The long-running Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) aimed at reforming the UN Security Council will resume on January 25 to build on the work done in its previous meetings, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said. Progress in the negotiations was held up as Group of Four, ‘India, Brazil, Germany and Japan’ have remained inflexible in their push for permanent seats in an expanded Council, while opponents insist that additional permanent members would not make the 15-member body more effective and efficient. On the other hand, the Italy and Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly opposes any additional permanent members, saying that such a move will not make the body more effective and will undermine the fundamental principle of democracy that is based on periodic elections.
Full-scale negotiations to reform the council began in February 2009 on several key areas. These include the question of veto, regional representation, membership, the working methods of the council, and its relationship with the General Assembly. “There’s no doubt that the membership of the Security Council as well as working methods must reflect the realities of the 21st century. The process is member states’ driven and I believe that dialogue among member states is the most effective way to bring the reform process forward,” said President Assembly.