UN Council to hold open session to consider new challenges

 The Security Council will hold an open ministerial level session to consider the UN`s new challenges as it prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding, China`s Ambassador Liu Jieyi told reporters here.

United Nation: The Security Council will hold an open ministerial level session to consider the UN`s new challenges as it prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding, China`s Ambassador Liu Jieyi told reporters here.

Liu said Tuesday the Feb 23 meeting presided over by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi would be an opportunity to take stock of the working of the UN and to look at "how to address the new challenges we face, new challenges on the horizon".

UN`s 70th anniversary celebrations in September are seen as a milestone when changes can be brought about to the working and structure of the organisation that has grown from 51 members in 1945 to 193 now.

China, which assumed the rotating presidency of the council for the month of February, "will work together with the other council members to inject greater efficiency in the work of the Council," Liu said.

Meanwhile in Beijing, a joint communique issued Monday after a meeting of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Wang also reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including the council, to make it more representative and efficient to global challenges.

India has stressed those reasons to make its case for a permanent seat on an enlarged council as a part of UN reform. Of the five permanent members of the Council, only China has not come out in support of India joining the Council as a permanent member.

But the joint communique had an oblique, but significant sentence on New Delhi`s quest: "Foreign ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations."

Russia is a strong supporter of India`s permanent membership and Beijing by joining Moscow in endorsing New Delhi`s international role and its "aspirations" may be signalling it is becoming open to India`s eventual ascent to a permanent membership.

At the UN, Liu skirted a reporter`s question whether the council`s reform would be considered at the meeting. He said: "The Security Council reform is not what is intended for this open debate."

However, he left the door open for the matter to be raised, saying that members can raise any topic they wanted.

India, which has been strenuously campaigning for the expansion of the council, is very likely to bring it up as it has on every recent occasion when the working of the body or the efficient functioning of the UN was discussed.