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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Annan urges UN Member States to remain focused on Security Council reform

11 August 2005 Even if reform of the United Nations Security Council is not accomplished at the September World Summit, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged momentum be maintained to make it happen before the end of the year.

“Ideally, it should be done by September,” Mr. Annan said in a press encounter with the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK. “But if that were to slip, I think the Member States should remain focused, determined, and engaged, and try to do it by the end of the year because it is urgent.”

At the same time, the Secretary-General also reiterated the importance of making progress on the other reform “clusters” that were outlined in his report “In Larger Freedom,” especially those that seemed closer to consensus. Those clusters include: Freedom from Want, or socioeconomic development; Freedom to Live in Dignity, or law and human rights; and Strengthening the United Nations, or institutional reform, in addition to Freedom from Fear, which includes issues directly related to the Security Council.

“I would hope that, between now and the end of August, they would clear up all the outstanding issues on the other clusters to be able to put a package of decisions before the Member States,” he added.

The Secretary-General has proposed two formulas for expanding the Council, which would increase the membership to 24 from 15. Model A would add six permanent seats, with no veto, and three additional members with two-year terms. Model B would add eight members with four-year renewable terms and one two-year, non-renewable seat.

Neither plan changes the veto power enjoyed by the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The current 10 non-veto-wielding Council members, representing regions, are elected to rotating two-year terms.

At today’s press encounter, he expressed hope that the outcome document of the Summit will reflect the importance of reforming the Council by year’s end, while saying it was still possible for progress to be made before September.

“I don’t think it’s realistic, at this stage, to assume that it could not be done at the Summit because there’s quite a lot of negotiation and discussion going on amongst the Member States,” he said.


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