NAM’s concern over encroachment of UN Security Council on General Assembly’s function

Non-Aligned Movement has consistently stressed the need for UN Member States to fully respect the functions and powers of each principal organ of the UN, in particular the General Assembly, and to maintain the balance among these organs within their respective Charter-based functions and powers. NAM has stressed that the Security Council must fully observe all Charter provisions as well as all General Assembly resolutions, which clarify its relationship with the latter organ and other principal organs. In this context, they affirmed that Article 24 of the Charter does not necessarily provide the Security Council with the competence to address issues which fall within the functions and powers of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC, including in the areas of norm-setting, legislation, administrative and budgetary matters, and establishing definitions, bearing in mind that the Assembly is primarily tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification, in accordance with Article13 (1) of the UN Charter.
Non-Aligned Movement states have scrutinized and evaluated activities of the Security Council stressing that the Council should report and be accountable to the General Assembly. In the Tehran summit 2012, the final declaration issued by the Movement expressed its deep concerns over the continuing encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council through addressing issues which traditionally fall within the competence of the latter organs, and the attempts to enter areas of norm-setting, administrative and budgetary matters and establishing definitions which fall within the purview of the Assembly. NAM further expressed concern over the constant attempts by the Security Council to use thematic issues under its consideration to expand its mandate into areas which do not pose a threat to international peace and security, and further urged the Council to confine to its mandate in accordance with the Charter provisions.
In November 2015, Gholam Hossein Dehqani, ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nation, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, addressed the UN General Assembly on ‘Agenda Item 30: Annual Report of the Security Council’, underscoring the need for UN Member States to fully respect the functions and powers of each principal organ of the UN, in particular the General Assembly, and that the Security Council must fully observe all Charter provisions as well as all General Assembly resolutions. Dehqani put the principled position of the NAM in perspective through his remark that “ while Member States have conferred on the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security pursuant to Article 24 (1) of the UN Charter and in carrying out its duties under this responsibility, the Council acts on their behalf … NAM stresses that the Council should report and be accountable to the General Assembly in accordance with Article 24 (3) of the Charter”.
NAM has also expressed concerns over the attempts by the Security Council to use thematic issues to expand its mandate into areas which do not pose a threat to international peace and security, and further urged the Council to confine to its mandate in accordance with the Charter provisions. All organs and bodies of the United Nations should only carry out those tasks which are established in their respective mandates.Dehqani on behalf of the NAM also called on the Security Council to submit a more explanatory, comprehensive and analytical annual report to the General Assembly, assessing the work of the Council, including such cases in which the Council has failed to act, and the views expressed by its members during the consideration of the agenda items under its consideration. Further, NAM called on the Security Council to elaborate the circumstances under which it adopts different outcomes whether resolutions, presidential statements, press statements or elements to the press.
Before Dehqani, many prominent NAM Member states have raised this issue in various UN forums. As a prominent example, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji remarked in an open debate in February 2015 that Council’s decisions on issues not directly linked with maintaining international peace and security cannot encroach upon the jurisdiction of the General Assembly, where 193 nations are equally represented. NAM supports the ongoing efforts to revitalize the General Assembly, which is the most representative organ of the United Nations and believes that the General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda, and restore its primacy that has over the years been encroached upon by other organs.

Leave a Reply