Rice hints at flexibility re Security Council reform

21st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 July 2005, WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice indicated Wednesday that the U.S. position on the expansion of the U.N. Security Council is flexible. According to a transcript of a Senegalese television interview with Rice, she said that the discussion over the enlargement of the council should not divide the U.N. and detract member countries from undertaking important reforms. Rice said until now the U.S. has discussed expanding the Security Council by "two or so seats" but said there

21 July 2005

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice indicated Wednesday that the U.S. position on the expansion of the U.N. Security Council is flexible.

According to a transcript of a Senegalese television interview with Rice, she said that the discussion over the enlargement of the council should not divide the U.N. and detract member countries from undertaking important reforms.

Rice said until now the U.S. has discussed expanding the Security Council by "two or so seats" but said there is some flexibility in that position, according to the transcript, which was released by the State Department.

But State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said it is too soon to agree on a Security Council expansion.

Burns discussed the issue with African and other U.N. delegates to convince them not to commit to an expansion plan.

A large expansion of the Security Council, the U.S. has said, could limit its effectiveness.

The 53 African U.N. members play a key role in the efforts of those seeking an expansion. Their support is crucial to approve the plan, which requires a two-thirds majority, or 128 yes-votes.

Germany, Japan, Brazil and India, also known as the G4 countries, have introduced a plan that would give them and two African countries permanent membership on the Security Council, but they would not have veto power.

Meantime, the African Union has proposed a similar plan but it would grant veto power to two African countries and the G4 countries.

It is believed that neither plan on its own has enough support to pass and the two groups are looking for a compromise.

DPA

Subject: German news

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