G4 pushes for Security Council reform at the earliest

Posted By: Pti
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Betwa Sharma

United Nations, Feb 12 (PTI) India, Brazil, Germanyand Japan -- the G4 nations -- today said that they wouldpress for "urgent" reforms of the UN Security Council thisyear.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and foreignministers from three other nations met at the UN headquartershere to step up their campaign even though there is no broadacceptance within the 192 UN members on how to reform theworld body''s supreme peace and security body.

"Pressure is mounting here at the United Nations forthe UN membership to finally face the challenge of addressingSecurity Council reform in a realistic manner, adjusting it tothe current geo-political realities," said Brazil''s ForeignMinister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota after the meeting.

"The ministers," a joint statement released after themeeting said, "agreed to press ahead with all necessary stepsto achieve at the earliest an expansion in both the permanentand non-permanent membership categories of the SecurityCouncil."

"Towards this goal, the G4 countries reaffirmed theirreadiness to reach out to other countries and to work in closecooperation with them in a spirit of flexibility," it added.

Krishna''s two-day visit is his first trip to theUnited Nations since India became a non-permanent member onthe Security Council in 2011 after a gap of 19 years.

Security Council reform is on the top of his agenda.

Speaking to the media after this second meeting in thepast six months, Krishna said the four countries decided to"press ahead for Security Council reform on an urgent basis."

"Security Council needs to face the realities of the21st century," Germany''s foreign minister Guido Westerwellesaid, adding that these four countries were not acting innational interest.

The G4 ministers also underlined the need for Africato have a permanent seat on the Council.

The Security Council reform process has been going onfor almost two decades. But several 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.

Negotiations have shifted from the so called "OpenEnded Working Group" of the nineties to a text basednegotiations, which are headed by Ambassador Zahir Tanin ofAfghanistan.

The latest text is a five page document, which liststhe various options of expanding the Council.

Except Japan, the three other G4 countries arecurrently on the Council serving as non-permanent members andthey are hoping to set the stage for becoming permanentmembers before their terms expire.

The four ministers also met General Assembly PresidentJoseph Deiss to discuss Security Council reform.

Deiss has spoken out strongly in favor of reform. PTIBS

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