Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit o the United States, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral meetings with foreign
ministers of seven countries, including the United
Kingdom, on the sidelines of the 69th session of the United
Nations General Assembly, September 24.
After being congratulated by the ministers on the Modi
government’s victory in the general elections, Swaraj invited
the countries to participate in the new government’s ambitious projects and proposals, especially through investment
The foreign ministers Swaraj met with included Philip
Hammond of the UK, Evangelos Venizalos of Greece (who
is also the country’s deputy prime minister), Ali Karti of
Sudan, Dunya Maumoon of the Maldives, Borge Brende of
Norway, Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich of Kyrgyzstan, and
Aminu Wali of Nigeria.
Swaraj discussed topical issues before the UN during the
ongoing 69th session of the UNGA, including UN Security
Council Reform on which India will push for a text-based
process of negotiations in the Inter Governmental
Negotiations, the 11th round of which will commence during the current UNGA session.
Indian diplomats said attempts will be made to reinvigorate the G4 and L-60 platforms and for strengthening outreach towards achieving concrete outcome on the issue.
Discussion was also held on progress towards finalization
of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International
up support for India at UNSC
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her counterpart from the Maldives, Dunya Maumoon.
The foreign ministers of the G4 coun- tries — India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan —September 25 expressed their
continued commitment to the United
Nations Security Council reform, an important priority for India, which would be
‘reflective of the geopolitical realities of the
On the sidelines of the 69th session of the
UN General Assembly, the ministers,
including India’s External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj, exchanged views on the
UNSC reform and said they agree that the
difficulties of the Security Council to effec-
tively address current international chal-
lenges are ‘a compelling reminder’ of the
urgent need for reform.
They said some changes are needed to
make it more broadly representative, efficient and transparent, thereby enhancing
its effectiveness and legitimacy.
In a joint statement the ministers said, ‘70
years after the foundation of the United
Nations, 50 years after the first and only
time that the Security Council was
reformed, nearly 15 years after the
Millennium Summit and 10 years after the
2005 World Summit, when our leaders
unanimously called for an early reform of
the Security Council, discussions are still at
Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto
Figueiredo Machado, Germany’s Frank-
Walter Steinmeier, Japaan’s Fumio Kishida,
and India’s Swaraj said in the joint state-
ment that the process of bringing about
reforms in the council should not be seen as
an endless exercise.
The ministers invited all their counterparts to use the 70th anniversary of the UN
next year as an opportunity to finally
achieve a concrete outcome on a process
that has dragged on for over 20 years, and
to engage in all possible efforts to fulfill, by
September 2015, ‘the mandate given by our
heads of state and government’.
While there is enough traction from the
floor for council reform, the resolution of
the issue has remained deadlocked, thanks
to the absence of a short text on the basis of
which negotiations would take place in the
UN, Indian diplomats opined.
India was expected to press for the text-based negotiation during the current session of the UNGA.
The G4 countries reiterated their commit-
ment as aspiring new permanent members
of the UNSC, as well as their support for
each other’s candidatures. They also reaf-
firmed their view of the importance of
developing countries, including Africa, to
be represented in both the permanent and
non-permanent categories of an enlarged
The ministers emphasized their readiness
to further reach out to reform-oriented
member states to discuss models of an
enlarged Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
In this context, they commended Japan’s
initiative to host an outreach meeting with
other UN member states, with attendance
from participants with a wide range of
views on the reform issue in July 2014.
They recognized the need for greater
involvement of civil society, the media and
academia on the discussions about the
reform of the Security Council and recalled
the seminars hosted by Brazil, India and
Japan to broaden the debate on the urgency
of reforming the body.
The ministers also discussed the outcome
of the tenth round of the intergovernmental
negotiations on Security Council reform
and expressed their appreciation for the
important role played by the President of
the 68th General Assembly, John Ashe, in
generating positive momentum for the
negotiations. It reflected in the establish-
ment of an advisory group, which produced
a clear summary of the main positions of
The ministers welcomed the assessment
of July 9 this year by the chairman of the
Inter Governmental Negotiations, Afghan
Ambassador Zahir Tanin, and noted his call
for a high-level event to be held at the general debate of the 70th General Assembly
and the need to finally start text-based
The ministers expressed their expectations to work closely with the President of
the 69th General Assembly, Sam Kahamba
Kutesa, to bring about the urgently needed
reform of the Security Council.
“Although it has taken time, India is high-
ly optimistic that the much-needed Security
India is setting its eyes for such council
reform during the 70th anniversary of the
United Nations next year, and seeking to
use the current UNGA session as a stepping
stone for achieving that goal.
G4 ministers emphasize on
Security Council reform
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her British counterpart Philip Hammond.