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UN: Security Council Reform On the Agenda Again.
November 21, 2009
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Calling for a more representative UN Security Council that will be able to reflect today's world, and pertinently address the overwhelming aspirations for Humanism, Democracy, Freedom, Justice, and respect of the Human Rights.

One shot UN reform: replace France and England by India and Japan.

The representativity problem within the UN Security Council would be immediately solved by a single shot: replacing France and England by India and Japan as veto powers – permanent member states of the Security Council. The new situation would not be ideal, but it would be far more appropriate and acceptable than the current status quo.

BERLIN (IDN) - “Security Council reform is sometimes dismissed as a cocktail party pastime for ambassadors, but I think, if it was the case before, those days are definitely over.”

This upbeat statement by Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, in his capacity as chair of the intergovernmental working group referred to protracted negotiations dealing with restructuring and making the vital organ of the world body more democratic.

Tanin told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York that the competition over different reform proposals had ended and intergovernmental negotiations towards compromises are on the agenda of the General Assembly, which comprises of all 192 member states.

The ambassador's optimism was highlighted during the annual debate at the UN headquarters in New York in September. Several government leaders pleaded for revamping the Security Council.

But considering the divergent views among member states, “decisive progress” in restructuring and making the world body's vital organ more democratic still seemed far off as the debate concluded on Sept. 30.

And yet, several reasons set apart the current round of negotiations from previous efforts over the last two decades, says a policy analyst at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s New York office.

The first two rounds of the intergovernmental negotiations took place between March and June this year. Moving the discussions out of the deadlocked working group was a step forward as member states for the first time agreed on a document (Resolution 62/557) as a basis for negotiations.

"This achievement," notes Alischa Kugel, "contributed toward at least initial enthusiasm amongst the UN membership, and although delegates complained about the repetitive nature of the different discussions more than two-third of the membership participated in the negotiations, signalling interest and engagement."


"In some instances member states even demonstrated flexibility in their opposing positions, creating room for negotiations," writes Kugel in the briefing paper titled 'Reform of the Security Council – A New Approach?' published end of September.

Of the five main country groups that have come together over time to advocate for reforms they see most pertinent, the following three groups take a particularly strong stance on enlargement of the Security Council that is responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

Seeking permanent representation on the Council are the Africa Group representing the African Union at the UN and the Group of Four (G4) composed of Germany, Japan, India and Brazil.

On the other hand, most vocal members of the group 'Uniting for Consensus' (UFC) -- Italy, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea and Pakistan -- that are regional counterweights or rivals to the G4 countries, have long supported expansion in only the non-permanent category, arguing that additional permanent seats would create new regional seats of power.

The five permanent members (P5) generally support a modest expansion of the Council. Apart from France and UK that are outspoken supporters of the G4 and African Group to join as new permanent members, however, remain tight-lipped about details of an enlargement, notes the FES paper.

The country groups' opposing positions on enlargement have for years created an impasse in negotiations. "It is therefore surprising that it is in this area that the negotiations actually saw some movement as members of the G4 and the UFC faction moved closer to a possible agreement on Council enlargement by considering the so-called intermediate approach or transitional solution, which exists in various forms," states the paper.

The intermediate approach generally proposes that implemented reforms, such as new permanent members and their privileges, would be reviewed after an agreed time period and reassessed upon performance and feasibility.

Some models of the intermediate approach in addition propose the option of a third membership category of extended seats. Extended seats would serve longer time on the Council than the current two-year term of non-permanent members (with proposals ranging from 3-15 years), and could be extended once the tenure runs out.

Toward the end of the first round, UFC members Colombia and Italy issued a proposal presenting the extended seat with a 3-5 year validity as an option for an extension in Council membership.3 In turn, Germany, member of the G4, indicated their principle interest and support for an intermediate model in the membership category.


The apparent success of the intermediate model prompted some delegates to describe it as a possible solution to break the stalemate in the reform negotiations. But the intermediate approach also has its limitations, writes Kugel.

Other members of the G4, most strongly India that in 2008 called the transitional solution “not a solution but a problem,” reportedly do not show support for a possible intermediate model of extended seats.

The African Group also opposes the intermediate approach in saying that it would create second-class permanent members with fewer privileges than the P5.

Major progress of the intermediate model is further hindered by its many variations resulting in a lack of clarity for member states when they are deliberating on the approach. Indeed, in the extended seat category alone, options range from a 3-year term that is re-negotiable to one that is not extendable at all to the long-term option of 15 years and everything in between.

The FES paper envisages that the African Union and the G4, excluding Germany, may remain a major stumbling block for the intermediate approach as these groups have not indicated interest in moving toward an intermediate solution. However, more clarification on what the model would entail, as well as a narrowing down options might entice the groups to actually consider the approach.

The rationale behind the newfound momentum in the negotiations is also a renewed sense of urgency to reform UN structures thrust into the arena by the economic and financial crisis but also by the shortcomings of UN peacekeeping missions, calling into question the Security Council’s ability to effectively maintain peace and security.

While the financial and economic crisis provides increased attention on global governance issues in general, the Security Council stands at the centre of the debate around failing peacekeeping missions.

The Council’s permanent members seem open to some reforms, such as enlargement and some working method reforms, partly to legitimise their own seats, argues the paper. The vast majority of decisions made by the Council affect African countries that have no permanent representation on the Council.

