Germany demands 'same responsibilities' at UN
17 May 2005, NEW YORK - Germany, Japan, India and Brazil on Monday demanded that they be given the "same responsibilities and obligations" now carried out by the five current veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council.
17 May 2005
NEW YORK - Germany, Japan, India and Brazil on Monday demanded that they be given the "same responsibilities and obligations" now carried out by the five current veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council.
But the current permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and China - are opposed to sharing the veto power with any new permanent members.
The four countries, which are themselves campaigning for permanent spots on the council, are seeking to enlarge the Security Council from the current 15 members to 25, with the addition of six permanent and four rotating members to better reflect today's balance of power in the world.
They also appeared to demand that they share the veto power, though they did not specifically demand it in a draft resolution, which began to circulate late on Monday in an obvious show of flexibility.
"The new permanent members should have the same responsibilities and obligations as current permanent members," the draft says. "The question of the veto, however, should not be a hindrance to Security Council reform."
The four countries, known as the G-4, circulated the draft resolution late on Monday to about 50 countries that support them, in a meeting organised by the German mission to the UN. The draft deals with reform of the Security Council.
Competing proposals were expected, including a so-called Plan B, which would create a new category of semi-permanent Security Council seats chosen through regional elections for four-year terms. The plan for new permanent members, which is supported by the G-4, is known as Model A.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has admitted that Model A so far does not have the two-thirds majority needed for passage in the General Assembly.
Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the 191-nation assembly to vote on the reforms by September.
The draft resolution deals with procedures to enlarge the Security Council and elect new members. It also calls for amending the UN Charter, which has functioned as a constitution for the world organisation since its establishment in 1945.
The current UN charter, drafted by victorious allies at the end of World War Two, still calls Germany and Japan enemies to the world organisation.
The UN is undergoing reform this year as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. The reforms range from overhauling the management under the secretary general to its main bodies, the Security Council and the General Assembly. World leaders are expected to meet in September in New York to enact the reform proposals.
Subject: German news