India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have called for an immediate start of the text-based negotiations to reform the UN Security Council, asserting that it was important to make the apex organ of the world body more reflective of the 21st century realities. Speaking on behalf of the G4 nations, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations Koro Bessho told the UN General Assembly that in order to achieve the objective of reforming the 15-member Security Council, enlargement in both the permanent and non-permanent categories was required. Early reform of the Security Council is needed in order to “make it more legitimate, effective and representative, reflecting the realities of the 21st century,” Bessho said yesterday.
There is broad support from member states for this means of expanding Security Council membership, he said, adding that enlargement should consider the contribution of members to the maintenance of international peace and security. It also needs to enhance regional representation in the Security Council by ensuring that the concerns and aspirations of unrepresented or underrepresented regions are adequately taken into consideration, said the Japanese ambassador. “The reform of the Security Council is long overdue. If we truly seek to preserve the credibility of the process, of this august assembly, and indeed of the entire United Nations, there is no more time to lose,” Bessho said. “Text-based negotiations should be initiated immediately. This is precisely the process we use to translate words into action here in the United Nations,” he said in his address to the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council.
The Japanese ambassador asked the General Assembly president to grant the co-chairs full support for initiating text-based negotiations without further delay. “This is not a mere request of any particular group of countries but a necessity to ensure the credibility of the process,” he said. “We need to launch text-based negotiations now, and indeed as early as possible within the current session, to allow sufficient time for meaningful progress for the remainder of the session,” he said. Representing the views of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, which among others includes Pakistan, Italian Ambassador to the UN Sebastiano Cardi reiterated the offer of “a compromise solution consisting of longer-term non-permanent members with possibility of an immediate re-election, coupled with a more equitable distribution of seats among regional groups”. The longer-term seats would fulfil the legitimate desire of “some member states to make a greater contribution” to the work of the Council, Cardi said, adding that this reform model would enhance regional representation. Addressing the General Assembly on behalf of African Group, Adikalie Foday Sumah, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, said that it was unacceptable for Africa to be the only continent not to be represented in the permanent members and at the same time, underrepresented in the Non-Permanent category of the Council.