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India presents elaborate G4 model for UNSC reform, vouches for more permanent members

India's reform model proposes that the Security Council’s membership increase from the current 15 to 25-26, by adding six permanent and four or five non-permanent members. It stopped short of specifying which member states would occupy the new UNSC permanent seats.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New York Updated on: March 08, 2024 18:21 IST
India, UN Security Council, reform model, permanent membership
Image Source : AP The United States Security Council (Representational Image)

New York: India has presented a detailed model on behalf of G4 countries - Brazil, Germany, Japan and India - for UN Security Council reform that includes new permanent members elected democratically by the General Assembly and displays flexibility on the veto issue. India has long called for reforms in global governance institutions and a permanent seat at the Security Council.

Participating in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform (IGN) on Thursday, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said the UN’s 80th anniversary next year serves as a milestone to achieve concrete progress on the long-pending subject. Her 'G4 model' for debate, dialogue and negotiations elicited strong support from wider UN members.

“The realities of 1945, when the Council was established, have long been superseded by the geo-political realities of the modern era and a new century; with the need for change being felt across the board,” Kamboj said as she shared the exhaustive G4 model with UN Member States in the General Assembly.

What does India's model propose?

The G4 model by India proposes that the Security Council’s membership increase from the current 15 to 25-26, by adding six permanent and four or five non-permanent members. Among the six new permanent members, two each are proposed to be from African states and Asia Pacific states, one from Latin American and Caribbean states; and one from Western European and Other states.

The Indian model noted that the current composition of the Security Council, with its “glaring under-representation and un-representation” of key regions in both categories of membership, is “detrimental” to its legitimacy and effectiveness. It stressed that the Council's inability to address critical conflicts and maintain international peace and security underscores the urgent need for reform.

However, the G4 model “does not specify” which member states will occupy the new permanent seats, as India said this decision will be made by the General Assembly in a democratic and inclusive election. “Any reform that does not address the lack of representation, particularly in the permanent category, would only exacerbate the current imbalances in the Council's composition and render it ill-equipped to address today's international challenges,” Kamboj said.

Furthermore, the model offered flexibility on the veto, an issue that has been a contentious topic among member states as they try to move the needle forward on the reform process that has moved at a snail’s pace over the years. “While the new permanent members would, as a principle, have the same responsibilities and obligations as current permanent members, they shall not exercise the veto until a decision on the matter has been taken during a review,” Kamboj said.

Currently, only the five permanent members - China, France, Russia, the UK and the US - hold veto powers and through its use have stalled action in the Council to address global challenges and conflicts such as in Ukraine and Gaza. The remaining 10 nations in the Council are elected to sit as non-permanent members for two-year terms and do not have veto powers.

India's model gets support from France

France’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Nicolas De Riviere said his country has long supported the candidacy of India, Japan, Brazil and Germany for permanent membership. “In addition, France fully subscribes to the spirit of the model for comprehensive reform of the Security Council which has just been presented. It is in line with the strong expectations expressed by the vast majority of this Assembly,” he said. 

The delegations of Germany, Belgium and Denmark also supported India's reform model calling for inclusive representation. "Germany is steadfast in its conviction that the presented model is the most realistic path to pave the way for a reformed Council. It allows for more legitimate and effective representation by giving more countries the opportunity to serve in the Council. At the same time, it will profoundly change the dynamics within the Council," said German Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Thomas Zahneisen.


India recently questioned why the UNSC has been rendered "completely ineffective" in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has continued unabated for two years, as New Delhi asserted that outdated structures need reform for multilateralism to be effective. Kamboj asserted that for multilateralism to be effective, “outdated and archaic structures need reform and reinventing, or else their credibility will always be on the wane".

Earlier today, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while speaking at the Nikkei Forum in Japan, highlighted that if the most populous countries in the world and some of the biggest resource providers for the UN are kept out, it is not good for the Security Council. He said as opposed to having only 50 countries when the UN was founded, it now has 200 countries and should widen the scope of participation.

A strong majority of UN member states, including all 54 African countries, support expanding both permanent and non-permanent seats on the UNSC. “For the Security Council to best derive the benefits of both categories, it is important that both the permanent and non-permanent membership be representative of the world as it is today, not the world as it existed in the wake of the Second World War," said the US.

(with inputs from PTI, ANI)

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