On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a strong call for the UN Security Council to undergo reform "in line with the world of today" and on the basis of equity, warning that the 15-nation body risks contributing to the issue rather than finding a solution because it still reflects the political and economic conditions of 1945.
"Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are mounting. And we seem incapable of coming together to respond," Guterres told world leaders in his address to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly here.
Addressing the world from the iconic green podium in the UNGA hall, Guterres stated that the world faces a number of existential dangers, "from the climate crisis to disruptive technologies," and that we are living through a turbulent period of transformation. He stressed that although robust and effective multilateral institutions are needed in a multipolar world, global governance is still trapped in the past.
"Look no further than the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods system. They reflect the political and economic realities of 1945 when many countries in this Assembly Hall were still under colonial domination. The world has changed. Our institutions have not," he said.
He claimed that it is high time to update multilateral institutions to reflect the economic and political realities of the twenty-first century, which are rooted in equality, solidarity, and universality, and are based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
"That means reforming the Security Council in line with the world of today," he said. "It means redesigning the international financial architecture so that it becomes truly universal and serves as a global safety net for developing countries in trouble," Guterres said.
"I have no illusions. Reforms are a question of power. I know there are many competing interests and agendas. But the alternative to reform is not the status quo. The alternative to reform is further fragmentation. It's reform or rupture," he said.
The UN chief underscored the importance of reform at a time when global divides are deepening. "Divides among economic and military powers. Divides between North and South, East and West," he said. Guterres warned that we are inching ever closer to a Great Fracture in economic and financial systems and trade relations; one that threatens a single, open internet; with diverging strategies on technology and artificial intelligence; and potentially clashing security frameworks.
He stressed that a "global compromise" is necessary since the world's problems require statesmanship, not gamesmanship.
“Divides are widening within countries. Democracy is under threat. Authoritarianism is on the march. Inequalities are growing. And hate speech is on the rise,” Guterres said.
Guterres said that in the face of all the challenges that are confronting the world, compromise has become a “dirty word”.
“Our world needs statesmanship, not gamesmanship and gridlock. As I told the G20, it is time for a global compromise. Politics is compromise. Diplomacy is compromise. Effective leadership is compromise,” said the UN chief.
India has stated that at the yearly high-level 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Delhi's top goals will be counterterrorism, Security Council reforms, and peacekeeping, as well as its focus on topics important to the Global South as the G20 President.
The most populous nation in the world, India, has led years-long attempts to restructure the UN Security Council, arguing that it is entitled to a seat as a permanent member and that the body's existing structure does not adequately reflect geopolitical realities of the 21st century.
India actively contributes to the discussion of Security Council reform in the UN reform sphere, focusing on the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership while pushing towards permanent membership.
"We also focus on revitalizing the Non-Aligned Movement, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador," Ruchira Kamboj said in a video statement on the eve of the opening of the General Debate, outlining India's priorities for the high-level session.
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