Security Council reform process co-chairs schedule negotiation meeting in February

United Nations:  The co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform, who were recently in India for consultations, have announced a schedule of five meetings starting with the first on February 1 and 2 to move the long-stalled process forward.

In a letter to all the member countries forwarded by General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak, the co-chairs asked for feedback and specific proposals on reforms with a view to having a frank dialogue.

Permanent Representatives Kaha Imnadze of Georgia and Lana Zaki Nusseibeh of the United Arab Emirates, who were appointed co-chairs of the IGN by Lajcak, visited India earlier this week to consult with Indian leaders about the reform process.

They met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State MJ Akbar and Ruchi Ghanshyam, Secretary for West in the ministry. Afterwards Imnadze tweeted that it was a "constructive trip" with discussions on Council reforms and broader multilateral issues.

In their letter to member nations, Imnadze and Nusseibh invited them "to engage in a frank dialogue on the assessment of the intergovernmental negotiations, and to offer feedback and specific proposals on how to move forward" during the current Assembly session.

India is seeking a permanent seat on the Council through the reform process.

The negotiations for reforms have been stalled for over a decade mainly because of opposition from a group countries known as United for Consensus, which is led by Italy and includes Pakistan.

The IGN has so far been unable to even adopt a negotiating text to base the discussions on reform.

Lajcak, who is trying to breathe new life into the negotiations told reporters last month, "We need to move this process forward, because there are high expectations from this process" as it is the most visible reform process to the outside world.

"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," he said. "We are seeking convergence"

Source: IANS