Brazil Introduces U.N. Council Reform Plan
Tuesday July 12, 2005 3:16 AM
By NICK WADHAMS
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Brazil formally introduced a
proposal to reform the Security Council on Monday, a
move that could bring the United Nations a step closer
to ending a decade-long debate about the composition
of its most powerful body.
Yet the negative response the draft resolution drew
from a familiar group of opponents underscored just
how divided the United Nations remains.
Nearly all the 191 U.N. member states agree that the
15-nation council in its current form is an
anachronism of the post-World War II era, no longer an
accurate reflection of the world's landscape of power.
But so far there's been no agreement on how to change
The proposal from Brazil, Japan, Germany and India
would expand the council from 15 to 25 members, adding
six permanent seats without veto power and four
non-permanent seats. Those four each want a permanent
seat, with the other two earmarked for Africa.
The so-called group of four could seek a vote on its
proposal as early as the end of the week.
Brazil's U.N. Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg
repeated his supporters' main arguments - that any
other proposals won't correct the council's balance.
``As for the argument that working to bring this issue
to a conclusion after 12 years of discussion is
somehow still premature, we can only consider it
beguiling,'' Sardenberg said.
Opponents of the idea retorted with their argument:
that the so-called Group of Four's bid is nothing more
than a bid for power.
``The seekers of special privileges and power
masquerade as the champions of the weak and
disadvantaged, asserting that the special privileges
that they seek would make the council more
representative and neutral,'' said Pakistan's U.N.
Ambassador Munir Akram.
Akram is a leading proponent of an alternate proposal,
from a group calling itself ``Uniting for Consensus.''
Their proposal would add only non-permanent members
who would face periodic election.
The intensity of the debate has only heated up since
March, when U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he
wanted a decision on council expansion before
September, when world leaders will gather at the
United Nations for a summit.