UNITED NATIONS: Months after it successfully challenged the power of the UN Security Council by handsomely defeating a permanent member's candidate in an election to the International Court of Justice, India has urged countries to display political will to take concrete measures to reinforce the role and authority of the UN General Assembly.
"In our collective quest for a revitalised General Assembly, it is of critical importance that the member states display the political will to take concrete measures to reinforce the role and authority of the Assembly," Anjani Kumar, a senior Indian diplomat at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN said in his remarks at the Ad-hoc Working Group on Revitalisation of the UN General Assembly.
India's statement during the thematic debate on 'Role and Authority of General Assembly' comes in the backdrop of members of the UNGA rallying behind the country last year to defeat an incumbent British candidate for election to the International Court of Justice.
The revitalisation of the UN General Assembly has been assuming growing significance in recent years, Kumar said.
This is because it is widely perceived that the General Assembly has not fully lived up to its mandated role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN.
"There is also a growing perception that the General Assembly is increasingly involved with processes rather than demonstration of initiative and leadership in setting the global agenda," he added.
Noting that the primacy of the General Assembly flows from the universality of its membership and the principle of sovereign equality of all its members, he said no other multilateral or inter-governmental body can match its credibility and legitimacy.
"The success of the UN system rests, in large measure, on the effectiveness of the General Assembly in addressing issues and challenges of global importance," Kumar said adding that the role and authority of the General Assembly must also be viewed in the context of the Charter-mandated functions of various organs of the UN.
Article 10 of the UN Charter empowers the General Assembly to discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the UN Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12.
It can also make recommendations to UN members or to the Security Councillor to both on any such questions or matters, he added.