India incurable optimist, hopes for UNSC seat by 2015


modi-ungaIndia has expressed its apprehensions about the UN General Assembly’s decision to carry forward talks about the UN Security Council reforms to the next session. At the same time, India has voiced optimism that the key global security body will be expanded on the 70 the anniversary of the UN next year, with New Delhi as a permanent member.

“Next year 2015 is the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, so we would like to see in 2015 the United Nation Security Council gets extended and   India becomes the permanent member,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in New Delhi on September 8.

Swaraj also announced that that G-4 countries will be meeting on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly meeting in New York to brainstorm on expansion of the UN Security Council.

Calling the UNGA draft decision no different from the one adopted a year earlier, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji has asked for a “clear roadmap” on the issue in the forthcoming session of the UNGA.

un-asoke“We are incurable optimists. We believe that…the last obstacles to the negotiation text in the inter-governmental negotiations will be removed” and “we will have a clear roadmap to UNSC reforms” under the leadership of the General Assembly’s incoming President for the 69th session, Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, said Mr Mukerji in New York September 8.

In a similar decision from last year, the General Assembly decided that the issue of Security Council reform would carry forward to the forthcoming 69th UNGA session, which begins on September 16.

Mukerji added that while the outgoing UNGA President John Ashe had “promised to strive to reinvigorate, advance and conclude discussions” on the reform of the principal organs of the UN, he lamented that Ashe had presented to the UN member states a draft decision to push discussion to the next session. “We are surprised, even dismayed that there has been no reference to the non-paper in the rollover decision presented by you,” said Mukerji.

The G4 countries — India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan –-  have been pushing for reforms of the UN Security Council since 2005.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met  Brazilian and Japanese leaders in the past few weeks, and will address the UNGA on September 27.

During his recent visit to New Delhi, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reiterated Germany’s stance that “the Security Council no longer reflects today’s geopolitical realities.”

“We believe that 2015, 70 years after the founding of the UN and 10 years after the last reform could be the right time to move forward.”