Vastavam web: India has said that the UN Security Council needs to be reformed without delay or else it will be left to nurse its self-inflicted wounds of “diminishing relevance” in a world awash with challenges like armed conflicts, terrorism, refugee crises and climate change. Participating in a General Assembly session on ‘Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organisation’ on Monday, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said the 15-nation council is all about primacy but with little purpose.
“Updating the current architecture of international institutions, which are so out of sync with the modern world, is imperative if new global challenges are to be met. Nowhere is this need for common purpose required more than in reforming the Security Council,” Akbaruddin said here. “We need to undertake a new journey towards a reformed and reinvigorated multilateral system. Whether we do so or not will determine the destiny of this organisation. It is a decision that all of us who see the benefits of multilateralism will need to take, if we desire to stem the tide against it,” he said.
Akbaruddin pointed out that during the recently concluded high-level week of the UN General Assembly, nations heard about pressing global challenges including armed conflicts, terrorism, large movements of peoples fleeing conflicts that are increasingly straining societies, climate change events becoming more regular, environmental challenges becoming more urgent and multiple ailments hamstringing efforts to improve global health.
Emphasising that the world is awash with challenges that the current institutional arrangements are ill equipped to handle, Akbaruddin said new technologies were increasingly changing the nature and dynamics of international conflict. Cyberwarfare, unmanned aerial drones, and combat robots are just three instances of technological change shaping the future of warfare and raising profound ethical and normative questions, he said. “Similarly, there is no global approach in dealing with basic issues regarding frontier technologies,” he said, questioning that while the internet is becoming ubiquitous, what rights do individuals have to privacy, how should tensions between individual liberties and collective security be mitigated.
“This is but one of the many new areas where international mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration are either weak or incomplete or non-existent,” he said. As in the case of frontier technologies, so in other areas such as climatic shifts, debt sustainability, counter terrorism, illicit financial flows and tackling pandemics, nations should be considering scenarios and preparing plans to prevent upheavals and taking stronger steps to mitigate risks. “Many of these problems require continuous attention rather than one-shot solutions. To counter terrorism, for example, we need to establish a reliable and efficient set of controls for monitoring borders and financial flows. Such efforts will work only if appropriate standards are widely adopted and cooperation in implementing them becomes routine,” he said.
“We cannot focus merely on exterminating bugs while allowing life-threatening wild beasts to roam free. We cannot spend our time in clearing the weeds, oblivious to the growth of the jungle all around us.