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Negotiations to reform UNSC may begin this year: UN

Last updated on: January 18, 2011 20:09 IST
Real negotiations to reform the United Nations Security Council, for which India, Japan, Germany and Brazil have been pressing for a long time, may begin this year to meet demands to enlarge the top world body and include these countries as permanent members.

Negotiations to reform the UNSC, which have been continuing for close to two decades, will get "real" this year, Joseph Deiss, the UN General Assembly President, said.

"The situation for the moment is quite complex still and I hope that during this year we will at least be able to bring the negotiations, real negotiations under way," Deiss told mediapersons on Monday.

India, Japan, Germany and Brazil -- known as the G4 group -- are all in the race for a permanent spot as well as South Africa. But basic questions are yet to be resolved, which include how many new seats should be created and whether the veto power should be given to new permanent members.

Negotiations have shifted from the so called Open Ended Working Group of the nineties to a text based negotiations, which are headed by Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan.

Currently there are five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States -- with veto powers, and there are 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms.

The Security Council was last expanded from 11 to 15 members in 1965 since the UN members-states had increased to 118 by the time.

The world body currently has 192 members and emerging powers like India have argued that the current structure of the Security Council reflects a post-Second World War age and not contemporary geo-political realities of a new century.

India's quest for the seat got a boost when US President Barack Obama's endorsed New Delhi's bid to the Security Council during his trip to the country, last year. After the initial excitement of the announcement, US officials had said that no "breakthrough" can be expected "anytime soon" on Security Council reform to include more permanent and non-permanent members.

Indian diplomats, however, have said that India could become a permanent member of the Security Council in the course of the next two years and it will join with other permanent member aspirants to push for change in the next two years during its term as a non-permanent member, which began this month.
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