India, Japan, Brazil, Germany push for early UNSC reform
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 19:22
  
New York: India, Japan, Brazil and Germany -- the aspirants for permanent representation in the UN Security Council – on Saturday pledged support to each others' candidature while agreeing to push ahead for an early expansion of the powerful body.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, foreign ministers of the G4 nations jointly pressed for an early movement on the issue of reforms, which they believe is essential to reflect the realities of the present day world.

"The Ministers reiterated the need for urgent reform of the Security Council, which would include expansion of both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent," a statement released after the meeting said.

Indian ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, said that some substantial movement in these efforts is expected soon, indicating that the reform process could begin as early as in 12 months.

The meeting, also attended by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, decided to push ahead with the Security Council reform and seek results at the earliest. "They all want to make sure this happens at the earliest," Puri said.

"The Ministers noted with satisfaction the overwhelming support among member states for expansion of both categories of membership in the Security Council, including developing and developed countries," the statement said.

Puri noted that this meeting between the foreign ministers indicated that the reform agenda would now be discussed between governments, and not just by the countries' diplomats at the UN.

"While reiterating their support for each other's candidatures as aspiring new permanent members, they reconfirmed their view of the importance of Africa to be represented in permanent membership, in an enlarged Council," the statement said.

At the same time, however, Puri pointed out that not all the countries were on the same page when it came to what shape this reform should take.

"There are nuances... But there is complete unanimity in terms of objective," he said.

Meanwhile, India is gearing up to join the Security Council as a non-permanent member after a gap of 19 years and diplomats here are hoping that reform comes in the next two years while India is already on the Council.

Puri told PTI that such a development would put India on a "firmer and long-term" footing.

Besides Krishna, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Brazilian Celso Amorim and German Guido Westerwelle, attended the meeting.

However, no clear picture has yet emerged as to what a new Council would look like.

While the United Kingdom and France have given the green signal for change, the US has been more guarded.

The US, for instance, favours Japan in the Council but has not yet come out openly in India's backing.

Earlier this year, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, William Burns recognised New Delhi as a major global player but stopped short of endorsing its bid on the Council.

At the same time there is resistance from the big powers that do not want change.

Underlining that the Security Council would hold no legitimacy in its current state, Puri asserted that reform was not something that had to be "given" but "taken".

"Just like freedom from colonial forces was not given to us, we fought for it," he said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 19:22


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