Tijjani Muhammad-Bande vows to hasten the long-delayed reform process to ensure that the powerful UN organ is more democratic and efficient
NIGERIA’S Ambassador to the UN Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, elected as the next President of the General Assembly, said he will try and hasten the long-delayed reform process of the Security Council to ensure that the powerful UN organ is more democratic and efficient. The long-pending reform of the powerful 15-nation UN organ has made little progress after the Inter-Governmental Negotiatins (IGN) a decade ago.
The negotiations process for UNSC reforms is headed for a roll-over to the next UNGA session that starts in September without making much headway this year. India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member. Muhammad-Bande, who will succeed incumbent Maria Fernanda Espinosa, was elected by acclamation on Tuesday as President of the 74th session of the General Assembly, beginning in September.
Congratulating Muhammad-Bande on his election, India’s UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted, “A friend of India is elected as next Prez of @UN General Assembly. Congratulations from all of team @IndiaUNNewYork to Prof Tijjani Muhammad Bande of Nigeria on his election by acclamation.” Talking to reporters following his election, he said it is “untenable” to have no improvement in the reform process of the Security Council, which needs to be made more democratic and efficient. Last week, India had strongly criticised the co-chairs of the IGN on Security Council reform for following an “exclusionary approach,” saying it cannot “sanctify as normal” their “opaque methodologies” and “obfuscation of references” in moving the long-stalled reform process forward. India’s envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin had said that given by how the process has gone forward this year, India “cannot agree” that “Member States are driving the IGN process forward together in accordance with the usual practice and procedures of the General Assembly.”
Muhammad Bande, a former University professor, noted that the IGN on UNSC reforms have not moved as fast as Member States had wanted it to but it is clear that no delegation thinks it is fair to continue without a reform of the 15-nation Council. “Negotiations are continuing and they will continue. We will try to hasten those negotiations in the spirit of fairness and in the spirit that an organisation 73 years later cannot continue to talk the same language that was spoken 50-70 years ago,” he said.