African Union has own ideas for Security Council

7th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 July 2005, NEW YORK - The African Union began circulating on Thursday a draft resolution calling for enlarging the U.N. Security Council from 15 to 26 members, with the addition of six new permanent members with veto power and five non-permanent members, an Algerian diplomat said. Ambassador Abdallah Baali was carrying a message from the A.U. summit that met earlier this week in Sirte, Libya, and has united behind its own draft resolution to reform the current council. He acknowledged that the A.U.'s pos

7 July 2005

NEW YORK - The African Union began circulating on Thursday a draft resolution calling for enlarging the U.N. Security Council from 15 to 26 members, with the addition of six new permanent members with veto power and five non-permanent members, an Algerian diplomat said.

Ambassador Abdallah Baali was carrying a message from the A.U. summit that met earlier this week in Sirte, Libya, and has united behind its own draft resolution to reform the current council.

He acknowledged that the A.U.'s position on reforms may clash with the position of the G4 composed of Germany, Japan, India and Brazil.

"We have to defend our draft and the G4 countries will have to defend theirs," Baali said, seeming to brush off demands for negotiations by the G4 to reach a compromise.

The General Assembly is set to begin debate on the topic of Security Council expansion on Monday. The African Union, with 53 countries, has at least that number of votes in the 191-nation U.N. General Assembly. Any reform measure must clear the body with a two- thirds vote, or 127 votes.

The G4 - which has been agitating for their own permanent seats for months - has agreed to the addition of six new permanent members, but without veto power, and four new countries elected on two-year term. Under this plan, the six would include the G4 and two African countries. The G4 position would enlarge the council from 15 to 25 members.

The African Union called for six new permanent members and five countries elected for short-term tenure, which would make a total of 26 members.

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

The G4 on Wednesday asked the U.N. General Assembly to begin a debate next week on reforming the council and possibly to vote on their hotly disputed bid for permanent seats on the powerful Security Council by the end of next week.

The four countries asked that their proposal be translated into all official U.N. languages so the debate in the assembly can be held.

Opposing the G4 is a group known as 'United for Consensus,' led by Pakistan, China and Italy. The consensus group favours the enlargement with the addition of 10 more short-term members.

Reforming the council is part of an overall U.N. reform, including top management, the bureaucracy, the oversight department and the creation of a Human Rights Council to replace the much criticized U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

The General Assembly's annual session starts September 13.

DPA

Subject: German news

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