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France set to present UNSC reform

world Updated: Sep 26, 2010 23:43 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to unveil an “out-of-the-box” proposal for advancing reform of the UNSC during the summit meeting of the G-20 nations in South Korea next month, even as India seeks forward movement on the issue during its expected tenure on UNSC, from January 2011 to the end of 2012.

According to officials, who participated in talks on UNSC reform, the proposal is likely to be an “interim solution” to resolve the issue of the composition of the Council, with countries like India seeking a permanent seat on the body.

While the contours of the “interim solution” have yet to be spelt out, it is expected to give more weight to the role that countries like India will play. More importantly, such a proposal from a permanent member like France will provide additional momentum to the process of UNSC reform.

Expansion of the UNSC to include more permanent and non-permanent members is still being discussed at the UN through a process of text-based talks, but the process is unlikely to be completed before 2011.

One of the compromise solutions that has been advanced by the G-4 is that of expanding permanent membership but postponing power to wield the veto for the new members.

India is expected to be elected to the UNSC from the Asian region in October after a gap of 19 years. Indian officials hope to leverage their presence at the “high table” by coordinating with other nations.

India is already part of two important blocs that will play a crucial role in the Council over the next couple of years. The India, Brazil, South Africa or IBSA group and the BRIC or or Brazil, Russia, India and China group.

The IBSA group talked about co-ordinating their positions on various issues when the IBSA foreign ministers met on Saturday. India and Brazil are part of the G-4, while South Africa is a frontrunner for a permanent seat from Africa if the UNSC is expanded.