National / Politics

G-4 nations call for text-based talks on U.N. reform within 12 months

Kyodo

Japan, Brazil, Germany and India called on Wednesday for the launch, within the next 12 months, of text-based negotiations among the 193 U.N. members on reforming the Security Council.

The foreign ministers of the four countries, collectively known as the Group of Four, reiterated their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of a reformed council, as well as their support for each other’s candidatures, according to a joint press statement issued after a meeting in New York.

Recognizing that all aspects of Security Council reform “had been thoroughly discussed” during intergovernmental negotiations since 2009, the G-4 “expressed their conviction that it was time to move to the next phase and initiate text-based negotiations during the 72nd session of the General Assembly,” which runs through September next year, the statement said.

“The ministers agreed that they will accelerate dialogues between the G-4 and other like-minded countries and groups, in order to gain further momentum toward such negotiations,” it said.

The ministers were encouraged by the fact that the “overwhelming majority of member states,” or more than 160 countries, support the initiation of text-based negotiations with a view to more quickly reforming the 15-member council, according to the statement.

The majority of the member states are in favor of expanding the number both of permanent and nonpermanent members of the council, it said.

At present, the Security Council, the top decision-making body of the United Nations, has five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The meeting brought together Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.