Japan, India, Brazil, Germany vow new UN council bid

Japan, India, Brazil, Germany vow new UN council bid
September 16th, 2005  

Topic: Japan, India, Brazil, Germany vow new UN council bid

Japan, India, Brazil, Germany vow new UN council bid


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.

September 16th, 2005  

Soure:BBC News

India, S Africa demand UN reform

The leaders of India and South Africa have called for a reform of the UN Security Council to address "the gross imbalance of power" in the world body.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the UN World Summit in New York that the council's structure reflected the world of 1945.

South African President Thabo Mbeki criticised "rich and powerful nations" for allegedly blocking the reform.

Both India and South Africa want a permanent seat in the 15-member body.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the gathering of some 150 world leaders carry out "constructive" reform of the UN.

  • No international definition of terrorism
  • Plans to reform Human Rights Commission deferred to General Assembly
  • Commitment to break down trade barriers weakened
  • Creation of peace-building commission to help nations emerging from war agreed
  • Obligation to intervene when civilians face genocide and war crimes agreed
  • Development section backing Millennium goals to tackle world poverty

Mr Putin said the reform should "unite, not separate" the world community, stressing that the UN must also play a central role in the fight against terrorism.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani used his speech to urge leaders to help to overcome the "forces of darkness" in his country.

He said the so-called war on terror required "diverse" international participation.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said this week's withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip offered the Palestinians the opportunity to seize the chance for peace.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the reform deal was "a good start", but differences had prevented progress.

The summit marking the world body's 60th anniversary began on Wednesday - a day after UN ambassadors reached a watered-down deal on reform.

'Democracy deficit'

India has campaigned hard - along with Japan, Brazil and Germany (the Group of Four) - for an expansion of the five permanent seats on the Security Council.

In his speech, Mr Singh said the organisation suffered from a "democracy deficit" as it did not reflect the new realities.

"Until the UN becomes more representative of the contemporary world and more relevant to our concerns and aspirations, its ability to deliver on ... its own charter obligations will remain limited," he said.

He also reaffirmed that India would "never succumb to terrorism" in the disputed territory of Kashmir, which it disputes with Pakistan.

President Pervez Musharraf later denied Pakistan was involved in "cross-border terrorism".


Meanwhile, Mr Mbeki said the council must reform to help reach consensus on global security issues.

"We have not achieved this security consensus because of the gross imbalance of power that defines the relationships among member states," he said.

Mr Mbeki also accused rich nations of using "their power to perpetuate the power imbalance in the ordering of global affairs".

South Africa has played a key role in a bid by the African Union - a rival to the one offered by the Group of Four - to reform the Council.

The current permanent members of the powerful council are China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. Each can veto Security Council resolutions.