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UN adopts negotiating text for security council reforms

NEW DELHI: India’s goal of becoming a permanent member of the UN security council took a significant step forward. Amid protests from China, Russia and Pakistan, the UN general assembly on Monday agreed to adopt a negotiating text for security council reforms.

In a statement, India welcomed the decision, saying, “We look forward to early commencement of text-based negotiations with a view to securing concrete outcomes during the 70th session of the UNGA. We call upon all member states to constructively engage in this process so that the long pending reform of the UN security council can be achieved.”

Describing it as “historic and path-breaking,” India’s UN ambassador Asoke Mukerji told the general assembly that Monday’s decision was significant on three counts — this, he said, was “the first time in the history of the intergovernmental negotiation (IGN) process that a decision on UNSC reform has been adopted through an official document”; this decision sets the IGN process formally on an irreversible text-based negotiations path; and the document is the one circulated on July 31, which would be negotiated on.

In other words, there is a recognized text that has been adopted by the entire assembly, so there is no confusion on which would be the negotiating text. Moreover, the work done in the 69th session will now be carried over into the 70th session, so that will not be lost.

China dismissed the move as “not fair, not transparent”, as did Russia and Pakistan, but none of them could muster up the support to oppose the adoption of the text.

Welcoming the decision, Hardeep Singh Puri, former ambassador to the UN said that it was “a game changing decision made possible by excellent diplomacy by India, including in particular in the final days leading to the adoption of L.92.”

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