UNGA president calls for ‘real discussion, not an empty exercise’ in stalled process to enlarge UNSC


UNITED NATIONS, Dec 21 (APP):Negotiations aimed at reshaping the size and membership of the UN Security Council that reflect contemporary realities will resume in later January, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak has said.
Responding to a question during his year-end press conference on Wednesday, he said that member states were impatiently waiting for an end to the deadlock in the process aimed at making the 15-member Council more effective and efficient.
Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.
Progress towards restructuring the Security Council remains blocked as India, Brazil, Germany and Japan -known as the Group of Four — push for permanent seats, while Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly oppose any additional permanent members.
As a compromise, UfC has proposed a new category of members — not permanent members — with longer duration and a possibility to get re-elected once in an effort to democratize the Council.
The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members that are elected in groups of five to two-year terms.
When his attention was drawn to the entrenched positions of nations that has so far blocked the reforms, Lajcak said: “What we want to now see is the debate, the dialogue whose aim would be to bring the positions of the countries or the groups of countries closer together. We are seeking convergence.”
He said that during the Assembly debate, “the expectations from the member states were clearly present there, high expectations and, I would say, impatience.
“We need to move this process forward, because there are high expectations from this process because it is the most visible reform process to the outside world.”
Lajcak has appointed two new co-chairs for the reform process formally known as the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN), Kaha Imnadze of Georgia and Lana Nusseibeh of the United Arab Emirates, and has convened a meeting of the Intergovernmental negotiations on January 29 and 30, 2018.
He said: “What I want to see, and what was my instruction to the co-facilitators, I want to see a real process, real discussion, not an empty exercise, a repetition of well known positions”. And I really believe it is in the interests of all the member states.
“There is a general understanding and recognition of the fact that the current composition of the Security Council does not reflect the realities of the 21st century,” he added..