Thursday, February 19, 2009

UNSC reform: India presses for 'actual negotiations'

Dharam Shourie
United Nations, Feb 20 (PTI) Pressing for "actual negotiations" on the issue of UN Security Council expansion, India has asked the General Assembly for discussions to be held in an interactive format, as representatives of the world body met here to launch parleys on reforms.

"We have to have actual negotiations and not waste time on yet another round of set statements," Indian UN Ambassador Nirupam Sen told an informal meeting of the 192-member UN General Assembly, called to discuss the timetable for talks to formally begin in March.

Referring to the format followed by Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on UNSC reforms which has been hearing statements for 15 years, Sen said the process has made no real progress.

The member States have decided to move to inter- governmental negotiations, virtually rejecting the suggestion of Uniting for Consensus (UFC) led by Pakistan which wanted OEWG to continue the discussions.

Sen said the minority that does not want real progress looks forward to wasting March and April simply making statements and turning the assembly into OEWG.

"We cannot accept this," he said.

Speaking at the informal meeting ahead of the inter- governmental negotiations, Sen, without naming the UFC, criticized the "minority" for continuing efforts to ensure that "history does not turn." PTI

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