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Old 12-02-2004, 09:36 AM   #1

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The United Nations has proposed an overhaul of its top decision-making group, the Security Council, which may pave the way for Germany to get a permanent seat.

The proposal, however, does not offer veto power to new members of the Security Council.

The UN report was drafted by a 16-member High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and included 101 concrete proposals for reform.

Germany, together with Japan, India and Brazil, have for a long time made their intentions of seeking permanent seats clear.

They have also called for Africa to be represented permanently at the UN's inner circle.

The UN Security Council currently has five permanent members holding veto rights - China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia. It also has 10 rotating members elected for two-year terms.

The report suggested expansion of the Security Council from its current 15 members to 24 and offered two options for the expansion.

One model suggested three new rotating seats and six permanent seats with no veto power: two for Africa, two for Asia, and one each for Europe and the Americas.

The other model would establish a new category of eight four-year renewable-term seats, which would be shared equally between Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. One new rotating seat would also be added under this model.

Germany appears willing to sacrifice veto rights in return for winning permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

"A middle-sized power such as Germany does not need the right to a veto," a senior foreign policy aide to German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder told the Financial Times.

However, a spokesman for the Japanese foreign ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima, considered it "unfavourable to have permanent Security Council members that have veto power and those that don't", the FT reported.

Changes to the Council require a two-thirds majority in the 191-nation General Assembly and the agreement of all five permanent members.

Russia has not yet indicated its position, while the Bush administration has made little secret of its displeasure about Germany's position, following its stance on the Iraq war.

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Old 12-02-2004, 12:29 PM   #2
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Originally posted by Dreamer128:
However, a spokesman for the Japanese foreign ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima, considered it "unfavourable to have permanent Security Council members that have veto power and those that don't", the FT reported.
I have to agree. If you are going to have a seat, whether permanent or temporary, on the Security Council then you should have equal rights and privileges to the other members, including veto power.
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