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India's push for UN Security Council reforms suffers setback

India along with the G4 nations said it is "unfortunate" that momentum could not build up over the issue in the current session

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

Nawaz Sharif, UN
United Nations General Assembly, at UN Headquarters. Photo: PTI

India's push to achieve urgent reforms of the this year and secure a permanent seat has suffered a setback when the General Assembly decided to roll over discussions on reforming the world body's top organ to its next session.

India along with the G4 nations said it is "unfortunate" that momentum could not build up over the issue in the current session.

Brazil's envoy to the UN Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, speaking on behalf of the G4 groups of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan, lamented that the UN had not been able to push forward and achieve success in implementing the long-pending reform of the 15-nation powerful Council.

"There was huge expectation that time had arrived for us to move into concrete negotiations. It is unfortunate that the 70th anniversary of the UN was not able to build up momentum with a view to reaching an agreement on this important item," Patriota said in the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

India has been pushing for completing reforms of the in the 70th session of the General Assembly, which will end in September this year.

Taking consensus action on Wednesday, the General Assembly adopted an oral decision paving the way for Member States to continue discussions on reforming the Security Council during its 71st session, which will commence in September.

The Assembly reaffirmed its central role on the issue of Security Council reform.

Speaking for the G4, the Brazilian envoy described the Security Council reform as one of the most pressing issues still pending on the General Assembly's agenda.

It was crucial that Member States engage in real, text-based negotiations if the process was to have any meaning, he said.

While the elements of convergence on two of the five key issues pertaining to the reform process could be considered useful to the extent that they identified some already-known trends on the positions and proposals of Member States, other important patterns on the remaining three clusters were regrettably not reflected as leading towards convergence.

He added that it was obvious that a growing majority of Member States supported the Council's expansion in both membership categories, but that had not been registered in writing.

Member States had also argued that the under- representation of developing countries should be addressed, yet that suggestion had also not been captured.

"The longer we postpone a decision on the reform of the Security Council, the greater discredit brought upon the United Nations in its core function of promoting peace and security," he said adding, "We can no longer go around in circles on Security Council reform."

First Published: Thu, July 28 2016. 18:10 IST