By Arul Louis
United Nations– India and its three allies in the quest for Security Council reform have called for a determined push for the adoption of a text for conducting the negotiations and to set a time-frame for the changes.
The foreign ministers of the G4 group “expressed their strong determination to work towards launching text-based negotiations without further delay in the IGN (Intergovernmental Negotiations), on the basis of a single document, with a view to its adoption in the General Assembly,” according to their joint statement issued after a meeting on Wednesday.
They also “decided to intensify dialogue with all interested Member States, including other reform-minded countries and groups, in order to seek concrete outcomes in a definite time-frame,” the statement said.
The reform process known as the Intergovernmental Negotiaitons (IGN) has been crippled by its failure to adopt a negotiating text on which to base the discussions and proceed.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Ministers Carlos Alberto Franco Franca of Brazil, Heiko Maas of Germany and Motegi Toshimitsu of Japan met on the sidelines of the high-level meeting of the Assembly to evaluate the progress of the negotiations for reforms and map out future strategy.
The four countries work together for reforming the Security Council and support each other for permanent seats on a reformed body.
A small group of countries known as United for Consensus (UfC) has blocked the IGN from adopting a negotiating text so the reform process can proceed. The UfC is led by Italy and includes Pakistan.
The Security Council last underwent changes in 1965 and since then the membership of the UN has increased from 117 to 193 with many of the new members coming from Africa, where the UN has most peacekeeping operations.
The four ministers “expressed their strong support to the Common African Position (CAP) as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration” of the African Union.
The documents call for expanding the Council to give African nations two permanent seats.
The ministers said that it was essential “to reform the Security Council through an expansion of both categories, permanent and non-permanent seats, to enable the Security Council to better deal with the ever-complex and evolving challenges to the maintenance of international peace and security, and thereby to carry out its duties more effectively.”
The permanent membership of the Council is stuck at five — giving the leaders of the winning side in World War II a grip on its agenda — often leading to its immobilisation because of their veto powers. (IANS)