NEW DELHI: India is gearing up for a fight after UN General Assembly president Sam Kutesa announced late on Thursday night that a plenary meeting on September 14 would decide if a circulated document on Security Council reforms would be the basis for the negotiations at the UNGA’s upcoming 70th session.
In his letter dated September 10, GA president Kutesa appended a single page ‘draft decision’ on the “Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters”.
“I will convene a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on 14 September 2015 at 10.00 am to take action on the draft decision in the General Assembly Hall,” he wrote in his letter to all permanent representative of the members states in New York.
The operative part of the draft decision states that it will continue with the work of the inter-governmental negotiations in the 69th session, which ends on September 15, into the 70th session.
Every year, this is a regular decision taken by consensus which allows for work to be ‘carried forward’, instead of starting from square one at the start of the new GA session. This time, things are not so routine. For the first time ever, the Inter-governmental Negotiations (IGN), chaired by Jamaican PR Courtenay Rattray, produced a detailed document which laid out the positions of various countries and blocs on how to reform the UNSC by expanding or modifying the powers and number of permanent and non-permanent members.
In his July 31 letter, Kutesa said, “Given this text’s adherence to the General Assembly Decision 621557, it represents a sound basis upon which member states can engage in text-based negotiations during the next phase of IGN”
The ‘draft decision’ included in Kutesa’s latest missive seeks to “build on” the informal meetings held during the 69th session and the “positions and proposals made by the member states, reflected in the text and its annexe circulated by the president of the General Assembly in his letter dated 31 July, 2015.”
With the US, China, Russia, Arab group and United for Consensus (UFC) countries not interested in taking forward text-based negotiations, India is expecting that there could be some fireworks on September 14.