Fri, Jun 10, 2005 - Page 6 News List

New UN Security Council members would forego rights

AFP , UNITED NATIONS

Germany, Brazil, India and Japan would forego their veto rights for at least 15 years if they are accepted as permanent members of the UN Security Council, according to a draft proposal made public Wednesday.

The countries -- nicknamed the G4 -- are lobbying for a permanent position on the UN Security Council, and circulated a revised draft of their proposal, which includes expanding the Council from the current 15 members to 25.

The revised draft, distributed to journalists, is almost identical to an earlier proposal circulated on May 16 calling for six new permanent seats -- four for the G4 and two for unnamed African nations -- along with four non-permanent seats.

According to the text the new permanent members "should have the same responsibilities and obligations as the current permanent members."

However, "the new permanent members shall not exercise the right of veto" until a review 15 years after the measure is approved, the text read.

The Security Council currently has five members with the right to veto -- China, the US, France, Britain and Russia -- as well as 10 non-permanent members.

German ambassador to the UN Gunter Pleuger said the four "have tried to seek a formula that takes care of differing interests, of the interests of the P-5, not to be touched in their status, the interests of the new permanent members not to be discriminated against ... and we also take care of the opinion of more than 100 delegations that the veto is undemocratic and outdated ... "

One of the P-5 (permanent Security Council members), France, has co-sponsored the resolution after the amendment about a 15-year abstention from veto. British ambassador Adam Thomson said "not yet," when asked if London would also be a co-sponsor.

Indian ambassador to the UN, Nirupam Sen, said the G-4 was "confident that we have at present well above the two-thirds of the vote" from the 191 UN members required for it to pass.

The G4 nations plan to put their motion to the General Assembly if they are certain they will get that two-thirds support.

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