India has made out a renewed case for comprehensive reforms to the UN Security Council by expanding membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. It has also mooted a role for the United Nations in reforming the international financial and trading systems.
Addressing the 61st session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee pointedly referred to the Secretary General's report highlighting the need for urgent UN reforms to ensure its relevance and credibility.
He also dwelt at length on the problem of terrorism and urged speedy adoption of the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism to provide the requisite legal framework for a counter-terrorism strategy.
"A strong response to terrorism requires broad-based international cooperation, denying the space available to terrorists and increasing the capability of states to address terrorist threats," he said adding: "We must collectively and unanimously reject the notion that any cause can justify terrorism."
On UN reforms, Mukherjee said the Security Council will have to be more representative and effective if it is to be able to satisfactorily perform the role mandated to it by the UN Charter.
He expressed the view that the council has at the same time "needlessly diverted its attention to issues and areas that go beyond its mandate". Inclusion of items on its agenda that have nothing to do with peace and security will only serve as an encroachment on the roles mandated to other UN bodies.
Turning to reforms in international financial and trading systems, he said India was for building an international architecture that reflected the realities of the 21st century and effectively supported national efforts to eradicate poverty.
In this context, he spoke of the need for the World Bank to remain steadfast in its mission for a world free of poverty, with its strategy "embedded in the historical development-centric approach".
On the International Monetary Fund's approach to quota reform, which has been opposed by India, Mukherjee urged the UN for immediate steps by the IMF to initiate the second stage of quota reform. This process should involve a basic revision of the quota formula and subsequent increase of quotas for all under-represented countries in a time-bound manner, he said.