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G4 pushes for UNSC reform at the earliest

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan -- the G4 nations said that they would press for "urgent" reforms of the UN Security Council this year.



United Nations: India, Brazil, Germany and Japan -- the G4 nations – on Saturday said that they would press for "urgent" reforms of the UN Security Council this year.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and foreign
ministers from three other nations met at the UN headquarters
here to step up their campaign even though there is no broad
acceptance within the 192 UN members on how to reform the
world body`s supreme peace and security body.

"Pressure is mounting here at the United Nations for
the UN membership to finally face the challenge of addressing
Security Council reform in a realistic manner, adjusting it to
the current geo-political realities," said Brazil`s Foreign
Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota after the meeting.

"The ministers," a joint statement released after the
meeting said, "agreed to press ahead with all necessary steps
to achieve at the earliest an expansion in both the permanent
and non-permanent membership categories of the Security
Council."

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

Krishna`s two-day visit is his first trip to the
United Nations since India became a non-permanent member on
the 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 the
past 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 the
21st century," Germany`s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle
said, adding that these four countries were not acting in
national interest.

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

The Security Council reform process has been going on
for almost two decades. But several questions are yet to be
resolved, 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 "Open
Ended Working Group" of the nineties to a text based
negotiations, which are headed by Ambassador Zahir Tanin of
Afghanistan.

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

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

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

Deiss has spoken out strongly in favor of reform.

PTI

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