September 16th, 2005
Japan, India, Brazil, Germany vow new UN council bid info
| Source:AFP |
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Japan, India, Brazil and Germany vowed to make a new attempt for permanent membership on the UN Security Council, and Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appealed for support from world leaders.
Foreign Ministers and top officials of the so-called G4 agreed to pursue their efforts at a meeting on the sidelines of the UN world summit in New York.
Their first bid ran into opposition from the United States and China and failed to get crucial support from Africa for the necessary two-thirds of member countries' votes in the UN General Assembly to change the world body's charter.
"We should re-examine our strategy ... by looking back at what was good and what was wrong," Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura was quoted as saying by a Japanese official.
Emerging from the meeting, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said: "The G4 exists. The G4 will continue to work for
United Nations reform." He said their proposal could be reintroduced at the 60th session of the UN General Assembly with some changes.
"We are confident that it (reform) will happen," said Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
The G4 had submitted a plan to boost the council's membership from its current 15 to 25, with six new permanent seats and four new non-permanent seats. The Japanese official said there would be a "thorough" review of the plan to make it more appealing.
He added that it could be a G4 plan or a joint submission of the group with African nations. The official predicted a move by the end of the year.
The General Assembly has adopted a watered-down blueprint to restructure the world body, seeking a review of plans to expand the 15-member Security Council by the end of the year.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who did not take part in the G4 meeting due to talks with Iranians, said the document "leaves the door open" for further progress.
"We will continue to work patiently on reform," the minister told German reporters.
In a speech to the UN world summit, the Japanese prime minister pleaded the case for change on the Security Council, where permanent seats are currently held by Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, the victorious powers after World War II.
"The world has changed dramatically over the last 60 years. Asia and Africa, once under the shackles of colonialism, are now significant players in our global community," Koizumi told other leaders.
"For the last 60 years, Japan has determinedly pursued a course of development as a peace-loving nation, making a unique and significant contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world," he said.
"The composition of the Security Council must reflect these fundamental changes. Japan is convinced that Security Council reform is a just cause for the international community -- as is the deletion of the long-obsolete 'enemy state' clauses from the UN Charter," the prime minister said.
Japan is "ready to play a larger role as a permanent member" in a reformed council, he added.
Japan has been pressing for years for membership in the council. The United States said it supported Japanese permanent membership on an enlarged council, but the United States and China opposed the G4 initiative.
Japan was one of the vanquished nations in 1945, but now has the world's second-largest economy and is the second-biggest contributor to the UN budget.
Germany has made a similar case as Europe's biggest economy. India and Brazil are emerging powerhouses in Asia and Latin America, respectively.