By Arul Louis
United Nations, Sep 26 (IANS) India and its G4 partners pushing for Security Council expansion have decried the lack of openness and transparency in the reform negotiations.
The “time has come to leave behind debates based solely on general statements, without substantive negotiation” in pursuing reform, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his counterparts, Ernesto Araujo of Brazil, Heiko Maas of Germany, and Motegi Toshimitsu of Japan, said in a statement after their meeting on Wednesday.
The four nations are known as G4 and besides working together for Security Council reform, they support each other for permanent seats on an expanded body.
They said that the last General Assembly Session session has again shown that the inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) process “lacks the necessary openness and transparency and is constrained by flawed working methods”.
The African nations that do not have a permanent seat on the Security Council have taken a common stand on reform, demanding two permanent seats.
The Security Council that oversees peacekeeping operations, most of which are on the continent, does not have any permanent members from there.
The G4 ministers requested General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria to update the working of the IGN and start text-based negotiations.
A majority of the UN members support early reform of the Security Council, but the biggest barrier to the negotiations has been the opposition from a small group of countries led by Italy and which includes Pakistan.
They have been using the procedural ploy of preventing the IGN from adopting a negotiating text that will serve as the basis for discussions.
The G4 said that the text-based negotiations to be launched should be launched soon “based on a single comprehensive text reflecting positions and proposals by member states that have been amply outlined over the last ten years”.
The permanent seats of the Security Council are frozen in time based on the post-World War II situation of the 1940s when the UN was founded.
The ministers said that they hoped that as the UN prepares to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding next year, the General Assembly “will pave the way for finally moving on the call for an ‘early reform’ of the Security Council, that was made in the 2005 World Summit”.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)