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G4 seeks urgent reforms in UNSC

High-ranking officials propose the inclusion of 10 more seats in the 15-member Council, six of them permanent, reports Madhur Singh.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2007 22:54 IST

High-ranking officials of the G4 – the group comprising India, Brazil, Germany and Japan seeking permanent membership of the UN Security Council – met in Brasilia on Thursday to assess recent developments regarding UNSC reform, a Ministry of External Affairs release stated.

The officials reaffirmed the need for urgent reform. Making a formal proposal for UNSC enlargement in July 2005, the G-4 proposed inclusion to 10 more seats in the 15-member Council, six of them permanent. These would include the G4 countries and two from Africa. South Africa and Nigeria are among the frontrunners. However, the G4 have withdrawn their earlier demand for a veto.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, during this visit to New Delhi last week, had stressed that the G4’s efforts for inclusion in the UNSC would continue.

At present, the Security Council reflects the global power structure of 1945, when many of today’s developing countries were under colonial rule. The global power realities have changed tremendously since then.

Many developing countries agree that the UNSC is highly undemocratic and unrepresentative. They allege that the veto-wielding permanent members (P-5 comprising the US, UK, France, Russia and China) block issues of concern to developing countries from the agenda.

The call for reform of the UNSC is part of the larger effort to reform the United Nations to make it more democratic and representative, as well as more effective.

Meeting in the Brazilian capital on Thursday, the officials from the G4 said their countries are willing to hold negotiations with those “genuinely interested in a meaningful Security Council reform”, and stressed that they would be flexible in order to reach a decision on the long-standing issue at the earliest.

So far, some 20 countries, including UNSC permanent member France, have backed the plan. The US has shown willingness to back inclusion of two more seats, one of them for Japan, but without veto.

The conclusions of the Brasilia meeting will be conveyed to the President of the General Assembly, the MEA release said.

First Published: Apr 20, 2007 22:26 IST