M A I N   N E W S

US ready to discuss Security Council expansion
T.V. Parasuram

Washington, June 17
With India vying for a seat in the UN Security Council, the US has said it is ready to discuss its “expansion” but made it clear that it was not prepared to have reforms “sprint” out before other “extremely important” changes that have to take place.

The US is prepared “to discuss expansion of the Security Council, to discuss the criteria by which that should happen, to discuss the structure that such Security Council reform might take,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters here yesterday without mentioning names of any aspirant or number of members to be included in an enlarged setup.

“And we are having those discussions, and we look forward to exchange ideas with people as we do that,” she said.

“But, we are not prepared to have Security Council reform sprint out ahead of the other extremely important reforms that have to take place like management reform, secretariat reform, peace building, issues about non-proliferation and issues about how we build a democracy fund,” Rice said.

“These are core to what the UN is, and we are determined that this is going to go forward in a way that draws people’s attention and people’s commitment to those reforms measures, too. We simply will not let Security Council reforms sprint out ahead of other reforms,” she said.

Her remarks came shortly after Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the US favoured a “modest expansion” of the UNSC, adding “two or so” permanent members, including Japan.

Burns, however, virtually rejected a proposal by India and three others G-4 countries that they would give up their demand for veto power for 15 years in return for their induction in the council, saying the privilege should be reserved for the current five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US. — PTI

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