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Germany

Vote On Security Council Expansion Looms

Germany, Brazil, India and Japan on Wednesday submitted a draft resolution on expanding the UN Security Council -- meant to include themselves. The UN General Assembly could vote on the issue as early as Wednesday.

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They've got the power

The so-called Group of Four submitted their draft for expansion of the UN Security Council for translation into the six official UN languages on Wednesday evening, a necessary step towards proposing a resolution.

The Group of Four planned to call for a debate in the General Assembly as early as next week, Germany's envoy to the UN, Gunter Pleuger, told AFP. German UN diplomats are hopeful that the text will be distributed to the 191 UN member states Friday and officially presented to the General Assembly Monday, according to AP. Japanese diplomats at the UN said their country aimed for passage of the resolution within the month of July.

Lobbying still to be done

The draft provides for expansion of the UN Security Council from the current 15 members to 25, with the creation of six new permanent seats without right of veto and four non-permanent seats. It does not spell out which countries would secure the seats but diplomats said the six new permanent seats would go to the G4 and two African countries yet to be selected. Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa have all been lobbying to be among the chosen few.

The African Union earlier in the week called for two permanent seats with veto powers for countries from their continent. The G4, however, aim to convince the Africans to accept permanent positions without veto rights.

At present, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the only permanent and veto-wielding members of the powerful UN body, which also has 10 rotating non-permanent members without veto power.

For passage, the General Assembly, in which each UN member state has only one vote, must approve the proposal.

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