Italy, Germany united on terrorism, split over UN

11th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 July 2005, ROME - The Foreign Ministers of Italy and Germany called for unity against terrorism in the wake of the London bombings but remained divided over how to reform the United Nations' Security Council, hours before the issue was due to be discussed in New York.

11 July 2005

ROME - The Foreign Ministers of Italy and Germany called for unity against terrorism in the wake of the London bombings but remained divided over how to reform the United Nations' Security Council, hours before the issue was due to be discussed in New York.

Speaking to reporters after holding talks in Rome, Italy's Gianfranco Fini and his German counterpart, Joschka Fischer, agreed that last week's attacks in the British capital had once again shown that terrorism was a threat to all of Europe.

"The threat of the moment weighs on all of us and shows how necessary it is that Europe be united on the security front," Fischer said.

"Italy is conscious of the fact that it is in danger," said Fini, adding that all necessary security measures had been taken after reports that al-Qaeda terrorists would soon be turning their attention to Italy and other close allies of Britain and the United States.

On the subject of reform at the Security Council - up for discussion on Monday in the U.N. General Assembly - both ministers said they had agreed not to discuss their differing opinions on the subject.

Germany and Italy head two rival factions that have presented alternative draft resolutions on how to reform the Council.

Germany, which leads the so-called G4 along with Japan, India and Brazil, wants to enlarge the council from 15 to 25 members, with the addition of six new permanent members without veto power and four elected for two-year terms.

The proposal is opposed by Italy and Pakistan, who lead a grouping known as United for Consensus and which want an enlarged council with the addition of only 10 new short-term members.

There are currently five permanent members: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain, and 10 countries elected on two- year terms. All five countries hold veto authority. The council's responsibilities include maintaining peace and security around the world, which authorize it to order use of force.

Any resolution must obtain the support of two-thirds of the 191- member General Assembly.

Asked whether U.N. reform had been a topic of conversation during Monday's meeting in Rome, Italy's Fini said: "We decided that there was no point in discussing this as I would not have been able to convince Fischer to change his position, nor would he have managed to change mine."

DPA

Subject: German news

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