The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Dennis Francis, underscored the imperative need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during a media briefing on Wednesday. President Francis, who is on a five-day visit to India, expressed concern that the current composition of the UNSC does not accurately reflect the contemporary geopolitical reality, leading to its diminished ability to make critical decisions for global peace and security.
In a joint press interaction with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the UNGA President highlighted the challenges faced by the UNSC in recent years. “The Security Council has progressively been unable to take decisions in recent years to strengthen global peace and security,” he stated, as quoted by news agency PTI.
The issue of UNSC reform prominently featured in his discussions with Minister Jaishankar.
India, a staunch advocate for United Nations reform, has consistently pushed for changes in the composition of the UNSC. Expressing dissatisfaction over the lack of progress in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform, India has sought permanent membership in the UNSC. The current structure includes five permanent members—Russia, the UK, China, France, and the United States—with the power to veto substantive resolutions, along with 10 non-permanent members elected for a two-year term by the UN General Assembly.
According to PTI, the UNGA President acknowledged India’s positive role in expanding global representation, stating, “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that India’s outreach to Africa, particularly with regard to its facilitating the membership of the African Union in the G20, demonstrates India’s leadership in the international arena.”
He praised India for not only achieving diplomatic milestones but also for showcasing a longstanding commitment to assisting and facilitating development in the Global South.
Hailing from the diplomatic service of Trinidad and Tobago, President Francis outlined his presidency priorities as peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability. The overarching theme of his term as the 78th UNGA President is ‘Rebuilding trust and reigniting solidarity.’
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EAM S Jaishankar Appreciates UNGA President’s Call For UNSC Reform
The External Affairs Minister appreciated the UNGA President’s stance on the pressing need for “urgent reforms” in international institutions, including the UNSC.
Taking to his official social media handle, Minister Jaishankar shared, “So glad to welcome @un_pga Dennis Francis this afternoon in New Delhi. His positive sentiments for our G20 Presidency and Voice of Global South Summits were notable.” He emphasised that these summits have played a crucial role in strengthening multilateralism.
So glad to welcome @un_pga Dennis Francis this afternoon in New Delhi.
His positive sentiments for our G20 Presidency and Voice of Global South Summits were notable. They have strengthened multilateralism.
Appreciated his position on need for urgency of reforms in… pic.twitter.com/QMBqloa5jU
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 24, 2024
Acknowledging the ‘positive sentiments’ expressed by President Francis, Minister Jaishankar reiterated the importance of urgent reforms in international institutions, particularly the UNSC. “Appreciated his position on the need for urgency of reforms in international institutions, especially the UN Security Council,” the External Affairs Minister added in his post.
Both leaders concurred on the imperative nature of accelerating efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing climate action as crucial components of the global agenda. Minister Jaishankar shared, “Agreed on the importance of accelerating Sustainable Development Goals and climate action.”
The External Affairs Minister also conveyed India’s “unwavering support” for the Summit of the Future Process under Dennis Francis’s leadership. “India will strongly support the Summit of the Future Process under his leadership to achieve equitable and ambitious outcomes,” Minister Jaishankar assured.
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