India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) calls for speedy global efforts to reform UN Security Council

India, Brazil and South Africa on Wednesday called on the world community to redouble efforts and strengthen commitment for an “accelerated and comprehensive reform” of the UN Security Council.

The call was made in a joint statement issued after external affairs minister S Jaishankar chaired a customary meeting of foreign ministers of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) grouping via video conference. The other delegations were led by Brazil’s vice-minister for national sovereignty Fabio Marzano and South Africa’s minister of international relations Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor.

The ministers discussed ways to further IBSA cooperation and exchanged views on global issues such as security, countering terror, climate change, sustainable development, multilateral trading system, non-proliferation and South-South cooperation.

They also shared the experiences of their countries in countering the Covid-19 pandemic and appreciated the work done by the IBSA Fund for poverty alleviation and hunger.

The joint statement reiterated the IBSA joint ministerial statement of September 2019 seeking reform of the multilateral system and sought united efforts to create a “more inclusive, responsive and participatory international governance architecture”. The three countries said they remain committed to enhancing the voice and representation of emerging and developing countries in decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.

“In light of the increasingly complex and inter-connected international challenges, we emphasise that the existing international governance structure is obsolete and cannot be fit-for-purpose to effectively address current peace and security challenges,” the joint statement said.

While there has been some progress in international efforts for a comprehensive reform of the UN system, “advancing the reform of the Security Council should remain an urgent and key priority”, it added.

The failure to reform the Security Council has “serious implications for international peace and security”, and accelerated reform is critical to ensure that the body is more representative, effective and responsive, the three countries said.

The grouping also expressed frustration at the slow progress in inter-governmental negotiations on Security Council reforms, which lacks transparency, and said the time has come to “move towards a result-oriented process, with provision for substantive negotiations based on a single comprehensive text, in a formal setting”.

Brazil and South Africa congratulated India on its election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2021-22. The ministers also agreed to enhance IBSA cooperation at multilateral forums.

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