United Nations chief Antonio Guterres says he highly appreciates India’s support to his UN reform proposal

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UN chief Antonio Guterres has appreciated Indias support to his proposal to reform the UN Security Council and expressed hope that the progress will continue to be made during the current session of the General Assembly to make the world body reflect the current global realities. For long, India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan. The four countries support each others bids for the permanent seats in the top UN body. We are facing unprecedented challenges today, so we need to adapt and make the organisation fit for purpose. That is why I embarked on the reform of three key areas: the peace and security architecture, UN development system and management. I highly appreciate the support India has given to my reform proposals, UN Secretary-General Guterres told PTI ahead of his three-day visit to India begining Monday. His visit coincides with the beginning of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2019. On the first day of his visit to India, the Secretary-General will formally open the new UN House in New Delhi. Guterres will participate in the closing session of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention. He will also meet Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan before giving an address at the India Habitat Centre on Global Affairs on the theme Global challenges, global solutions. In the evening, the Secretary-General will take part in the General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance. He will meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar on October 3. Guterres said he personally believes that a more democratic UN, with power divided in a more balanced way and with more diversity in the regional representation in all bodies of the UN including the Security Council is important. The makeup of the Security Council must reflect the current realities, not the world as it stood at the end of World War II, he said. Reforming the Security Council is a matter for member states and the General Assembly, in which all 193 members are represented, has a central role to play, Guterres said. The intergovernmental negotiations within the General Assembly on Security Council reform represent the key forum for advancing the discussion on the five components of Council reform, namely categories of membership, the question of the veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods as well as the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly. I hope that progress on Council reform will continue to be made during the 73rd session of the General Assembly, he said. India has been at the forefront of global efforts to achieve the long-pending reform of the 15-nation Security Council. Last week, G4 nations India, Brazil, Germany and Japan met on the margins of the high-level General Debate of the 73rd General Assembly session and reaffirmed the need for an early reform of the council including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership to enhance its legitimacy, effectiveness and representativeness. They said that the current composition of the 15-nation Council does not reflect the changed global realities and stressed that UNSC reform is essential to address todays complex challenges. As aspiring new permanent members of a reformed Council, the Ministers reiterated their commitment to work to strengthen the functioning of the UN and the global multilateral order as well as their support for each others candidatures, the statement had said.