US, Russia, China rejecting G4 UN reform bill
The United States on Tuesday firmly rejected a resolution by Brazil, Germany, Japan and India to expand the 15-member U.N. Security Council by 10 seats and warned the U.S. Senate could veto the measure.
"We will work with you to achieve enlargement of the Security Council, but only in the right way and at the right time," said Tahir-Kheli, adviser to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "We urge you, therefore, to oppose this resolution and, should it come to a vote, to vote against it."
Brazil, Germany, Japan and India have introduced a resolution to add six permanent seats to the council, four for themselves and two for Africa, and four nonpermanent seats.
A vote has not yet been scheduled on the proposal. If it is passed by the U.N. General Assembly, national legislatures must approve the change. If the legislatures from one of the five permanent members of the Security Council do not approve the resolution, the proposal will fail.
Tahir-Kheli warned nations the U.S. Senate could veto the measure.
"Whether Democrats or Republicans, American Senators -- like officials of our executive branch -- will be looking to see if Security Council enlargement is part of a broader package of needed reforms and whether it makes the council more or less effective in discharging its important duties," she said.
Of the council's current members, five are veto-wielding permanent members -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China. Ten other nations rotate in two-year terms.
Germany's U.N. ambassador, Guenter Pleuger, said the five Security Council powers would have a hard time opposing a resolution if 128 General Assembly members approve it.
"Do one or two permanent members really want to block the development and a change for the better of the whole U.N. organization? Do they want to be seen in worldwide public opinion as those who deny the developing countries representation in the council on an equal footing as permanent members?" Pleuger asked.
"Some of those who oppose enlarging the council to 25 did not oppose the enlargement of NATO and would certainly contradict the notion that the NATO Council of 26 has become less effective since then," Pleuger said. "In the U.N., as in all democratic parliaments, decisions are taken by vote and the minority agrees to accept the result."
China objects to Japan and Britain and France support the resolution by the four aspirants.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador, Andrei Denisov, gave his first strong statement against the resolution, agreeing with the United States that 25 new members was too many. He said Moscow rejected "any dilution of the power of the five and their veto rights."
The 53-member African Union has a similar proposal to the four aspirants. It has not yet introduced it but wants one more permanent seat, which would bring the total seats on the Security Council to 26.
But the Africa Union has insisted on veto rights for new permanent members, while the four aspirants say a decision on the veto should be made in 15 years. Without a compromise with the African Union, the resolution from the four nations seeking permanent seats has no chance to reach the two-thirds vote.
A third proposal by some 20 nations would add 10 nonpermanent seats for varying terms. Canada, a proponent of this concept, argued that there was not much one could do about the five permanent members, but adding more permanent seats "would lock into place forevermore a rigid regime unsuited to a dynamic world."