African Union demands veto power for new seats

19th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2005, NEW YORK - The African Union on Monday officially demanded that new permanent members in an enlarged U.N. Security Council be granted the veto right which is now exercised exclusively by the five World War II victors.

19 July 2005

NEW YORK - The African Union on Monday officially demanded that new permanent members in an enlarged U.N. Security Council be granted the veto right which is now exercised exclusively by the five World War II victors.

The A.U. presented a draft resolution by reading the text to the U.N. General Assembly, a formal procedure. The draft was circulated last week to the 191-nation assembly and was translated into different languages, becoming an official U.N. document on Monday.

Nigerian Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali said the draft represents the aspirations of all 53 countries on the African continent to gain two permanent seats with veto power. No African country has ever occupied that seat.

The A.U. calls for expanding the council from 15 to 26 members, with the addition of six new permanent members, including two for Africa, and five new short-term members.

The current council has five veto-wielding permanent members: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain, and 10 countries elected for two-year terms.

A different proposal floated by Germany, Brazil, India and Japan - known as the G4 - wants six new permanent members, but without the immediate use of veto right, and four short-term members, for a total of 25 members.

In assembly debate last week, the G4 proposal drew fire from a group opposed to any new permanent seats in the council. The core leaders are Pakistan, Italy and China, each with its own differences with the G4 bidders.

The A.U. and G4 began on Sunday negotiations to resolve their differences and join forces, because neither proposal has the necessary two-thirds backing from the 191 member General Assembly. Several foreign ministers from the two groups met at the Indian mission and created a commission to discuss the resolution of their differences.

Foreign ministers of the two sides will meet again, probably next week, to review the commission's work before it asks the General Assembly to vote on their demands.

The U.N., in its 60th year, is in the midst of an all-out push to reform.

© DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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