UNITED NATIONS - A ministerial-level meeting of the Italy and Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Group Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to any expansion in the permanent members on the UN Security council as part of the reform process, saying such a move would not be in the interest of the membership of the organisations.

“UfC believes that the overall objective of reform is that of enhancing the Security Council’s representativeness, transparency, effectiveness and accountability,” a statement issued by the Italian Mission to the UN said. “UfC countries reiterate that the creation of new permanent seats would hinder the achievement of such important goals, and would not be in line with the overall interests of the membership.”

The UfC group stands for consensus-based decisions in restructuring the Security Council. The Group of Four — India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — are pushing for permanent seats on the Security Council, the UN’s power centre.

“UfC is firmly convinced that divisive and non-consensual initiatives will complicate the reform process even further,” the statement said.

Pakistan was represented at the meeting by the Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz. He was accompanied by Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi.

The statement said the meeting reviewed the negotiating session and other international events which took place during the last session of UN General Assembly.

“UfC renews therefore the appeal to all Member States of the UN to carefully examine the proposal flagged in 2014, based on the creation of long-term non-permanent seats, with the possibility of an immediate re-election,” the statement said. “UfC believes that this formula could offer the basis for a fair and equitable compromise solution, able to satisfy also the aspirations of those countries who wish to serve in the Council for longer periods of time, in the light of their growing international commitment.” UfC Ministers, according to the statement, reaffirmed that the negotiations remain state-driven, inclusive, comprehensive, and based on all five pillars of the reform. “They also renewed the appeal to all Member States to be ready to engage in a more flexible and constructive way in the upcoming phases of the negotiating process.”

“SC reform is necessary, urgent and of paramount importance,” the statement said, adding it requires the consensus of an overwhelming and cross-cutting majority of the membership, in the interests of the Organisation and all its Member States.

“UfC countries reaffirm their full commitment to continuing to engage in constructive dialogue with the new President of the General Assembly, all Member States and different negotiating groups, for the sake of seeking a proper and fair compromise solution, able to enhance mutual understanding and promoting a positive outcome to the reform process of the Security Council.”