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Indian and its G4 partners call for urgent UNSC reforms

By Suman Guha Mozumder
September 27, 2013 09:02 IST
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The G-4 foreign ministers’ grouping, that includes India, on Thursday called for urgent reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, an issue that India has emphasised for the past several years.

The ministers underscored that almost 70 years after the creation of the United Nations, reform of the Security Council is long overdue.

They agreed that difficulties of the Security Council in dealing with international challenges, including current ones, have further highlighted the need for UN Security Council reform in order to better reflect geopolitical realities of the 21st century and make the Council more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus to further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.

The G-4 includes Brazil, India, Germany and Japan. The foreign ministers of these countries, except Germany, met on the sidelines of the 68th session of the UNGA to exchange their views for reform of the world body.

The ministers -- Guido Westerwelle, federal minister for foreign affairs of Germany; Salman Khurshid, minister of external affairs of India; Fumio Kishida , minister for foreign affairs of Japan and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, minister of external relations of Brazil.

In a joint statement the G-4 noted that almost 10 years ago, in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, international leaders committed themselves to an early reform of the Security Council. The ministers stressed the need to intensify efforts to translate, at the latest by 2015, the existing agreement into concrete outcomes.

Recalling previous G4 joint statements, the ministers reiterated their common vision of a reformed Security Council, taking into consideration the contributions made by countries to the maintenance of international peace and security and other purposes of the organisation as well as the need for increased representation of developing countries in both categories, in order to better reflect today’s geopolitical realities.

“The G4 countries reiterate their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as their support for each other’s candidatures,” the statement said.

They also reaffirmed their view of the importance of developing countries, in particular Africa, to be represented in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of an enlarged Council.

In this context, the ministers emphasised the importance to enhance dialogue and outreach with African countries on Security Council reform and commended the initiative of the government of Japan in having convened the first Japan-Africa Summit Meeting on U.N. Security Council Reform in June.

In addition, the ministers noted with appreciation the directive of CARICOM Heads of State and Government in February 2013 calling for 'greater urgency in achieving lasting Security Council Reform' and the initiative of CARICOM to reinvigorate the intergovernmental negotiation process.

The ministers also discussed the outcome of the ninth round of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform. They emphasised the important role the chairman of the intergovernmental negotiations, Ambassador Zahir Tanin, has played in the negotiations. The ministers reiterated that, “given the overwhelming support by member states for an expansion of the Security Council in both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent, this should be a key parameter in the negotiation process among member states”.

They called for the drafting of a concise working document as the basis for further negotiations, in line with the recommendations of the chairman.

The General Assembly, they said, should immediately continue the process of intergovernmental negotiations in the informal plenary of the 68th Session, building on the progress achieved and the recommendations made by the chairman.

Indian diplomats said that regarding the process in the UNGA for reforms of the UN Security Council, the next round of inter-governmental negotiations has been “inscribed on the agenda of the 68th session of the UNGA thanks to the pro-active diplomacy by India” along with other interested countries.

According to indicators, this round will begin sometime in the middle of October 2013, diplomatic sources said.

Image: The United Nations Security Council

Photograph: Reuters

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