Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Security Council reform talks to start in February
Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:08pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Patrick Worsnip
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Negotiations among the world's nations on the much disputed issue of expanding the U.N. Security Council from its long-standing membership of 15 states are set to start on February 19, officials said on Friday.
Most countries agree that the body, whose composition largely reflects the balance of power shortly after World War Two, needs to be enlarged to reflect present-day realities, but there is little agreement on how.
The council, the powerhouse of the United Nations with the ability to impose sanctions and dispatch peacekeeping forces, has five permanent veto-holding members -- the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China.
It also has 10 members elected on a regional basis who serve two-year terms before being replaced by others. They have no veto. That number was set in 1965, after standing at six since the post-war foundation of the United Nations.
The start date of February 19 for the intergovernmental negotiations was announced to an informal General Assembly session on Thursday by assembly president Miguel D'Escoto, U.N. officials said.
After years of deadlock, D'Escoto's predecessor began a fresh attempt in 2007 to get the negotiations under way. Discussions since then have covered the format of the talks as well as various proposals for expanding the council.
Diplomats said the negotiations were expected to be held, at least initially, among experts from missions of the 192 U.N. member states. They said they were awaiting a work plan from D'Escoto at the inaugural meeting on how exactly the talks would be structured.
NO QUICK OUTCOME
A world summit in 2005 said reform of the Security Council would make it "more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus ... further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions."
But many diplomats believe there will be no quick outcome to the negotiations, due to regional rivalries and a concern by the big powers that their pre-eminence should not be diluted.
Numerous plans have been put forward in the past, differing over how many new council seats should be added, who should have them, whether they should be permanent, semipermanent or time-limited, and which if any new states should get the veto.
Last year, Germany -- one contender for a permanent seat -- and Cyprus circulated a draft text that proposed adding seven new members -- two each from Africa and Asia and one each from Latin America, western Europe and eastern Europe. It left open the terms of their membership.
Just two weeks ago, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country and Britain would push for a temporary reform to unblock an issue he said was "not only not moving forward but is moving backwards."
Sarkozy said the permanent members should include an African and Latin American state and India, adding that the membership of Germany and Japan could be discussed.
The United States has said it supports permanent membership for Japan and possibly other states which it has not named. Continued...
View article on single page
Russia and Cuba seal new partnership at Kremlin
Also on Reuters
Slideshow: Flying through life -- from birth into adulthood
Full Coverage: The Year in Review 2008
Blog: So many ways to say goodbye...to your job
More International News
U.S. envoy warns of setbacks ahead in Mideast talks
Iraqis vote as violence begins to fade
Congo children branded as witches, abducted: U.N.
Georgia's Saakashvili names fifth PM in five years
Islamist looks set to be new Somali president
More International News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Republicans in high-stakes challenge to Obama | Video
Recession rocks Hollywood's showbiz papers
Naked couple surprises diners in stroll
North Korea, trying to jolt Obama, warns South | Video
Cost of shoring up U.S. banks may be in trillions
Cuomo eyes return of $4 billion in early Merrill bonuses: report
Snow study shows California faces historic drought
Fidel Castro demands Obama return Guantanamo base
GDP sees biggest drop in 27 years | Video
Turkish PM returns to hero's welcome after Gaza row | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Hero's welcome for Erdogan
Peres, Erdogan clash
Blagojevich removed from office
Monkey with a mission
Stimulus bill revives "Buy American"
Is Rush running the GOP?
Obama seeks deal with Republicans
Dog cloning cheaper but still bites
North Korea cuts ties with South
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The Great Debate
The Afghan narco-state
To understand why the war in Afghanistan, now in its eighth year, is not going well for the U.S., take a look at two statistics on corruption and drugs. Commentary
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.