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G4 ministers to push 'consolidated text' for adoption for UNSC reform

A small group of countries led by Italy and which includes Pakistan has blocked the adoption of a negotiating text which would be the bases of discussions and move the reform process.

Arul Louis Sep 24, 2022
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Ministers from the G4 group meeting in New York on Thursday, September 22, 2022, are from left, Carlos França from Brazil, Annalena Baerbock from Germany, S. Jaishankar from India and Yoshimasa Hayashi from Japan. (Photo Source: Jaishankar’s tweet)

Ministers of G4 nations, comprising India, Germany, Japan and Brazil, have announced a new strategy that could speed up the UN Security Council reform process by pushing for the adoption in the negotiating process of a consolidated text that would be the basis for a General Assembly resolution on moving the highest UN body to meet the new realities.

The G4 ministers said in a press statement after their meeting on Thursday said that they have instructed their diplomats at the UN to work with General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Korosi and the heads of the negotiation process “to arrive at a single consolidated text as a basis for a draft resolution for consideration by the UNGA”.

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Foreign Ministers Carlos Alberto Franco França of Brazil, Annalena Baerbock of Germany, and Yoshimasa Hayashi of Japan, whose countries jointly lobby for Council reforms and mutually supported each for permanent seats on an expanded Council, met on the sidelines of the high-level Assembly meeting.

They decried attempts to stall Security Council reform and said they would work with determination “determination to work towards commencing text-based negotiations without further delay” in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) as the reform process is known.

A small group of countries led by Italy and which includes Pakistan has blocked the adoption of a negotiating text which would be the bases of discussions and move the reform process.

Pakistan says it supports Security Council reform but does not want the addition of more permanent members, besides the present P5, as it will create "new centres of privilege". What is left unsaid is its fear that India, which has already massive support, including from the US, may become a permanent member which it sees as going against its national interest.  

By calling for “a single consolidated text” that would be the basis for a draft Assembly resolution for reform, the G4 ministers hope to speed up the process by forcing a negotiation on a resolution itself, rather than slowly plough through long-winded discussions to produce an outcome document and then go on to drafting a resolution.

Although several differences remain on what the final shape of the Council that is stuck in the basic post-World War II should be, there is wide support for some of the basic elements like expanding the permanent membership, making it possible to create a draft resolution that can be bargained upon. 

Assembly President Korosi said after taking office that he will ask the IGN leaders – whom he will be appointing – to start negotiations on "concrete text." 

"I'll do my best to forward this process", he said.

The ministers criticised the opaque functioning of the Assembly without formal record-keeping that traps it in repetitive cycles. 

They said that the last session of the Assembly showed “that the IGN is constrained by a lack of openness and transparency” and said that “in order to produce concrete outcomes, the IGN must be guided by the decision-making requirements and working methods laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and in the rules and procedures of the General Assembly”.

The ministers backed the African nations’ demands for two permanent seats on the Council. 

The 55 countries from Africa form the largest regional group at the UN but they are denied permanent membership in the Council where the continent is the area most represented on the agenda.

(SAM)

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