India and other Group-4 (G-4) countries reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and called for the early reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday.
Hours after U.S. President Donald Trump pilloried multilateralism in this address to the UN General Assembly, Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Japan and Germany — Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Taro Kono and Heiko Maas, respectively — were hosted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the G-4 meeting. “The G-4 Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism. G-4 Ministers stressed that adapting the UN to the contemporary needs of the 21st century necessarily required reforming the Security Council,” the group said in a statement.
Given the American disinterest in the UN and other multilateral bodies, China, one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, has slowed down the move to expand the body, according to diplomats tracking the process. The U.S. has no active opposition to the demand of these four countries to be included as permanent members of the UNSC, but the Trump administration has taken a benign approach to the proposed reform.
In his speech, Mr. Trump attacked the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court.
“America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism,” Mr. Trump said in the speech that made sweeping accusations against multilateral institutions.
G-4 Ministers noted that despite an overwhelming majority of UN member states supporting Security Council reform, the negotiations launched in 2009 have not produced substantive progress over the 10 years.
“The G-4 Ministers emphasised the need to revitalise process of the Security Council reform, and they tasked their respective officials to consider the way forward to advance the reform,” the statement said.
While there is no active American support for reform, Mr. Trump’s call for other countries to step up and share the responsibility of managing the UN might support the reform, even in the face of active Chinese opposition, according to an official.
Germany and Japan contribute one-fifth of the UN budget while the four countries together have one-fifth of the world population.
The Ministers agreed that the “current composition of the UNSC does not reflect the changed global realities and they stressed that Security Council reform is essential to address today’s complex challenges.”
They “reiterated their commitment to work to strengthen the functioning of the UN and the global multilateral order as well as their support for each other’s candidatures”, the statement said.
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G-4 for UN Security Council reform, multilateralism - Verghese K George, The Hindu
Britain lends 'unconditional' support to India's bid for NSG membership - Sachin Parashar, ToI
The UK has reiterated unconditional support for India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid saying India has done enough to merit an entry into the elite group responsible for international nuclear commerce.
After a dialogue between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and UK’s foreign & commonwealth office, diplomatic sources here [New Delhi] said UK saw India as a key member and protector of the international rules-based order.
India is hoping for a renewed push for its NSG bid despite opposition from China, emboldened as it has been by the US emphasis on securing an early membership for India at the recent 2+2 dialogue. India’s elevation last month to the US’ tier-1 of licence exception + for export of sensitive defence and high-end technologies was seen as a reaffirmation of US support to its bid.
"India has the right credentials for NSG membership and we believe it should be a member. Only the Chinese can explain what objections they have to India’s membership," said a diplomatic source after the meeting.
Trump admin reiterates support for India's role in reformed UNSC - PTI
The Trump administration has reiterated its support for India's bid for a permanent seat on a reformed UN Security Council, a senior US official said, emphasizing that the two "global partners" share a commitment to work together on global challenges like denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asia Region Alice Wells said US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale met Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale at the beginning of the week of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly to build on the momentum of the first 2+2 meeting between the US and India in New Delhi as well as to reaffirm the strategic convergence that Washington sees in the bilateral ties.
"We really are global partners and the meeting (between Hale and Gokhale) reaffirmed our shared commitment to working together on international challenges - from a denuclearised Korean Peninsula to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan," Wells told reporters Friday during a briefing on US priorities in the South and Central Asia Region.
The American diplomat said the US reiterates its support for India's role in a reformed UN Security Council.
The New York meeting was a continuation of the discussion at the 2+2 meeting.
"It's a conversation that really covers the map in terms of how we can work together in Afghanistan, what we are doing to promote free and open Indo-Pacific and also in particular, how we are both very supportive of the democratic developments that we see transpiring in the Maldives," she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Maldives' President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and congratulated him.
The US too congratulated the people of Maldives, saying they had peacefully raised their voices to determine the future of their country.
During Modi's visit to Washington in June last year, Trump supported India's bid for a permanent seat in a reformed UNSC and in other multilateral institutions such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
"As global non-proliferation partners, the United States expressed strong support for India's early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group," a joint statement issued after the meeting between Modi and Trump had said.
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