United Nations, Oct 2 (PTI) President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid has said that the long-pending reform of the Security Council is a membership-driven issue and he will soon appoint facilitators for the negotiating process.

India, currently in the Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term, has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Council. India has been saying that it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the 15-member Council which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century.

"This is a question that has been once again asked many many times and I can understand why it has been asked so many times because the Security Council reform is an issue that has been on the agenda or the plate of the General Assembly for far too long,” Shahid said in his first press conference here on Friday while responding to a question on the long-delayed UNSC reform process.

“In 1979, Maldives was one of the countries who initially signed on to a group of 10 countries who initiated the Security Council reform. And I was only 17 years old then," he said amid laughter.

“And look at what has happened to me since. And the issue is still there. The issue is still there. I wish I had the magic wand…to fix it,” he said.

“But then at the United Nations, the Security Council reform is a membership-driven issue,” he said, adding that he intends to appoint facilitators for the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) before the Security Council reform agenda debate, scheduled for November.

The G4 nations of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have reaffirmed that it is “indispensable” to reform the Security Council through an expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats to enable the UN organ to better deal with the “ever-complex and evolving challenges” to the maintenance of international peace and security.

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of Brazil Carlos Alberto Franco França, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Motegi Toshimitsu had met during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

They underlined the urgency of reforming the Security Council in order to make it more legitimate, effective and representative by reflecting the reality of the contemporary world including developing countries and major contributors, the G4 Ministerial Joint Press Statement had said.

“The G4 Ministers reaffirmed that it is indispensable to reform the Security Council through an expansion of both categories, permanent and non-permanent seats, to enable the Security Council to better deal with the ever-complex and evolving challenges to the maintenance of international peace and security, and thereby to carry out its duties more effectively,” the statement had said adding that G4 Ministers reiterated their support for each other’s candidatures as aspiring new permanent members in a reformed Security Council.

The G4 Ministers had expressed their strong determination to work towards launching text-based negotiations without further delay in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN), on the basis of a single document, with a view to its adoption in the General Assembly.

The Ministers instructed their delegations to the United Nations to support the efforts of the President of the 76th General Assembly and the IGN chairs, and to identify ways to develop a single consolidated text as a basis for a draft resolution.

As the General Assembly in June decided to roll over the IGN work to the 76th UNGA session, India had asserted that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on the long-pending Security Council reforms can no longer be used as a smokescreen.

The UNGA’s decision to roll over the IGN work to the next session also included the amendment proposed by the G4 nations, which have been at the forefront of multilateral efforts to speed up and achieve the long-pending UNSC reforms.