India and its three partners — Brazil, Germany and Japan — pushing for permanent seats for themselves in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have decided to provide greater political ballast to their efforts.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing 67th United Nations General Assembly session, Foreign Ministers of the four countries came out with a joint statement expressing their determination to inject greater political momentum into the reform process which could include a high-level meeting on Security Council reform. The last major political push came about five years back when a meeting of world leaders agreed that UNSC’s composition must be reformed.

Banded under the G-4 grouping, these countries are pushing for the inclusion of more countries in the UNSC on the basis of two principal criteria: the contributions made by countries to maintaining international peace and security; and increased representation of developing countries in both permanent and non-permanent categories, “in order to better reflect today’s geopolitical realities”. India feels it qualifies for the UNSC on both counts.

The Ministers discussed the progress on UNSC reform achieved — including the discussions held during the eighth round of the intergovernmental negotiations. On an earlier occasion, India had termed the end of five rounds of exchanges during eighth round as offering a “faint hope” for UNSC reforms.

The usual trajectory at the U.N. is for intergovernmental negotiations to move to text-based negotiations. In this context, the Ministers noted the assessment made by the Chairman of the intergovernmental negotiations and called for the drafting of a concise working document as the basis for further negotiations.

The Ministers welcomed the decision by the General Assembly to immediately continue intergovernmental negotiations in the informal plenary of the 67th session and underlined the need to achieve a concrete outcome by its end.

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