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Security Council undermining General Assembly: India

world Updated: Apr 27, 2010 20:57 IST

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India has said that the UN Security Council was persistently "encroaching" and "undermining" the work of the General Assembly as it asked for it's revitalisation as the representative organ of the world body.

"A perception that the prerogatives and authority of the General Assembly have been undermined, in particular by the Security Council has gained ground," said Hardeep Singh Puri, India's ambassador to the UN.

"First, the Council is increasingly encroaching on issues that traditionally fall within the Assembly’s competence, such as the process of standard-setting and codification of international law and by holding of thematic debates on issues that frequently fall within the purview of the General Assembly or the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)," he added.

Puri stressed that the General Assembly needed to play a centre stage role at the UN in setting the global agenda and resolving transnational issues.

"India has consistently held the view that the General Assembly can be revitalised only when its position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN is respected in letter and in spirit," he said.

Puri urged for a change in both the procedural and substantive aspects of the General Assembly that represents all 192 member-states.

The Security Council has 15 members, which includes the 10 non-permanent members that do not hold the veto power.

India, this year, is running for the position as a non-permanent member and is also at the same time calling for the reform of the Security Council in terms of expansion of the permanent and non-permanent member-states.

The Indian envoy urged a deeper and more meaningful interaction between the Council and the Assembly, and underlined the need for political will to take concrete measures to reinforce the role and authority of the Assembly.

"In our view, the primacy of the Assembly flows from the universality of its membership as well as the diligent application of the principle of sovereign equality of all its members," Puri said.

"Ownership therefore, of the Assembly's decisions and activities, is reflected in the degree of participation by member-states.

So, if there is a foreboding sense of apathy towards the work done in the Assembly, the member-states are also partly to blame,' he added.