Senior officials from Brazil, Germany, India and Japan – all countries that have expressed their desire to become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – met today with Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York ahead of key negotiations on the issue of UN reform.
Following the midday meeting, Mr. Annan's spokesman's office said the foreign ministers of the socalled “Group of Four” met to brief Mr. Annan “on the state of play and to reassure him that they are interested in broader UN reform, as well as Security Council reform.”
The G-4 have introduced a proposal to increase the Council's membership from 15 to 25, by adding 6 permanent and 4 non-permanent members. None of the new permanent members would have the veto power wielded by the current five permanent members – China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.
For his part, Mr. Annan previously had presented two models for reforming the UN's most powerful security body. The first provides for six new permanent seats – two each from Africa and Asia and one each from Europe and the Americas, with no veto being created. Three new two-year term non-permanent seats would be divided among the major regional areas. The second model provides for no new permanent seats but creates a new category of eight four-year renewable-term seats and one new two-year non-permanent (and non-renewable) seat, divided among the major regional areas.
The General Assembly is currently conducting negotiations on this issue as part of a larger effort to overhaul the UN as proposed by the Secretary-General, who has voiced hope that world leaders meeting at a UN summit in September will act on the recommendations in order to render the world body more effective in meeting global challenges now and in the future.