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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan said on Monday that reform of the 15-member UN Security Council should only be based on democratic principles underscoring the objective of expansion should be to respond to concerns and “aspirations of all, not just a few”.

Speaking in inter-government negotiations Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi exposed the poor logic of India and its allies saying that the G4 formula of adding more permanent seats reflected the self-serving national ambition of a few at the expense of the world body’s wider membership.

“To propose allocation of 4-6 seats permanently to that many countries, while handing over only 4-5 seats to the rest of the membership is not only poor mathematics but also poor logic, and even poorer rationale for a just and meaningful reform,” she declared.

Opposing the proposal that sought expansion in permanent membership, Pakistan’s envoy argued that this ran contrary to principles that all member states agree to – to make the council “more representative, democratic, accountable, transparent and effective”.

Ms Lodhi said that the principle of sovereign equality of states demands equal opportunity for all states to seek membership of the council. Only additional electable seats, on the basis of periodic elections and fixed rotation, would allow equal, fair and increased opportunity for all states to aspire for Security Council’s membership.

She argued that the concept of “representation” would be hollow without accountability to those who were being represented.

Making the case for adding more non-permanent, electable seats, Ms Lodhi said that this “would also allow larger regions, such as Asia and Africa, to accommodate cross-regional and political groups, including the OIC, the Arab League, Asean, and SIDS”.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2016