New York: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of early reform of the UN SecurityCouncil during her meetings with counterparts from China and the IBSA and G4 blocs, saying that concerted efforts should be made to complete the reform process by 2015, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
Swaraj held back-to-back meetings on the second day of her visit to New York, holding bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Brazilian Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
She participated in multilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Brazil, Germany and Japan in the G4 bloc, Commonwealth foreign ministers, SAARC, IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), BRICS and Latin American countries in the CELAC quartet.
The G4 bloc wants the "full support" of the African continent, Swaraj said adding that South African Foreign Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane assured her that Africa will support India along with the G4 in their bid to reform the 15-nation Security Council.
"Unless we get the support of the African continent, the reforms cannot move forward," Swaraj told Indian reporters after her meeting with IBSA ministers. She termed her meeting with her IBSA counterparts as a "big supplementary" one that took forward the agenda of the G4 meeting which was to seek reform and expansion of the UN Security Council.
Swaraj said that in all her meetings, apart from discussing bilateral issues, she stressed that reforms of the UN body should happen by 2015, which will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the UN.
"Time is less. Since 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the UN, this milestone decision of reforming the UNSC should be done by next year," she said. She said she had good meetings with the G4 bloc and the South African Minister. She also raised the UNSC reform issue with China.
Swaraj termed as "successful" her meetings over the last two days particularly in the direction of the UNSC reforms process. She added that having so many bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN session is an "accomplishment".