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Germany

Germany Confident About UN Council Seat

Germany, India, Brazil and Japan have enough votes to land permanent seats on the UN Security Council, but they'll still seek more support before pushing for a vote, the German and Indian ambassadors said.

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Germany believes it will enter the exclusive Security Council club

Speaking with reporters after a meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Ambassador Gunter Pleuger and Indian Ambassador Nirupam Sen said they still envision putting their proposal to enlarge the Security Council from 15 to 25 seats to a vote by the end of June.

The proposal calls for the creation of six new permanent seats and four non-permanent seats on the Council.

Holders of the six new permanent seats would be identified later, in a second resolution, but it is already known that they would go to members of the G4 and two African countries to be chosen by the African Union in a summit in early July.

If the two resolutions pass, a third resolution would be required to amend the charter of the United Nations.

Gunter Pleuger vor UN Sicherheitsratssitzung

Germany's Ambassador to the UN, Gunter Pleuger, represented Germany on the Council as a non-permanent member

"We are seeking consultations, dialogue and discussions with all member states here... and at the end of that we'll have a vote on the resolution," Pleuger said. "June has always been our target, we have not given up. We are confident that we have the two-third majority that we

need but we're also striving to have the largest possible support."

Enlargement before September?

The General Assembly of the United Nations comprises 191 members, so a two-third majority is 128 votes. The General Assembly does not hold veto power, a privilege reserved for the five permanent members of the Security Council -- China, the United States, France, Britain and Russia.

"The schedule remains the end of June, there's no change of that," Sen said.

UN Generalversammlung in New York

Members of the United Nations General Assembly will have to approve the enlargement

The two diplomats affirmed that Annan believes the enlargement of the Security Council should take place before the world summit in September, where participants are scheduled to adapt an ambitious reform program on the 60th anniversary of the creation of the world body.

But since the draft resolutions began circulating, several countries including the United States have moved to put the brakes on it.

"This particular issue is one we don't want to have a deadline on," a US diplomat who did not want to be identified told AFP.

US wary

Condoleezza Rice

US Secretary of State has not made a clear statement about whether her country would back other permanent members on the Council

The United States has publicly expressed support for Japan's candidacy but remains reserved about that of Germany. It has not yet taken a position on the G4, merely repeating that they want reform to produce greater efficiency.

China, for its part, is hostile to Japan and firmly opposed to the G4 proposal, which it calls "dangerous," likely to divide the UN and derail reform.

Friday, Pakistan's Ambassador Munir Akram echoed that stance. Asked by journalists what will happen if the G4 pushes for a vote at the end of the month, he said: "They'll lose.

"I think everybody is advising against a trainwreck happening, and that will happen if this draft is tabled and put to a vote," he said. "There will be a strong division here at the UN, no matter who wins or loses. So if you want to have that happen, divide the whole organization, derail the whole process, create tension, that's the way to go."

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