India for comprehensive UNSC reform

Seeking comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, India has said it wanted expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats of the world body's top organ, insisting that its stance reflects that of the overwhelming majority of the international community.

"India's clear position is that comprehensive reform of the Security Council implies expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership," Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, India's ambassador to the UN, said at a closed-door meeting here.

"In this regard, India's stance reflects that of the overwhelming majority of the international community," he said.

India along with Japan, Germany and Brazil, collectively called the G-4, is pushing for a permanent seat in the Council.

Discussions on the issue this year were kicked off with the Chairperson of the Security Council reform process Zahir Tanin, who is also Afghanistan's permanent representative to the UN, asking member states to submit proposals that can be worked into a negotiating text, which will be the basis for future parleys.

In 2009, member states of the UN abandoned the 'Open Ended Working Group' (OEWG) that had dragged on for 15 years without yielding any substantive results.

In March last year, the old talks were replaced by the new "inter-governmental negotiations."

Opponents of the expansion of seats in UNSC fear that more members will further cripple the Council, which is often divided and fails to reach effective decisions on peace and security matters.

These countries also argue that assigning more powerful nations permanent positions in the Security Council will not break the power dynamics of the past.

The Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group of about 40 nations, led by Pakistan and Italy, is trying to block attempts by G-4 to expand the number of permanent seats in the Council.

The G-4 favours addition of another six permanent seats and four non-permanent ones in the UNSC whose current strength in 15.

It wants two each of the new permanent members to be from Asia and Africa, and one each from Latin America and Europe.

Most countries in the UN General Assembly also favour expansion in both categories.

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