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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Pakistan's 2-year term on UN Security Council ends

UNITED NATIONS -Pakistan on Wednesday vacated its seat on the UN Security Council, the world body's power centre, as its two-year term expired along with four other non-permanent members - Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco and Togo. The outgoing members were replaced by Jordan, Lithuania, Chile, Chad, and Nigeria who assumed their seats on New Year day as non-permanent members of the 15-nation council.

The new members, elected by the UN General Assembly in October, will join the five existing non-permanent members - Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rawanda who still have a year on their terms. The seats for the 10 non-permanent members are filled from regional groupings for two-year terms. Five are replaced every year. The remaining five seats belong to the veto-wielding permanent members, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Jordan not only became a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Council, but it also assumed its presidency for the month of January according to the system of alphabetical rotation.

Jordan was elected early December as a replacement for Saudi Arabia after Riyadh turned down the seat in protest at the council's failure to end the Syrian war and act on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other Middle East issues.

During its tenure on the Council, Pakistan made significant contribution towards efforts to forge consensus and bridge differences in the course of deliberations on key issues before the Council.

In September, Pakistan raised the issue of American drone strikes in the tribal region at the Security Council, calling the operations by remotely piloted aircraft a violation of international law.

Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan presided over the Council in January 2013, during which two important open debates were organized - one on counter terrorism and the other on UN peacekeeping operations, in which Pakistan is a leading troop contributor. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened both the debates, which were held at a high level.

After the day-long debate on counter terrorism in which over 50 delegates participated, the Council stressed upon a unanimously agreed presidential statement that terrorism could only be defeated by a “sustained and comprehensive” approach involving the participation and collaboration of all States and international and regional organizations.

At the conclusion of the peacekeeping debate, the Council adopted a resolution - the first of its kind in 10 years that recognized the importance of multidimensional peacekeeping and stressed that peacekeeping activities should be conducted in a manner that facilitated post-conflict peace building, helped prevent a relapse into conflict and assisted progress towards sustainable peace and development.


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