UNSC reform efforts need to be intensified: G4

United Nations, Sep 22 (IANS) Efforts need to be intensified for Security Council reforms, Ministers from India, Brazil, Germany and Japan said in a statement on Wednesday after reviewing the status of process.

The G4 ministers welcomed what they saw as “expressions of flexibility” by several countries during the negotiating sessions that finally made some progress, but said that “substantial progress was still limited and that efforts need to be intensified to build further momentum and to arrive at real text-based negotiations.”

The reform process that has been languishing for over two decades, received a boost when the General Assembly finally approved in 2014 the adoption of negotiating text so that substantive discussion could be held.

The Inter-governmental Negotiations (IGN), as the process is known, began in earnest during the current sessison of the Assembly but lost momentum.

The G4 countries jointly lobby for expanding the Council and mutually support each other for permanent seats on an expanded body.

The meeting was convened by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and was attended by M.J.Akbar, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

The ministers “expressed their support for equitable regional representation, underscoring the imperative for Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-permanent membership as well as adequate and continuing representation of small and medium sized Member States, including the Small Island Developing States, in a reformed Security Council.”

At the General Assembly on Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke of the urgency in getting the reforms process moving.

“If we do not carry out the reform Security Council now it will easily be put off for a a decade or two,” he said. “Will we stand in the position of of harming the values of the UN? Or will we wish for a strengthening of the Security council?”

On Tuesday, Brazil’s President Michel Temer told the Assembly, “For decades Brazil has been warning that it is vital to make the structures of global governance more representative, for many of them have become aged and disconnected from reality.”

South African President Jacob Zuma made the case for reforms, asking if the “Council is still fit for its purpose?”

The Council does not have any permanent members from Africa and Zuma said, “One billion people cannot continue to be denied a voice in this manner.”

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

–IANS

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