Iranian Envoy Calls for Reforming UN Security Council

A truly reformed UN Security Council can greatly contribute to multilateralism, Iran’s UN diplomat said
Iranian Envoy Calls for Reforming UN Security Council Iranian Envoy Calls for Reforming UN Security Council

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations said the UN Security Council is falling short of legitimacy and credibility, calling for reforms in the council.
Addressing a Monday session of the UN General Assembly, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said the UNSC is not keeping pace with the significant changes of our time and its actions often have not conformed to the UN Charter. 
“It is not truly representative, transparent, accountable and rules-based,” he said, according to the full text of his speech reported by IRNA.  
According to Takht-Ravanchi, it has also been inactive and ineffective in many cases and acted beyond its legal power in others, while it had been seriously exploited by certain permanent members. 
The diplomat described a reform in the UNSC as both critical and urgent because “a truly reformed council can greatly contribute to multilateralism”.
He criticized the domination of a certain regional or geopolitical group over the council as an injustice that must be addressed to provide equal opportunities for all states to become a council member. 
“While the group of Western European and other states is overrepresented in the council, the other regional groups are poorly represented in terms of number and enjoy fewer rights and privileges in terms of permanent membership,” he said. 
Takht-Ravanchi noted that to shape a reformed council, measures must be taken to ensure that decisions are not based on the national interests of members but on the common interests of all UN members.
He also said the reformed council must be prevented from considering situations that do not constitute a threat to international peace and security, or issues that are related to the internal matters of states. 
“At the same time, it is essential to reform the council’s working methods to ensure its transparency and accountability, as well as its strict adherence to the charter,” he said. 
The envoy censured the council’s frequent resort to Chapter VII functions that involve action with respect to threats to peace, breaches of peace and acts of aggression.
Takht-Ravanchi said such functions, including sanctions, must be applied “only as a measure of last resort”, if necessary, and after all means of peaceful settlement of disputes have been exhausted and their short- and long-term effects have been thoroughly taken into consideration to avoid unintended consequences, particularly for civilians and for the supply of humanitarian assistance.
“Sanctions are a blunt instrument, the use of which raises fundamental ethical questions as to whether sufferings inflicted on vulnerable groups are legitimate means of exerting pressure on the targeted country,” he said. 
Takht-Ravanchi said transforming the council into a “truly rule-based and accountable body” must remain a top priority, while the issue of the veto must remain one of the main elements of deliberations.

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