Opposition to new Security Council seats grows

13th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2005, NEW YORK - Germany's chances of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council look shaky as opposition to the proposed addition of new permanent seats grows.

13 April 2005

NEW YORK - Germany's chances of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council look shaky as opposition to the proposed addition of new permanent seats grows.

Following China's demands earlier on Tuesday that Japan should face up to its history before lobbying for a permanent seat, news emerged in New York of parallel campaigns to undermine the expansion.

Germany, Japan, India and Brazil have been lobbying for permanent seats on the UN Security Council, which under reforms proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan could be expanded to about two dozen seats. Currently the council has five permanent members who have veto power - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

But a new group of about 120 countries has been formed at a New York hotel to oppose the addition of permanent seats as undemocratic and something that would deepen the 'two class system' in the United Nations.

The group, led by a smaller grouping of Mexico, South Korea, Italy, Mexico and Pakistan, are calling themselves 'Uniting for Consensus', and have advocated a larger council but no additional permanent seats.

Only 120 countries were invited to Monday's meeting, a move that a high ranking German UN diplomat criticised.

"We think it's really too bad that Germany and a series of other countries were not invited to the meeting," the official told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "That contradicts the stated desire to build a consensus."

If a true consensus cannot be created, the official said, "then the issue must go to a majority decision of the General Assembly, as proposed by (Annan)".

According to UN diplomats, some of the group leaders have regional interests at stake. Italy for example wants to block its European rival Germany; Mexico is worried about its giant rival Brazil; Pakistan wants to block India.

China, which was not represented at the meeting, has charged that that Japan, especially with the recent publication of new school textbooks that gloss over World War Two, has failed to make reparations and adequate apologies for its reign of terror in Asia during World War Two.

After the 'consensus' meeting, a special Pakistani envoy Inam ul Haque said that the group "would intensively persist in its efforts to convince other countries" to their standpoint.

He rejected Annan's call to resolve the debate with a General Assembly vote before the summit to celebrate 60 years of the United Nations, whose charter was signed in June 1945 at the end of World War Two.

DPA

Subject: German news

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