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G4 leaders seek time-bound U.N. reforms

After summit hosted by Modi, they pledge to work together

In a show of solidarity and as a message to the world community, leaders of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan on Saturday called for urgent reforms of the United Nations “in a fixed time frame”, expressing disappointment that no substantial progress had been made in the past decade on the issue.

The Group of Four, or G4, Summit, taking place after a decade, was hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the morning, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travelled to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where Mr. Modi is staying. Japan, Germany, India and Brazil are the third, fourth, seventh and eighth biggest economies, respectively. In terms of population, India is the second biggest, Brazil fifth, Japan 10th and Germany 16th biggest in the world.

“The leaders emphasised that the G4 countries are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded and reformed [Security] Council and supported one another’s candidature. They pledged to work together with all member-states and to accelerate outreach towards achieving an early and meaningful reform of the Security Council,” said a joint statement issued by the leaders after the meeting.

“… the leaders noted with concern that no substantial progress had been made since the 2005 World Summit where all the Heads of State and Government had unanimously supported the ‘early reform’ of the Security Council as an essential element of the overall effort to reform the United Nations.”

The G4 leaders appreciated the fact that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on UN reforms has come out with a text that will form the basis for further negotiations. The U.S. also reiterated last week its support for India’s claim for a permanent UNSC seat, but it has been calling for consensus before reforms can move ahead. Pakistan is opposed to India, while China has been ambiguous in its approach though not openly opposed to reforms.

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