Thursday, August 04, 2005

Meanwhile, back in Turtle Bay

An unofficial agreement has been reached by China and the United States, the gist of which is to make any further expansion of the UN Security Council rather difficult.

The two ambassadors, John Bolton and Wang Guangya, who are, apparently, old acquaintances expressed the views of their countries that the proposals put forward by the so-called G4 group, Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, were unacceptable as these would “divide” the 191 nation strong organization.

In actual fact, China has always opposed Japan becoming a permanent member of the Security Council, while the United States would like Japan but not the others. In particular, it would not like Germany there, though sober reflection ought to convince the Administration that more European permanent seats would prevent an attempt to grab one by the EU.

In fact, as the Chinese News Agency, Xinhuanet, sums it up, the various proposals are becoming seriously convoluted:

“Japan, Brazil, Germany and India have introduced a resolution calling for a 25-member council that would add six permanent seats without a veto and four non-permanent seats. They are hoping to win four of the permanent seats with the other two earmarked for Africa. South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are the leading African contenders.

The African Union has proposed expanding the council to 26 members - adding six permanent seats with veto power and five non-permanent seats. A third resolution by a group called Uniting for Consensus would add 10 non-permanent seats.”

Of course, none of this solves the basic problem of complete unaccountability but then, that is hardly likely to bother a country like Nigeria or Egypt. We shall watch further developments with interest.

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