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Japan’s U.N. ambassador says overhaul of Security Council is ‘long overdue’

Kyodo

If the United Nations is to be seen as a truly credible institution, it is necessary to change the structure of the outdated Security Council, Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.

“The reform of the Security Council is long overdue,” said Koro Bessho.

Together with Brazil, India and Germany, Japan is one of the countries collectively known as the Group of Four that aspire to become permanent seat holders on a restructured council that they hope to realize.

“If we truly seek to preserve the credibility of the process, of this august assembly, and indeed the entire United Nations, there is no more time to lose,” he said at the first session to discuss increasing the council’s membership under a new president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak.

“We need to launch text-based negotiations now, and indeed as early as possible within the current session” to the end of next September, Bessho said.

Despite the general agreement among U.N. member states that the current structure of the Security Council is outdated, there has been no agreement on how to realize the structural changes of the powerful body that is charged with maintaining international peace and security.

The Group of Four, for example, believes that it is necessary to enlarge the council by adding more permanent and nonpermanent seats.

Uniting for Consensus, a grouping that counts countries such as Italy, Pakistan and South Korea among its members, has been pushing only for increasing the number of nonpermanent members, although it has proposed extending their term beyond the current two years.

For his part, Lajcak recently appointed two co-chairs, Georgia’s ambassador, Kaha Imnadze, and the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, to help take the process forward.

He stressed the need for making “meaningful progress” based on taking action and promoting dialogue.