United Nations: Luxembourg envoy to the UN Sylvie Lucas has been appointed as the next chair of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on UN Security Council reforms ahead of the next round of negotiations.
UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, after appointing Lucas, urged member states to build momentum and move forward the process of text-based negotiations on the long-pending reforms days before the next round of negotiations begin next week.
Lucas replaces Ambassador Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica who, under previous UNGA president Sam Kutesa, had achieved a breakthrough of sorts in the UNSC reform process by putting on the table a negotiating text that contained the proposals and positions of various UN members on expansion of the council.
“I am confident that the forthcoming negotiations will build on the momentum and the progress made during the 69th session and I encourage member states to continue moving this process forward in particular the positions of and proposals made by member states reflected in the text circulated by the President of the General Assembly in his letter dated July 31, 2015,” Lykketoft wrote in an October 23 letter to all UN envoys informing them of Lucas’ appointment.
Ahead of the IGN talks, Lykketoft said in the letter he will convene a plenary debate on “question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of the UN Security Council” on October 30.
Kutesa had circulated the text in July this year that had contained the positions of various UN members on how the permanent and non-permanent seats of the UNSC should be expanded along with their proposals for use of the veto.
In a landmark decision in September, the UN General Assembly had adopted by consensus the negotiating text, setting the stage for negotiations to begin on UNSC reforms on the basis of a text for the first time in nearly two decades.
It remains to be seen how Lucas’ appointment will bode for the reform process in the current session.
Sources in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN here said that Luxembourg, part of the BENELUX countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, has supported UNSC reforms.
However as Chair of the IGN, Lucas will have to consider all the views of UN member states on UNSC reforms.
In a statement made in February this year Luxembourg, speaking on behalf of the BENELUX countries, had said in the General Assembly that “the time has come to take the matter of Security Council reform forward through proper, text-based negotiations, allowing for a more focused interaction between member states”.
The sources said that how Lucas moves the reform process forward will be known once the next round of talks begins in November.
Luxembourg was a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council for the 2013-14 term, giving the country a ring-side view of the workings and shortcomings of an unreformed council.