The G4 nations - India, Brazil, Germany and Japan - have reaffirmed that it is “indispensable” to reform the UN Security Council through an expansion in the permanent and the non-permanent seats to enable the council to deal with the “ever-complex and evolving challenges” better while maintaining international peace and security.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of Brazil Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Motegi Toshimitsu met during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly here on Wednesday.
They underlined the urgency of reforming the Security Council in order to make it more legitimate, effective and representative by reflecting the reality of the contemporary world, including developing countries and major contributors, the G4 Ministerial Joint Press Statement said.
“The G4 Ministers reaffirmed that it is indispensable to reform the Security Council through an expansion of both categories, permanent and non-permanent seats, to enable the Security Council to better deal with the ever-complex and evolving challenges to the maintenance of international peace and security, and thereby to carry out its duties more effectively,” the statement said.
The G4 Ministers reiterated their support for each other’s candidatures as they aspire to be the new permanent members in a reformed Security Council, it added.
They expressed their strong determination to work towards launching text-based negotiations without further delay in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN), on the basis of a single document, with a view to its adoption in the General Assembly.
The delegations to the United Nations were instructed to support the efforts of the President of the 76th General Assembly Abdulla Shahid and the IGN chairs, and to identify ways to develop a single consolidated text as a basis for a draft resolution.
The Ministers also decided to upgrade dialogue with all interested Member States, including other reform-minded countries and groups, in order to seek concrete outcomes in a definite time frame.
In January this year, India took a seat at the Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term that will end in December 2022. India also served as the President of the Council in August.
The G4 nations traditionally meet on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session.
Following the meeting, Foreign Minister S, Jaishankar tweeted a G4 Foreign Ministers photo and said,
Called for concrete outcomes in a fixed timeframe. pic.twitter.com/FPmOiq7u54— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 22, 2021
The G4 Ministers, reviewing the work of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, welcomed that the Assembly reflected in its decision the commitment of all Heads of State and Government to “instill new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council”, as mentioned in the Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
The ministers thereby also welcomed the readiness of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide the necessary support, as expressed in his report “Our Common Agenda” this month.
In the report, Secretary-General Guterres had taken note of calls from the Member States for reforms of the three principal organs of the United Nations, in particular, their commitments to instil new life into the discussions on the reform of the Security Council and to continue the work to revitalise the General Assembly and to strengthen the ECOSOC(Economic and Social Council).
“With regard to any decisions by the Member States to adapt the intergovernmental organs to the needs and realities of today, I stand ready to provide the necessary support,” the UN chief had said.
He said that after decades of debate, the majority of UN Member States now acknowledge that the “Security Council could be made more representative of the twenty-first century, such as through enlargement, including better representation for Africa, along with more systematic arrangements for more voices at the table.”
The G4 Ministers expressed their strong support to the Common African Position (CAP) as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
The Consensus highlights Africa’s goal to be fully represented in all decision making organs of the UN particularly the Security Council.
It consists of the claim of two additional seats in the category of the non-permanent members and two seats in the category of permanent members with the same rights, privileges and obligations accorded to the current permanent members of UNSC, including the right to veto, according to the African Parliamentary Alliance for UN Reforms website.
At present, the UNSC comprises 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the UN General Assembly.
The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution.
The G4 Ministers welcomed that the Elements Paper prepared by the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) has evolved, with partial attributions of the positions and proposals of Member States.
Continuing with his bilateral engagements during the day, Jaishankar tweeted that he had a “useful exchange of assessments” with Maas on Afghanistan.
“Followed a productive G4 meeting,” he said.
He said that it is “always nice to meet” Toshimitsu. “Appreciated his insights on Indo-Pacific events. A good exchange of views on Afghanistan.”