Real negotiations may begin on UN Security Council reform: UN

G4 group`s India,Japan,Germany & Brazil are all in race for permanent spot.

United Nations: Real negotiations to reform
the UN Security Council, for which India, Japan, Germany and
Brazil have been pressing for a long time, may begin this year
to meet demands to enlarge the top world body and include
these countries as permanent members.

Negotiations to reform the UN Security Council, which have
been continuing for close to two decades, will get "real" this
year, Joseph Deiss, the UN General Assembly president, said.

"The situation for the moment is quite complex still
and I hope that during this year we will at least be able to
bring the negotiations, real negotiations under way," Deiss
told reporters yesterday.

India, Japan, Germany and Brazil- known as the
G4 group- are all in the race for a permanent spot as well as
South Africa.

But basic questions are yet to be resolved, which
include how many new seats should be created and whether the
veto power should be given to new permanent members.

Negotiations have shifted from the so called "Open Ended
Working Group" of the nineties to a text based negotiations,
which are headed by Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan.

Currently there are five permanent members- Britain,
China, France, Russia, and the United States with
veto powers, and there are 10 non-permanent members are
elected for two-year terms.

The Security Council was last expanded from 11 to
15 members in 1965 since the UN members-states had increased
to 118 by the time.

The world body currently has 192 members and emerging
powers like India have argued that the current structure of
the Security Council reflects a post-Second World War age and
not contemporary geo-political realities of a new century.

India`s quest for the seat got a boost when President
Barack Obama`s endorsed New Delhi`s bid to the Security
Council during his trip to the country, last year.

After the initial excitement of the announcement, US
officials had said that no "breakthrough" can be expected
"anytime soon" on Security Council reform to include
more permanent and non-permanent members.

Indian diplomats, however, have said that India
could become a permanent member of the Security Council in the
course of the next two years and it will join with other
permanent member aspirants to push for change in the next two
years during its term as a non-permanent member, which began
this month.

South Africa, Brazil and Germany- all contenders
for a permanent seat - are currently serving as non-permanent
members on the Security Council.