In news: Recently, the UNGA president stated that the Intergovernmental Negotiations framework on UNSC reforms slowed due to Covid-19
What is the Intergovernmental Negotiations framework?
The Intergovernmental Negotiations framework or IGN is a group of nation-states working within the United Nations to further reform of the United Nations Security Council(UNSC)
Composition of IGN
The IGN is composed of several different international organizations, namely:
- The African Union
- The G4 nations
- The Uniting for Consensus Group (UfC), also known as the “Coffee Club”
- The L.69 Group of Developing Countries
- The Arab League/Group; and
- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
- The S-5 Group
Each group represents a different set of positions vis-a-vis reforming the United Nations Security Council. On July 27, 2016, an “oral decision” was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly by general acclamation of its members, which approved of a declaration known as the “elements of convergence” which outlined the status of the consensus reached by the members of the IGN at that time
This statement of consensus was based on a text and annex, of a year earlier. Ultimately, by adopting the “elements of consensus” document, the General Assembly decided to form an “Open Ended Working Group” to further develop a consensus position of the entire General Assembly on the issue of reforming the U.N. Security Council
What are the positions of each group?
- The Africa Group’s position can be found in the Ezulwini Consensus document. They appeal for the allocation of two permanent seats for Africa with the right to veto, and five non-permanent African seats. However, the group also supports taking away the veto entirely.
- The Arab Group appeals for a minimum of two non-permanent seats for Arab states, as well as the inclusion of a permanent Arab seat in the possible expansion of the Security Council permanent membership
- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) calls for further work and reflection on Member State proposals when considering the achievements of the IGN. CARICOM recognises that the IGN made limited progress and anticipates that the elements of convergence will be a foundation for Security Council reform deliberations.
- Group of Four (G4) are seeking their own permanent membership on the Security Council.
- The L.69 Group is a group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. It’s position appeals for the overall expansion of the Security Council membership.
- Uniting for Consensus (UfC) opposes the expansion of permanent membership and veto power but supports the expansion of non-permanent representation.
- The S-5 Group (Jordan, Liechtenstein, Costa Rica, Singapore and Switzerland) are focused primarily on improving the working methods of the Security Council and do not favor any of the enlargement proposals. On April 4, 2012 the group of Small 5 presented a draft resolution on improving the working methods of the Security Council, and called for the General Assembly to vote on the matter