Germany rejects charge ofblackmail to win UN seat
27 July 2005, BERLIN - The German government on Wednesday rejected Italian charges that Germany, Japan, India and Brazil were using blackmail in a drive to win permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
27 July 2005
BERLIN - The German government on Wednesday rejected Italian charges that Germany, Japan, India and Brazil were using blackmail in a drive to win permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
"These allegations are naturally untenable. They are groundless and must be rejected," said Jens Ploetner, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman.
In Rome, Italy's Ansa news agency quoted Japan's Ambassador to the U.N., Kenzo Oshima, as saying Italy's "low level" accusations were not worth replying to.
Italy's U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora made the accusation on Tuesday when he presented a draft resolution for his group - Uniting for Consensus - to the U.N. General Assembly.
The Consensus group wants 10 new short-term members to be added to the current 15-nation Security Council.
But unlike two earlier proposals, it does not call for new permanent members. The competing proposals were made in recent weeks by the so-called G4 - Germany, Japan, India and Brazil - and the 53- member African Union. Both G4 and the A.U. call for creating permanent seats as well as short-term members.
Spatafora said the G4 had problems with what he termed an "ethical issue."
"I am referring to the G4 resorting to financial leverage and to financial pressures in order to induce a government to align, or not to align, itself with certain position," he said.
"We all know in this hall what has been going on in some capitals, with threats of, for example, cutting financial assistance, or stopping the implementation of a certain project," said the Italian envoy.
This is the first time the G4 has been accused of using financial leverage to gain support for its draft resolution.
An Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that Ambassador Spatafora had acted with full support of the Italian government.
"We have proof (the G4 used financial coercion), otherwise we would not have denounced the problem in public," said the spokesman, adding: "We are not going to name names because we are not interested in controversy, what we are concerned with here is the method."
All decisions to reform the Security Council must be approved by two-thirds - or 128 votes - in the 191-nation assembly.
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.
The G4 wants to add six permanent seats, including two from Africa, eventually with veto power, similar to the power granted the current five permanent members 60 years ago - an arrangement that U.N. reformers say fails to reflect changes in the world since then.
But while the G4 is willing to be patient on the sensitive matter of veto power, the African Union wants immediate veto power for its six new permanent members.
Neither the G4 nor the A.U. has as of yet garnered support from two-thirds of General Assembly members for their separate proposals. The two sides so far have failed to combine forces.
Heads of state and government are called to approve U.N. reforms when they meet for the annual session of the General Assembly opening on September 13.
Already 122 presidents and at least 55 prime ministers have registered to attend. The U.N. said it will be the largest ever attendance of world leaders since the organization was established in San Francisco in 1945.
Subject: German news