New York: The Group of Four (G4) foreign ministers on Thursday expressed concern at the continued lack of meaningful progress in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council (SC) reform and renewed their determination to work towards commencing text-based negotiations without further delay in the IGN.
On September 22, the Foreign Ministers of the G4 countries, Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, Foreign Minister of Brazil, Annalena Baerbock, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, and Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, met in the margins of the opening of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, to exchange views on reform of the UN Security Council.
In a joint press statement after the meeting, the G4 Ministers assessed that conflicts around the globe as well as increasingly complex and interconnected global challenges have brought to the forefront the urgency of reforming the United Nations and updating its main decision-making bodies.
They agreed that the inability of the Security Council to effectively address these challenges vividly demonstrates the urgent need for UN Security Council reform in order to better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities, and to enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.
"Reviewing the work of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the G4 Ministers expressed concern at the continued lack of meaningful progress in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform," the statement said.
The G4 Ministers agreed that this Session had made it apparent yet again, that the IGN is constrained by a lack of openness and transparency. They agreed that in order to produce concrete outcomes, the IGN must be guided by the decision-making requirements and working methods laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and in the rules and procedures of the General Assembly.
The Ministers expressed disappointment at concerted attempts to stall this process, and renewed their commitment to addressing the issue in a decisive manner and with increased urgency in the 77th Session of the UNGA.
The G4 Ministers welcomed the clear recommendation of the President of the 76th General Assembly to "gradually move the process towards text based negotiations", and expressed hope that this guidance would be followed by all delegations in the 77th General Assembly Session.
"The G4 Ministers reiterated that expansion of the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership is essential to make the body more representative, legitimate and effective," the joint statement read.
The Ministers agreed on the need for enhanced role and presence of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to enhance the capacity of the Council to respond effectively to the complex and evolving challenges the world faces today on questions of international peace and security.
The G4 Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for the Common African Position (CAP) and emphasized that Africa needs to be represented in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council, in line with the CAP as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
"The Ministers renewed their determination to work towards commencing text-based negotiations without further delay in the IGN. The Ministers instructed, to this end, their delegations to the United Nations to work with the President of the 77th General Assembly and the Chair(s) of the IGN, to arrive at a single consolidated text as a basis for a draft resolution for consideration by the UNGA," the joint statement read.
Recalling the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, wherein all HOS/Gs had unanimously called for "early reforms of the Security Council, the Ministers expressed their concern at the slow pace of the IGN process and in this regard decided to intensify dialogue with all pro-reform Member States, including other countries and Groups, to aim for achieving concrete outcomes in a fixed time-frame.
The G4 Ministers reiterated their support for each other's candidatures as aspiring new permanent members in a reformed Security Council.
Recalling the UN 75th Anniversary Declaration of the UN, wherein all Member States "committed to instiling new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council", the Ministers welcomed Germany's initiative to host a G4 DG's meeting early next year in order to arrive at a roadmap for collectively pushing the process of the UNSC reforms decisively forward.