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G4 nations call for text-based negotiations on UNSC reforms

New York, Sep 21 (IANS) Member states of the G4, including India, have reaffirmed the need for early reform in the UN Security Council (UNSC) while calling for text-based Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) in this regard.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with her counterparts Taro Kono of Japan, Aloysio Nunes Ferriera of Brazil, and Sigmar Gabriel of Germany met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session here on Wednesday and considered ways to accelerate reforms in the UNSC. All four countries are seeking permanent membership in a reformed UNSC.

“The G4 Ministers reaffirmed the need for an early reform of the Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, the improvement of working methods and the Council’s representatives as well as enhanced role of developing countries and major contributors to the United Nations in order to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative,” a joint press statement issued following the meeting said.

“Recognising that the number of of the United Nations member states has increased from 51 in 1945 to 193 today and that the current composition of the Council does not reflect the changed global realities, the Ministers stressed that the Council needs to reflect today’s world in order to be able to tackle today’s complex challenges,” it stated.

“The Ministers reiterated their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of a reformed Council, as well as their support for each other’s candidatures.”

Appreciating the initiatives of the Co-Chairs of the IGN of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2016, the four Ministers agreed that all aspects of comprehensive reform has been thoroughly discussed by the end of that session, the statement said.

They also expressed their conviction it was time to move to the next phase and initiate text-based negotiations during the ongoing 72nd Session of the UNGA, which also marks the 10th year of the IGN and the 25th year of consistent debate and consideration by the UNGA.

“The Ministers welcomed the commitment of Secretary General Antonio Guterres to launch reforms to render the United Nations fit for the 21st century and, in this context, recalled that an essential element of the overall efforts to reform the United Nations remains the reform of the Security Council,” the statement said.

The four Ministers also expressed their readiness to extend support to Miroslav Lajcak, President of the 72nd Session of the UNGA, to advance the IGN to the next stage.

According to the statement, they exchanged their assessment on their interaction and cooperation with like-minded countries and were encouraged by the fact that the overwhelming majority of the UN member states support the initiation of text-based negotiations.

“The Ministers agreed that they will accelerate dialogues between the G4 and other like-minded countries and groups in order to to gain further momentum toward such negotiations,” it stated.

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