In a bid to get the UN reform process moving, India and other G4 nations have said they were open to innovative ideas and willing to not exercise veto as permanent members of a reformed Security Council until a decision on it has been taken. In a joint statement, delivered by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin at an inter-governmental negotiations meeting yesterday, the G4 nations of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan emphasised that an overwhelming majority of the UN member states supports the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership in a reformed Security Council. On the issue of the veto, Akbaruddin said the question of veto has been addressed by many from differing perspectives but the G4 approach is that the problem of veto is not one of quantity (of extending it immediately to new permanent members) but of quality — of introducing restrictions. “Our position is imbued with this spirit. While the new permanent members would as a principle have the same responsibilities and obligations as (the) current permanent members, they shall not exercise the veto until a decision on the matter has been taken during a review,” the G4 statement said. The bloc warned that the issue of veto was important but member states should not allow it to have a “veto over the process of Council reform itself.”
Akbaruddin, on behalf of the G4, said the grouping was open to “innovative” and differing ideas compiled in a composite text to achieve UN reform. He asserted that the mere expansion in the category of non-permanent Security Council members will not address the “malaise” afflicting the UN body. The statement points out that a negotiating text is a basic requirement for work at the UN. “While we are aware of no other way to proceed but this, we are open to innovative ideas to rework the UN system,” the statement said. The G4 nations said it unfortunate that they have not heard any innovative ideas but a few countries bringing old rejected models for consideration of the member states yet again. “We are, as a matter of respect, willing to consider them and have them tabled along with our proposals in a composite text,” the statement said, adding that for the nations’ and UN’s credibility to be sustained, it is time for “honest engagement and exchange on the basis of a text”.
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On the issue of the veto, the G4 said its approach is that the problem of veto is not one of quantity but of quality – of introducing restrictions. “While the new permanent members would as a principle have the same responsibilities and obligations as current permanent members, they shall not exercise the veto until a decision on the matter has been taken during a review,” it said. The grouping warned that the issue of veto is important
but member states should not allow it to have a “veto over the process of Council reform itself.” It suggested that new permanent members can be
democratically elected through an appropriate initial election process and subjected to mandatory and detailed review process after a specific time-period so as to ensure accountability. Some member states have “conflated and confused” regular elections to the Council with accountability.
“Ensuring a perpetual campaign mode is not the best form of accountability,” the grouping said.