Home>News Center>World
         
 

Annan seeks EU support for UN reforms
(Agencies)
Updated: 2004-12-17 21:03

BRUSSELS, Belgium - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sought European support Friday for his plan to give regional heavyweights such as Brazil and Japan more clout at the United Nations.

French President Jacques Chirac (L) speaks with UN General Secretary Kofi Annan (R) as Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero stands behind during a family photo at the European Council building during a familly photo session of a European Union heads of state summit in Brussels December 17, 2004. [Reuters]
Europeans, for their part, were eager to discuss the U.N. role in monitoring elections next month in Iraq, where Annan has been reluctant to reinforce his small team of experts.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Annan before the U.N. chief was to address a full session of 25 EU leaders.

A British official said the breakfast meeting avoided the summit's main topic, Turkey's bid for EU membership and its refusal to recognize the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Annan pushed hard last year to resolve the Cyprus dispute, but his efforts were rebuffed when the Greek Cypriot government rejected his unification plan, even though it was embraced by Turkish Cypriots.

The European Union has been among Annan's staunchest supporters as he tries to ward off criticism from U.S. conservatives over Iraq's oil-for-food program. Saddam Hussein's regime skimmed billions of dollars from the U.N.-supervised program.

In Brussels, Annan wants firm support from Europe's leaders for a plan to expand and reshape the Security Council and to set clearer guidelines for its members to use pre-emptive force.

The U.N. chief commissioned the plan last year after the battle at the United Nations over U.S. policy in Iraq. The 16-member panel recently issued its report.

The commission agreed the Security Council may need "to be more proactive in the future," but it said all states have an obligation to discuss distant threats at an early stage.

Annan believes the 15-nation council, with its exclusive five-nation club at its core, needs to be reviewed to reflect power shifts in the world since the United Nations was created in 1945.

The plan also outlined ways to deal with global threats terrorism, poverty, infectious diseases and multinational crime.

A restructuring of the Security Council could fuel anger at Annan in the United States if the changes are seen as diluting U.S. authority. The United States shares veto powers with Britain, China, France and Russia.

The panel failed to reach a consensus on the Security Council's future shape and presented two options. One would add six new permanent members, but without veto powers. The other would create a new tier of eight semi-permanent members; two each from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Panel members agreed only that the current five permanent members should retain the veto.

Before the plan was released, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kim R. Holmes said any shake-up should be done "without making the Council any more unwieldy than it already is." Those responsible for funding and carrying out its decisions should have the most say, he said.

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan are among those countries that claim to have achieved regional superpower status and have been pressing for permanent seats.

In Washington on Thursday, Annan met outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell and his designated successor, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. The U.S. administration has been asking the U.N. chief to reinforce the 25 election experts now in Iraq.

"We have enough people in there to do the work," Annan said, as he stood with Powell. "And if need be, we'll put in the staff we need to get the work done. It's not a question of numbers; it's a question of what you need to get the job done."



 
  Today's Top News     Top World News
 

Country plans to enact anti-secession law

 

   
 

GM charges Chery for alleged mini car piracy

 

   
 

More cash allotted to cut poverty

 

   
 

Unemployment rate lower than expected

 

   
 

Info chief promises media better service

 

   
 

New law to improve civil servant system

 

   
  Japan delays sanctioning North Korea
   
  Saddam's defense minister faces hearing
   
  Japan, US sign missile defense agreement
   
  EU requirements dismay Turkish officials
   
  AP: Yushchenko poisoned by worst dioxin
   
  Sharon offers state to Palestinians
   
 
  Go to Another Section  
 
 
  Story Tools  
   
  Related Stories  
   
UN chief 'shocked' by attack on UN chopper in Abkhazia
   
Annan tells Powell UN will aid Iraq vote
   
Kofi Annan warns members must reform UN
   
Annan rejects calls for his resignation
   
UN rejects call for Annan's resignation
   
UN rejects call for Annan's resignation
   
Annan getting support at UN, White House cautious
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?  
Advertisement