peace and democracy', Mahajan said UN Security Council owes its composition to the structure that was set up in 1945.

"Is that composition still representative of the international community? United Nations then had 51 members. The figure now is 193," she said, adding, United Nations of 1945 had three African members while today it has 54.

Mahajan further questioned how many permanent members of the Security Council were from Africa and what was being done to bring more legitimacy to the permanent membership of the Council.

"While improvement in working methods, or a code of conduct on use of the veto, are important, can they substitute for reform of the composition? Can improvement in working methods legitimize a structure that is not legitimate? To say that is anachronistic is only an understatement.

"We obviously do not want attention to be diverted away from the substance to what is peripheral," she said.

She recalled that world leaders had committed themselves to the early reform of the Security Council in 2010 on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of United Nations, questioning, "When would early be?"

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