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Leaders named for Security Council reform negotiations

By Arul Louis
United Nations, Nov 21 (IANS) Calling for a more pragmatic approach to reforming the Security Council, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has announced the appointment of Permanent Representatives Lana Zaki Nusseibeh of the UAE and Christian Braun of Luxembourg to lead the negotiations.

Nusseibeh was a co-facilitator of the inter-governmental negotiations (IGN), as the reform process is known, in the last General Assembly Session along with Kaha Imnadze of Georgia, who is being replaced by Braun.

Making the announcement, Espinosa told the General Assembly on Tuesday that Council reforms was “possibly one of the topics that requires our best diplomatic skills”.

UN members were certain about the need to reform the Security Council and 80 world leaders underscored it during the high-level Assembly session in September, she added.

“However, despite our efforts, so far, we have not been able to reach agreements about the reform of this body that is essential to the United Nations and to the multilateral system,” she said.

“To obtain tangible results in this process we need, indubitably, political willingness,” she added.

As in previous years, the General Assembly barely edged forward in the negotiations during the last session and rolled over the reform process to the current session and Espinosa noted that the issue has been under discussion for more than two decades.

She said that while she is fully committed to the Security Council reform, its prospects were in the hands of the member states.

“I trust that the member states will continue to channel their best efforts to find suitable answers for these challenges,” she said.

This is the second time that a Luxembourg diplomat is leading the IGN. Sylvie Lucas chaired it during 2016-17 when she was the permanent representative.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

–IANS
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