NAM Security Council Reform

Statement by Ambassador T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative on behalf of G-4 (Brazil, Germany, India, Japan)

75th UN General Assembly


Informal meeting of the Plenary on the Intergovernmental negotiations on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council


Statement by Ambassador T S Tirumurti
on behalf of G-4 (Brazil, Germany, India, Japan)


16 March 2021


Madam Co-Chairs,


I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of Four - Brazil, Japan, Germany and my own country India.


2. At this 3rd meeting of the IGN process under your stewardship, we meet when spring is in the air. In keeping with the hope for change, we would like to begin by thanking you both for your well-thought-out schedule for this session, which will allow us to complete the discussions of all five  thematic clusters by the end of this meeting.


3. This means that we will be left with adequate time for substantive discussions on the single consolidated document with attributions, which we expect will be developed in time for our next meetings in the weeks to come. We place critical importance on this, because without this single consolidated document with attributions, we would have wasted yet another IGN session, relegating it to a mere repetition of statements and positions. We therefore specifically call for additional meetings in May and June, to allow time for these important discussions.


4. Madam Co-Chairs, you have asked us to focus our comments today on the two clusters on: i) size of an enlarged Security Council and working methods of the Council; and ii) the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly.


5. The two clusters we are addressing today deal with important issues relating to the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the Security Council.


6. It is therefore heartening that these are also the two clusters where we see the greatest convergence among the membership: we all agree that the Security Council's size should be expanded in order to make it more representative, and as a consequence, more legitimate. More importantly, almost all of us believe that the revised number of total Council seats should be in the mid to upper 20s, with the exact number emerging from the outcome of our text-based discussions on the key issues of categories of membership and regional representation It is also a widely shared belief that the Council would be more transparent, efficient, and effective if its working methods were revised and updated. And finally, we are all of the view that the Council's relationship with the General Assembly should be enhanced, in order to increase the legitimacy of the Council's decisions.


7. The G4’s specific  position on these topics have been presented on countless earlier occasions, and I will summarize them once again for this session.


8. Size of a reformed Council: We seek a reformed Security Council, expanded in both categories, with  no less than 26 seats. We believe that this is a number that allows for an adequate balance between representativeness – in other words legitimacy -  and effectiveness.


9. Working methods: The Council’s working methods will need to be adapted to the size and composition of a reformed Council. We commend and support  the work already done within the Council in this regard. During our tenures as non-permanent members of the Council in recent years, members of our Group have played an active and collaborative role in improving the Council's working methods. There has been important progress made, thanks to the efforts of successive chairs of the Council’s Working Group on working methods -  in particular, the updating of the recommendations contained in the Presidential Note 507.  Many of these recommendations could be embraced by an expanded Security Council, to ensure that the broader membership better understands the Council's contemporary working methods.


10. An expanded Security Council should adapt its working methods in order to maintain regular coordination and interaction with the main organs of the United Nations, while respecting the specific competencies and mandates of these organs. It is also important that in a reformed Council, we continue to enhance the working methods of the subsidiary bodies, including accessibility of the work of these bodies and improved burden-sharing and participation of elected members. We know these are important elements in the Security Council's decision making process, and reform in this regard is required in order to enhance transparency and accountability in the Council.


11. We reiterate that these aspects should not distract from the need to have a  deeper, comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all the five clusters. Efforts to improve the working methods of the Security Council do not replace, but rather complement the need for a fundamental structural reform with the creation of new permanent and non permanent seats that reflect our contemporary global realities.


12. Relationship between the Security Council and General Assembly: The role of the General Assembly remains essential, as the most universally representative deliberative organ of the United Nations. We welcome the progress made so far in reaffirming the role and authority of the General Assembly, including through recommendations of the ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly. We also commend the regular dialogues between the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council aimed at streamlining and coordinating the agendas of the two organs. We encourage the two leaders to continue with this practice.


13. Our Group is of the view that a reformed Security Council should be encouraged to submit more analytical reports to the General Assembly, with a comprehensive assessment of its work. This is an important mechanism not only to to keep the wider membership abreast of the Council’s activities, but also to improve  coordination and cooperation between these two core UN organs. Our group will continue to work constructively with colleagues to ensure that all Member States are able to remain informed about the Council's work, and engaged with the Council on matters of concern to them not only in the current Security Council, but also in an expanded Council.


Madam Co-Chairs,


14. During the course of our three meetings so far, you have had the opportunity to hear delegations and grouping elaborate their positions on all five thematic reform clusters. In fact, these views have been repeated every year, and we all know each others positions quite well. If we are to make any progress now, we must begin negotiations based on a single document which contains accurate attribution of each group’s position, in the same manner that is adopted for all other processes in this Organisation, under the same UNGA Rules of Procedure, with adequate levels of transparency, through official records and webcast. We believe that a majority of Member States are ready to take this next step. A vast majority of Member States has also already expressed their full support for the Common African Position and this fact should be recognized in any outcome from this session.


15. We also reiterate our call to use the full calendar at our disposal till the end of this GA session, to hold additional meetings devoted to focused discussions based on a single consolidated document that you will share with us. We must not let the rich discussions and momentum of this session go to waste, and our understanding is that more opportunities, beyond the meetings already scheduled, will be provided to us in the coming months.


16. We look forward to your guidance and direction, Madam Co-Chairs, as we strive to fulfill our promise and the promise of our leaders to instill new life in this process.  We assure you of our full support in your efforts.