France has reaffirmed its support for India, Germany, Brazil and Japan as permanent members in an expanded UN Security Council, underlining the need to take into account the emergence of new powers willing and able to assume the responsibility of a permanent presence in the powerful world body.
“France’s position is constant and well known. We want the Council to be more representative of today’s world, in a way that further strengthens its authority and effectiveness,” Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the UN Nathalie Broadhurst said on Friday.
She was addressing the UN General Assembly plenary meeting on the ‘Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council’.
“We must indeed take into account the emergence of new powers that are willing and able to assume the responsibility of a permanent presence in the Security Council,” Broadhurst said.
Broadhurst said that to preserve its executive and operational nature, an enlarged Council could have up to 25 members.
“France supports the candidacy of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan as permanent members. We would also like to see a stronger presence of African countries, including among the permanent members. The remaining seats should be allocated in order to achieve equitable geographical representation,” she said.
She added that the question of the veto is “eminently sensitive”, and it is up to the States requesting the granting of a permanent seat to determine themselves.
“In this reflection, the objective must remain twofold: on the one hand, to consolidate the legitimacy of the Security Council; on the other hand, to strengthen its capacity to fully assume its responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security,” she said.
“It is in this spirit that France proposed, as early as 2013, that the five permanent members of the Council voluntarily and collectively suspend the use of the veto in case of mass atrocities. This voluntary approach does not require a revision of the Charter but a political commitment by the permanent members,” she added.
The United Kingdom also voiced support for India, Germany, Japan and Brazil to sit as permanent members in an expanded UN Security Council.
“Our position is well known. The United Kingdom has long called for the expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories,” UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward said at the General Assembly debate on Security Council reform Thursday.
“We support the creation of new permanent seats for India, Germany, Japan and Brazil, as well as permanent African representation on the Council. We also support an expansion of the non-permanent category of membership, taking the Security Council’s total membership to somewhere in the mid-twenties,” she said.
Woodward said with these changes, the Council would be more representative of the world today. “And, coupled with a renewed commitment to the UN Charter, it would be better able to respond decisively to threats to international peace and security,” she said.
Among the five permanent members of the 15-nation Council, the US, UK, France and Russia have supported a permanent seat for India in the UN body.
India’s current two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council will end next month after it has presided over the 15-nation Council.
New Delhi and other G4 nations of Brazil, Germany and Japan have been at the forefront of efforts calling for urgent reform of the Security Council, which has remained deeply divisive in dealing with current challenges.
India has asserted that the Council, in its current form, does not reflect today’s geo-political realities and its credibility is at risk if nations such as developing powers like India do not have a permanent seat at the horse-shoe table.
The G4 upholds the need for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, with the expansion of seats in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, equitable regional representation, more transparent and inclusive working methods and an enhanced relationship with other UN bodies, including the General Assembly.