Source: Economic Times

India has told the UN that 2015 is a year for decisive action on the much-delayed reform of the Security Council, and called for negotiations to begin on a concise text to achieve meaningful progress.

The 11th round of Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) should not be like the previous rounds where discussions were held without a text and no outcome could be reached, said Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi, Acting Permanent Representative to the UN.

Bishnoi said 2015 is a “landmark year” since it is the 70th anniversary of the UN.

“This is a year for decisive action. For us, an 11th round of the IGN with business like the earlier rounds would not be acceptable. We would then find it very difficult to meaningfully engage with the process,” he said.

Bishnoi said this during a preparatory meeting on the ‘Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the membership of the Security Council’ on February 11.

The session witnessed an overwhelming majority of member states calling on the IGN Chair to table a text to commence negotiations with an objective to arrive at a solution by the 70th Anniversary Summit.

Bishnoi said over the last seven years, the member states have engaged in one of the “most peculiar processes” the UN has known since the IGN have been conducted without the basis of any text, with nations making statements, repeatedly of known positions, without any effort to narrow differences or find a compromise language.

“We request you to begin negotiations on the basis of a concise text and not a compilation that has deliberately been made unwieldy in order to subvert the process.

“The objective of the preponderant majority is clear. To move forward and make progress. It is not to do nothing. Neither is it to tie ourselves in knots,” he said.

Bishnoi dismissed calls by some delegations for consensus to emerge before a negotiation text.

“This is putting logic upside down. A negotiation text is meant to facilitate the emergence of consensus. If there already is consensus, why would we need a negotiating text,” he said.

Bishnoi said even numerous schools across the world that organise model UN sessions “do not get it as wrong as this.”

“It would be the only process of its kind in the United Nations where negotiations have been conducted by…shooting the breeze. If I heard you correctly, you said it is the classic definition of madness,” he said.

He pointed out that the negotiating text should be in the language and form of a General Assembly resolution, which would clearly bring out areas of convergence and divergence.