PM charms leaders, corporate honchos

Updated on Sep 23, 2004 03:09 AM IST

India, Japan, Germany and Brazil on Tuesday launched a joint bid for permanent seats in the expanded UN Security Council.

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PTI | ByS. Rajagopalan, New York

India, Japan, Germany and Brazil on Tuesday launched a joint bid for permanent seats in the expanded UN Security Council. The leaders of the four nations have vowed to work together and support each other's candidature.

“The Security Council must reflect the realities of the international community in the 21st century. It must be representative, legitimate and effective,” they said in a joint statement adopted at a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and German foreign minister Joschka Fischer held a strategy session on how best to put their joint project on the fast track.

Singh also had a separate meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, where he put forth India’s case for comprehensive reforms of the UN system, including the Security Council. The PM used the occasion to reject one of the proposals being considered by a panel appointed by Annan to go into the reforms issue — the creation of a new layer of eight semi-permanent members serving five-year terms.

“We reject any new move to create semi-permanent or rotational seats,” foreign secretary Shyam Saran said while briefing Indian journalists on the G-4 meeting and on Singh's talks with Annan.

India is also emphatic that the new permanent members be given the same authority that the current five members enjoy.

Annan indicated to Singh that the reforms panel is expected to submit its proposals in December. The report will then be debated by the members. Under the UN Charter, any restructuring of the Council would need a two-thirds approval by General Assembly and without a veto from any of the five permanent Council members.

The G-4 countries are seeking an expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership categories.

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