On November 17, 2023, France assured support to India and three other nations of the G4 Grouping, namely Brazil, Germany, and Japan, for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and asserted its long-standing stance on the reform of the Security Council. India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, the members of the G4, also support each other’s bids for permanent membership in the UNSC.
Inclusion of Third-World
Nicholas de Riviere, the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said that the reform of the Security Council is necessary for its authority and representativeness. He also suggested that the UNSC council should be enlarged and need to have 25 permanent members, including new permanent and non-permanent members.
“We would like to see a stronger presence of African countries, including among the permanent members,” the French ambassador to the United Nations said, reflecting a sense of bilateral convergence between New Delhi and Paris to prioritise the inclusion of the African Nations to ensure equitable representation at the multi-lateral fora.
Later, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, noted that India’s presidency at the G20, Africa, secured a permanent seat at the table. She said this serves as a compelling action for reforms at the UNSC.
Absence of Global South (UNSC)
A day before India hosted the second edition of the Voice of the Global South Summit in virtual mode, the country at the UNSC said that it shares its collective angst with the countries of the Global South on issues of core concern to the South, “we have no voice at the high table.
The Global South also refers to the Third World nations (underdeveloped and developing economies) primarily located in Asia, Africa, and Latin America (South America), and they generally do not have an equitable representation by the United Nations and its key bodies. Ruchira Kamboj made these formal comments while addressing the question of equitable representations on the increase in the membership of the UNSC and other matters related to the Security Council.
On Inter-Governmental Negotiations
Kamboj called out the nature of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN), an informal mechanism at the United Nations to address the question of reforms in the UNSC, slamming the transparency in the process put in place in 2008.
Since 2008, the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGNs) occurred in the informal plenary session of the UN General Assembly. These informal negotiations are meant to address the question of equitable representations and increase the membership of the UNSC. Due to their informal nature, the IGN on the UNSC does not have any draft text on the table to negotiate.
“There are no records of previous meetings of the IGN with the United Nations. There is no deadline set for the negotiations to conclude. Even the two co-chairs of the negotiations are appointed by the President of the UNGA from the same side of the issues, the elected non-permanent members, Ambassador Asoke Mukherjee, India’s Former Representative to the United Nations, told a media agency.
India is a staunch advocate of the formalisation of the IGN for the UN Reforms. New Delhi calls for a clear deadline to complete the negotiations towards the reforms, and if there is no consensus on the outcome of the negotiations, then a recorded two-thirds of the majority vote in the UNGA can be done as provided for in the UN Charter, Ambassador Mukherjee added.
Fifteen years after their inception, our dialogue remains largely confined to exchanging statements and speaking at, rather than with, each other. There is no negotiating text, no time frame, And no defined end goal. We turn up each year, make statements and go back to the drawing board,” Kamboj said on November 17, 2023.
The discourse related to the reforms in the United Nations Security Council is picking up the pace ahead of the UN Summit of the Future scheduled for 22 and 23 September 2024.
Described by the United Nations as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to mend eroded trust between the countries, the summit is aimed to forge a new global consensus on what our future should look like and what be done to secure it.