Germany in sight of Security Council seat in UN revamp

22nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 March 2005, NEW YORK - Germany on Monday endorsed UN secretary general Kofi Annan's reform package, particularly his proposed reform of the Security Council. The other three contenders for new permanent seats on the council, Japan, India, and Brazil, also supported the proposal.

22 March 2005

NEW YORK - Germany on Monday endorsed UN secretary general Kofi Annan's reform package, particularly his proposed reform of the Security Council. The other three contenders for new permanent seats on the council, Japan, India, and Brazil, also supported the proposal.

The Group of Four, as the new contenders are known, have been campaigning for positions in a reformed council, which would have 24 members, up from the current 15, if governments in the UN General Assembly approve the change by September.

"Member states should agree to take a decision on this important issue before the summit in September 2005," the statement said, referring to the meeting of the heads of state and government that will begin the new General Assembly session. "It would be preferable for member states to take this vital decision by consensus, but if they are unable to reach consensus, this must not become an excuse for postponing action."

The Group of Four said it plans to work with the UN General Assembly and UN members in coming weeks to reach an agreement on council reform.

"It is the hope of the Group of Four that, with the support of the overwhelming majority of membership, it would be possible to adopt a resolution on Security Council reform by summer," the statement said. "After over a decade of discussion, the United Nations finally need to make reform happen."

The 191-nation assembly is scheduled to open its 60th annual session in September to adopt wide-ranging reforms proposed by Annan and an international panel of experts who last year recommended changes to revitalise the organisation.

Annan presented his package to the assembly Monday, urging it to study the proposals and enact them in September.

One proposal called for enlarging the council to 24 members, with six new permanent members without veto power. They would join the current five permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - which have veto power. The 10 non-permanent members, elected to two-year terms, would increase to 13.

Germany, Japan, Brazil and India hope to be chosen by the assembly. The two other new permanent seats would go to African countries.

DPA

Subject: German news

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