India’s bid for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council has received a strong support from many UN member states, including the UK and France, who emphasised that the the world body’s top organ must reflect the emergence of new global powers. More than 50 speakers shared their suggestions, perspectives and concerns over reform of the 15-nation UNSC during a General Assembly session here last week.
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“Many favoured bolstering representation for such emerging powers as Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. While some spotlighted the progress made in recent years through the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform process, others voiced deep frustration that more had not yet been achieved,” a summary of the November 7 meeting posted on the UN website said. Among the large number of nations supporting a permanent seat for India and other emerging powers like Brazil and Germany were two veto-wielding permanent members of the Council, the United Kingdom and France.
UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said at the session that Britain believes in a modest expansion in the permanent and non-permanent categories is the approach that the UN member states should collectively pursue. The increase in membership should be such that it balances representation with effectiveness. Rycroft reiterated his country’s support for permanent seats for Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, alongside permanent African representation.
Referring to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last week, her first bilateral trip outside Europe since taking office, Rycroft said she discussed “that very issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “Our support is steadfast, and I look forward to working through all available avenues to reach the more representative and more effective Council that we seek,” he said.
France’s Deputy Permanent Representative Alexis Lamek said his country wished to see the Council reflect the emergence of new world powers, for which it supported the candidacies of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan and the increased representation of African countries in both the permanent and non-permanent membership. The five permanent members should also refrain from using the veto in cases of mass atrocities, a commitment that France had already made, he said.
German ambassador to the UN Harald Braun, speaking on behalf of the G4 Group of Brazil, India, Japan and Germany, said Council reform was an urgent matter, saying the Council must be rendered fit-for-purpose in order to face the current global challenges of peace and security. He added that all regions must be adequately represented to ensure legitimacy and effectiveness. During the session, India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin, in a stinging criticism of the Security Council, had said that the 15-nation body is “stuck in its own time warp and politics.”
He had also lamented the “never-ending carousel of discussions” on UNSC reforms saying “it is time to break the impasse” to urgently reform the UN body that is “unresponsive” to the current global situation.