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UN commits to Security Council reform, G4 including India press on

United Nations: The UN General Assembly has committed itself to put “new life” into the stalled reform (read expansion) of the Security Council in its Declaration for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations on Monday.

The Declaration with a 12-point action plan, that was adopted unanimously, said: “We commit to instill new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council.”

To promote peace and prevent conflict, the Declaration said the UN must “better address” terrorism.

“Terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism are serious threats to international peace and security,” it said.

Several leaders in their speeches affirmed the need to reform the Security Council to make it more reflective of the current global reality, far removed from the world dominated by a few powers who had won the Second World War in 1945, reported IANS.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “A Council with a structure that leaves the fate of seven billion people at the mercy of five countries (that are permanent members with veto powers) is not fair, and it is not sustainable either. A Council architecture that is democratic, transparent, accountable, effective and based on an equitable representation has become a necessity – rather than a choice – for humanity.”

Recognising the primacy of the organisation born “out of the horrors of the Second World War” in world peace and security, the Declaration said: “There is no other global organisation with the legitimacy, convening power and normative impact of the United Nations. No other global organisation gives hope to so many people for a better world and can deliver the future we want.”

“The urgency for all countries to come together, to fulfil the promise of the nations united has rarely been greater,” it said.

 Meanwhile, China on Thursday said there were “enormous divisions” and a lack of consensus on taking forward the stalled reforms of the UNSC, a day after the G4 group – India, Brazil, Japan and Germany – called for an early push for text-based negotiations.

The foreign ministers of the four countries that are seeking UNSC reforms and permanent membership of the body met virtually on Wednesday, expressing their frustration at the repeated attempts to stall and derail the reforms process.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the meeting had “called for a decisive push” and was unanimous in backing “text-based negotiations in a fixed time frame.”

India begins a two-year term as one of the 10 non-permanent UNSC members in January, and has said it will continue pushing for reforms that have failed to materialize over many years.

The G4 group “expressed disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way and with increased urgency at this 75th anniversary of the UN,” a statement said, adding that “without substantive text based negotiations actually taking place in an intergovernmental setting” this process could not go forward.

Chinese analysts have long been dismissive of the G4, and have in the past indicated that China would not favor the inclusion of at least three of its members for differing reasons – India and Japan considering their historically difficult relations with China, and Germany because it is not a developing country.

On Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin suggested that China’s long-held stance that the reforms process cannot go ahead quickly is unlikely to change.

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