Krishna to arrive in UN; Security Council reform tops agenda

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Betwa Sharma

United Nations, Feb 10 (PTI) External Affairs MinisterS M Krishna will arrive here Thursday on a two-day visitduring which he is expected to meet leaders from other nationsand discuss the UN Security Council reforms.

This is Krishna''s first visit to the United Nationssince India became a non-permanent member on the SecurityCouncil last month after a gap of 19 years.

Krishna is set to meet foreign ministers of threeother Security Council aspirants � Brazil, Japan and Germanytomorrow. Following the meeting, the G4 countries are expectedto produce an outcome document on their discussions.

The four ministers will also meet General AssemblyPresident Joseph Deiss to discuss Security Council reforms.

Deiss has spoken out strongly in favor of reform. Lastmonth he said, "the situation for the moment is quite complexstill and I hope that during this year we will at least beable to bring the negotiations, real negotiations under way."

Krishna will also attend a high-level meeting tomorrowon the linkages between international security and developmentin the Security Council, hosted by Brazil, which holds thepresidency of the Council for February, and chaired byBrazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.

Security Council reform is also one of the subjectsthat Krishna will discuss in his first meeting later todaywith the members of the L69 group, which is a diverse group ofcountries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asiaand the Pacific that want to reform the Council.

The L69 Group, headed by Jamaica, supports India''sposition that the Council''s permanent and non-permanentcategories should both be expanded.

"It is only through such expansion which addresses thelack of representation among African, Asian and Latin Americancountries, that we can achieve a more representative,legitimate, credible and effective council," Jamaica''sAmbassador Raymond Wolfe told the General Assembly last year.

This position, however, was not reflected in thelatest five page document, which is a product of ongoing textbased negotiations that is being chaired by Zahir Tanin,Afghanistan''s envoy to the UN.

While welcoming the shorter text as a step forward,Indian envoy Hardeep Singh Puri said New Delhi was "unhappy"that its position of expansion in both categories was notstated "boldly" enough in the new text.

The Security Council reform process has been going onfor almost two decades. But basic questions are yet to beresolved, which include how many new seats should be created,who gets these seats and when should the veto power kick in.

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