International

G4 seeks concrete, text-based, time bound reform of UN Security Council

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar participates virtually in the G4 Foreign Ministers Meeting, held on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.  

Foreign Ministers from the Group of 4 — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — a group that is seeking permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC), met virtually on Wednesday to further their objective. The four countries stressed delivering concrete outcomes, in writing and within a time frame.

“Participated in #G4 Foreign Ministers Meeting that called for a decisive push for UNSC reforms during #UN75. Unanimous call for text-based negotiations in a fixed time frame. Reformed Multilateralism guides India’s approach to the United Nations,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted.

His counterparts at the G4 meeting were Motegi Toshimitsu (Japan), Niels Annen, (Minister of State representing German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas) and Ernesto Araújo (Brazil).

The Ministers reaffirmed their common resolve to “finally take decisive steps towards the early and comprehensive reform of the Security Council that was envisaged by Heads of State and Government in the 2005 World Summit,” as per a joint press statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The G4 will work with “other reform-minded countries and groups” to start text-based negotiations (TBN) without delay and seek “concrete outcomes” during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which has just begun and lasts until next September.

“G4 Ministers reiterated support for each other’s membership to the UNSC “given the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security”, the statement said.

India, which, in January, will commence a two-year non-permanent term on the UNSC, has long sought a permanent seat at the Council and is a proponent of other UNSC reforms — such as increasing the number of permanent (currently five) and non-permanent (currently 10) seats and ensuring greater representation for Africa.

“There is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the UN to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative. Africa needs to be represented in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council to correct the historical injustice against this continent with regard to its under-representation in the Security Council,” the G4 countries said.

“G4 Ministers expressed disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way and with increased urgency at this 75th anniversary of the UN,” the statement said.

The Ministers expressed concern, as per their joint statement, that after two sessions in February and March, inter-governmental negotiations on USNC reform were adjourned due to COVID-19, when meetings and deliberations could have progressed virtually and in writing, they said.

“This progress should also have included a reflection of the Common African Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. The recent session demonstrated yet again that the IGN lacks the necessary openness and transparency and is constrained by flawed working methods,” the statement said.

India is a proponent of text-based negotiations at the UN. Those more normally resistant to UNSC reform — including China – are hesitant to have TBN for inter-governmental negotiations on the grounds that the matter is too sensitive for text.

“G4 Ministers are convinced that time has come to leave behind debates based solely on general statements, without substantive text based negotiations actually taking place in an intergovernmental setting,” the G4 said, warning that without reform the UNSC would become obsolete.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 9:52:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/g4-seeks-concrete-text-based-time-bound-reform-of-un-security-council/article32680212.ece

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