UNITED NATIONS: The Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on US Security Council reform process will resume later this month, President of the General Assembly Volkan Bozkir has said, asserting that UNSC membership, as well as its working methods, must reflect realities of the 21st century.
India joined UNSC this month as a non-permanent member for a two-year term and the country has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the powerful 15-nation UN organ, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century.
"There's no doubt that the membership of the Security Council, as well as its working methods, must reflect the realities of the 21st century. This process is an intergovernmental one, and thereby member states-driven," Bozkir told a press briefing at the UN headquarters on Friday.
Responding to a question on whether he sees any signs of progress on the long-delayed Security Council reforms, Bozkir said the two co-chairs for the IGN process-Permanent Representative of Qatar and Permanent Representative of Poland - appointed by him will start the Inter-Governmental Negotiations for the 75th session on January 25 and 26.
"Then, the first meeting will take place," he said adding that he is looking forward to the first IGN meeting on January 25 and 26 which will "give some lights on what we will be able to do in the following months".
The IGN meeting to discuss the long-stalled UNSC reforms was postponed on May last until further notice as in-person meetings at the UN headquarters remained suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti has said that a handful of countries are using the IGN as a "smoke-screen" and stopping progress on reforming the Security Council, which has "impaired".
He has lamented that nothing has moved for more than a decade in the IGN except hearing passionate statements on the need for reform.
Criticising the absence of even a single negotiating text, Tirumurti has said that the IGN has become like a "platform for debate in a university rather than a serious result-oriented process in the United Nations consisting of sovereign member states".
India has also asserted that there is a need for a decisive movement this year in the UNSC reform process.
"Without decisive movement, I feel that those who support real reform and who wish to deliver on the commitment made by our leaders, will be forced to look beyond the IGN, maybe to this very Assembly, for results. If that happens, we must not hesitate in taking a relook at the IGN process itself," Tirumurti told the General Assembly last November.
Bozkir said Security Council reform is very important not only for member states but also to the United Nations as a whole.
"And of course it's a very complex challenge that is closely linked to one of the main pillars of our organisation, which is peace and security," he said.
The reform process is building on the meetings held during previous sessions, Bozkir said, adding that during his tenure so far as president of the General Assembly, he has had consultations with almost every group in the IGN process and has listened to their views.
"I believe that dialogue among member states is the most effective way to bring the reform process forward. But we're planning to have more meetings of the IGN," he said.
Bozkir said he first wants to see what happens on January 25-26 "so that we can decide on further steps".