Inter-governmental negotiations meant to achieve UNSC reform, not endless debate: G4
United Nations, Feb 14 : The G4 nations of Brazil, Germany, Japan and India have asserted that the mandate of the United Nations’ Inter-Governmental Negotiations is to achieve the long-pending reforms of the UNSC and not endlessly debate it.
The Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) format has long outlived its sell-by date and must be made transparent to ensure progress on the reform discussions, they said.
India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.
The G4 nations support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the UNSC.
Speaking on behalf of the G4 nations, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin called on the UN member states to strive for the progress in IGN negotiations.
“We see the discussion in the IGN as intrinsically linked to the outcome to be decided in the General Assembly. These are a continuum. Progress here will inevitably determine the outcome we adopt in the General Assembly,” Akbaruddin said Thursday at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on the IGN on Security Council Reform.
“Lack of progress not only endangers the legitimacy and credibility of this mechanism but the General Assembly itself. We seek credible progress. However, if this eludes us once more, we are ready to review how we engage on this very important issue,” he said.
Referring to the adage ‘If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old’, Akbaruddin underscored that the “mandate of the IGN is to achieve reform, not to endlessly debate it”.
The G4 also underscored the need for the format of the IGN to replicate processes that are followed in other mechanisms of the General Assembly (GA) with considerable success.
“The current format of the IGN has long outlived its sell-by date. As is the case with other GA negotiation formats, the IGN must be transparent and traceable to enhance the possibility of building on successive discussions and avoiding mere repetition of statements,” the Indian envoy said.
He voiced hope that co-chairs of the IGN process Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the UN Lana Nusseibeh and Ambassador of Poland Joanna Wronecka will steer the UN membership in a manner that leads to the Security Council being fit for purpose, “in what is left of the 21st century”.
The G4 nations pointed out that there is a “rising sense of urgency and impatience” with a process that is increasingly seen as “impeding progress rather than enabling it,” underscoring the need to focus on specifics, rather than on general concepts.
The G4 countries said that the current session of the GA should result in a single, inclusive and holistic document as an outcome of the discussions, so that member states can engage in negotiations based on it from the start of the 75th session.
In this regard, Akbaruddin said that the G4 nations submit that a technical approach that builds on the past is adopted.
With the revised paper of June 2019 being the most recent outcome of discussions among the UN member states, Akbaruddin said an opportunity must be provided to every member to indicate what they want to be addressed as an issue listed for further consideration in this paper.
He noted that the vast majority of member states are in favour of expansion in both – permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the Security Council.
“Our approach is that every stakeholder’s proposal should be listed; none should be left behind,” he said, adding that the G4 nations are seeking equal opportunities for everybody to present their proposals for inclusion in a single document.
“Such a document will provide clarity to where we stand, what are the options on the table, and who is proposing them,” the G4 statement said.
Akbaruddin also highlighted that the first iteration of the single, inclusive and holistic document must be produced ahead of the next meeting in this cycle of the IGN to allow maximum time for discussions to refine it.