The UN General Assembly (UNGA) must take the lead in setting the global agenda and its primacy must be respected, India has affirmed. “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 Counsellor at India’s UN Mission told a working group on revitalising the international body on Friday.
“The General Assembly must lead in setting the global agenda and restoring the centrality of the UN in formulating multilateral approaches to resolving transnational issues. “India has consistently held the view that the General Assembly can be revitalised only when its position as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN is respected in letter and in spirit,” he added.
Emphasising the primacy of the Assembly, he said its membership was universal and based on the principle of the equality of its members. “No other multilateral or inter-governmental body can match the credibility and legitimacy of the General Assembly,” Kumar asserted. Despite its narrow membership made up of 10 elected members and five permanent members, the Council in effect wields more powers than the 193-member Assembly under the UN Charter.
The Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. While the Assembly can discuss anything within the scope of the UN, the Charter bars it from taking up any matter once the Council has taken it up without its consent, Kumar noted.
“We believe that the remedial measures would only be half complete in the absence of serious introspection on what the General Assembly itself can do to mitigate the situation,” he added.