Annan urges action on UN Security Council reform

11th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2005, NEW YORK - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged member nations Wednesday to complete a reform of the Security Council, but acknowledged it might take at least until the end of the year.

11 August 2005

NEW YORK - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged member nations Wednesday to complete a reform of the Security Council, but acknowledged it might take at least until the end of the year.

"From my discussion the vast majority of members of this organization want to see a Security Council reformed," he told reporters. "I would urge the membership to engage with each other and find a solution as soon as possible."

U.N. members also have not fully agreed on plans for broader reform of the world body. Annan hopes to see the entire reform package, particularly on the Security Council, approved in mid- September at a U.N. 60th anniversary summit of national leaders during the annual General Assembly.

Failing that, Annan would urge the assembly to set a Christmas deadline, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.

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

Reformers say the U.N. fails to reflect changes in the world since its founding, and two main groups have demanded a bigger council.

Germany, India, Japan and Brazil - dubbed the G4 - want to add six permanent seats, eventually with veto power.

While the G4 is willing to be patient on the sensitive matter of veto power, the African Union wants six new permanent members who have immediate veto power.

The two sides also differ on the final expanded size of the council. The G4 wants to add four short term members without veto power for a 25-member body, while the African Union wants to add five such members, for a 26-member body.

All decisions to reform the Security Council must be approved by two-thirds - or 128 votes - in the 191-nation General Assembly.

A third group, Uniting for Consensus, is opposed to new permanent seats, calling instead for 10 new members elected to two-year terms.

DPA

Subject: German news

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