India presiding over high-level ministerial meeting for Security Council reforms

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India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar with Guterres at the Dec. 14, 2022 meeting at UN. Photo: Twitter @DrSJaishankar

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar presided over a high-level ministerial meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday Dec. 14, 2022, to push for reforming the body to take on the “multidimensional crises” staring at the world.

Preparing for the meeting, he met on Tuesday with General Assembly President Csaba Korosi and Japan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yamada Kenji.

After their meeting, both Korosi and Jaishankar tweeted that UN reforms figured in their talks.

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Japan is a member of G4, the group of countries that includes India, Brazil and Japan, which lobby together for Council reforms and support each other for permanent seats on an expanded Council.

India is using its prerogative as the president of the Council – in the last month of its two-year elected membership – to take the long-delayed and contentious issue right to its chamber.

A note from India’s Permanent Mission to the Council said, “The multidimensional crises facing the world today demand a representative multilateral architecture that is reflective of contemporary global realities and is well equipped to meet the emerging challenges”.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Csaba will brief the meeting on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism” with ministers or senior diplomats from Council members participating.

Before the Council meeting, Jaishankar will join Guterres and Csaba in unveiling a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at UN headquarters.

On Thursday, Jaishankar will preside over another signature event that will highlight another top issue for India – counter-terrorism.

India will seek at the meeting to “consensus amongst Council Members on the broad principles of a global counter-terror architecture and aim to further build upon the Delhi Declaration” adopted in October in New Delhi at a special meeting of the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee that India heads, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

As the country that has contributed the most number of peacekeepers to the UN, India has a commitment to their safety and Jaishankar will be setting up a multinational group to demand action against those attacking peacekeepers.

Jaishankar is to launch the Group of Friends for Accountability for Crimes Against Peacekeepers along with Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Morocco and Nepal as co-chairs.

India is promoting the “International Year of Millets, 2023” to propagate the use of the healthy foodgrain for nutritious diets.To put a spotlight on it, Jaishankar will host a millet-based luncheon for Guterres.

At the Council meeting on reforms, India will raise the question, “What are the steps that are required to ensure that the Security Council reflects the contemporary global realities, which would make it more effective in discharging its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security”, according to the Indian mission’s note.

The note pointed out that since the UN was formed 75 years ago with 55 members, the number has risen to 193, but the organization has not kept pace with the changing world and the last change in Council composition was in 1965, although without a change in the permanent membership.

Even though world leaders have repeatedly called for reforms since their millennial summit in 2005, there has been little progress and even a negotiating text to move the reform discussions forward has not been adopted, it said.

The discussions will also take up the need for reforms in other bodies of the UN and other international organizations.

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