New York: Speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate on "Effective Multilateralism through the Defence of the Principles of UN Charter" held on Monday, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India at the UN, asked if 'effective multilateralism' could be practised by defending a charter that makes five nations more equal than others, and provides to each of those five the power to ignore the collective will of the remaining 188 member states.

Ambassador Kamboj said, "Even as we debate this issue and would like 'effective multilateralism' to prevail, we are collectively aware of the inadequacies of the multilateral system that has failed to respond to contemporary challenges, whether it be the Covid pandemic or the ongoing conflict in Ukraine," she said.

"Moreover, significant global challenges such as terrorism, radicalism, climate justice and climate action, disruptive non-state actors, debt and several geopolitical contestations continue to undermine global peace and security," she added.

She also asked if multilateralism could be practised effectively in the 21st century through a body that celebrates the principle "to the victor belong the spoils".

Raising a third question at the debate, India's permanent envoy to the UN asked, "Can we actually promote 'effective multilateralism' through defending a UN Charter where two of the permanent members have not been able to get even their names changed? Article 109 of the Charter never wanted it to be cast in stone for perpetuity, and that's why it had recommended a General Review Conference of the Charter to be held before the 10th UN General Assembly. 77 years later, we are nowhere closer to making that a reality."

She added that the UNSC has to widen its representation of this core institution to more developing countries for its effectiveness and credibility.

"If we continue to perpetuate the 1945 anachronistic mindset, we will continue to lose the faith our people have in the United Nations," she added.

"India was a founding signatory to the UN Charter on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco. Seventy-seven years on, when we see the world's largest democracy, along with entire continents of Africa and Latin America, being kept out of global decision-making, we rightly call for a major course correction she stated firmly regarding India's permanent place in the UNSC," she noted.

"This past September, the UNGA heard a similar call for reforms from more than 70 global leaders. As my External Affairs Minister said in this Council's Open Debate on 14 December 2022, and I quote, 'Our Common Agenda and the Summit of the Future will only deliver results, if they respond to the growing calls for reformed multilateralism. Reform is the need of the day. And I am confident that the Global South especially shares India's determination to persevere'", Kamboj added.

"Multilateral institutions rarely die. They simply fade into irrelevance. Once upon a time, there was a very long distance between the 'Model UN' role play in colleges and universities and the real world," Kamboj noted, asking if that distance was shrinking.