In order to increase legitimacy for its decisions, the Council recognises that it has to give African countries a stronger voice. Representation by African countries also becomes important as the UN peacekeeping system, including the Council, increasingly acknowledges the role and importance of regional organizations, such as the African Union, in peacekeeping missions.

In a recent Presidential Statement co-sponsored by UK and France, the Council also acknowledged the importance of “ensuring coherence between peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace-building and development,” striving for an integrated approach to these issues which implies among other things closer cooperation with non-Council members -- an important aspect of working method reform.

Providing for better geographical representation and improved cooperation with other actors might also help the P5 to avert attention from their disputed use of the veto, which has actually increased over the last decade, notes Kugel.

Between 1990 and 2000 the veto was cast eight times. Between 2000 and 2008, however, the veto has already been used 15 times, most frequently by the U.S. with 10 such votes.

The U.S. plays a key role in Council reforms, and has already made an important step in de-linking Council reform from other reform processes, like for example, management reform. Thus many delegates put hope into the Obama administration, which promises to be a cooperative partner with more interest in effective multilateral institutions than its predecessor.

At least rhetorically this seems to be the case -- in action the U.S. is so far holding back. In a speech at New York University in August, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spoke about her country's new approach to the world body but generally stayed rather vague and did not mention Security Council reform.

Some UN delegates have spoken of a need to bring pressure to bear on the current negotiations by outlining a timeframe by which the deliberations will have to come to a conclusion and suggested 2010 as a possible setting.

Others, however, were deeply concerned about pressuring member states into any kind of timetable, warning of a repetition of the frantic discussions that closed the last session of the General Assembly. In the previous months there were rumours of the president of the General Assembly Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann wanting to include a timetable in the last round of negotiations. These aggravated concerns about a timetable.

Mistrust runs deep among the different country groups, and pushing for a timetable might be seen by some as trying to get a quick fix to Council reform, fortifying the mistrust, avers the FES paper.

Successful continuation of negotiations will also depend on the ability and commitment of the new General Assembly president Ali Abdessalam Treki of Libya. Accordong to Kugel, some see his African background as a possible advantage, as he may be able to move the African Group toward a more flexible position on reform. (IDN-InDepthNews/03.10.09)

Copyright © 2009 IDN-InDepthNews Service

Security Council membership

The UN Security Council's membership has remained virtually unchanged since it first met in 1946.

Great Britain, the United States, the then Soviet Union, China and France were designated permanent members of the UN's most powerful body.

Initially, six other countries were elected to serve two-year spells on the council – in 1946 they were Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland.

Australia had last had a seat on the Council in 1985–86, and that it was among the first six non-permanent members to serve on the Security Council in 1946–47. In subsequent years, Australia served on the Council every ten or eleven years. Australia won seats on the Security Council in 1946–47, 1956–57, 1973–74, and 1985–86.

The number of elected members, who are chosen to cover all parts of the globe, was increased to 10 in 1965. They are currently Belgium, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Libya, Panama, South Africa and Vietnam.

Decisions made by the council require nine "yes" votes out of 15. Each permanent member has a veto over resolutions.

The issue of UN reform has long been on the agenda. One suggestion is that permanent membership could be expanded to 10 with India, Japan, Germany, Brazil and South Africa taking places. Any reform requires 128 nations, two-thirds, to support it in the assembly.

April 15 2003
Australian Prime Minister wants to kick out France from the UN Security Council.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/ ... 36432.html

12 July, 2005
UN debates new Security Council


China: UN Security Council reform should be broadened.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008 ... 042902.htm

BEIJING -- China supports the necessary and appropriate reform to the UN Security Council (UNSC), however, all plans should undergo broad and democratic discussions, said the Foreign Ministry.

Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei made the remarks Friday morning when briefing the reporters on Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the UN meetings.

Wen will attend the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) scheduled for September 25 in New York, as invited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and attend the general debate of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly.

The minister said China supported the necessary and appropriate reform to the Security Council, which aims to enhance its authority and efficiency. The reform should give priority to the African countries, which are under-represented on the Council. The reform should also tackle the easy problems first, before moving on to the hard ones, he added.

"Since the Security Council is an important organ for maintaining international security and world peace, any reform plans should go through broad and democratic discussions, and get the consensus of as many countries as possible," He said.

As for the permanent membership of Japan, He said China positively valued the path of peaceful development taken by Japan after World War II, and was willing to see that Japan played a bigger and a constructive role in international affairs.

"The Security Council reform needs a decision of all UN member countries after patient and in-depth discussions. China is willing to have dialogues with all sides including Japan on this issue, and find a plan acceptable to all sides," He said.

He also spoke highly of the recent development in Sino-Japanese ties, saying this development of bilateral relations is not only in the interests of the two peoples, but also conducive to peace and development in Asia and the world.

October 13, 2012
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New powers seek UN Security council reform

April 14, 2011

The leaders of five of the world's major emerging powers have called for UN Security Council reform to give developing nations more of a say on pressing global issues.

Presidents Hu Jintao and Dmitry Medvedev of China and Russia - permanent UN Security Council members - joined fellow BRICS nations India, Brazil and South Africa in the southern Chinese resort of Sanya for an annual summit aimed at raising the bloc's profile.

The latter three countries are rotating members of the Security Council but are seeking more permanent representation - either as individual countries or for their regions - to match their growing world influence.

"The reform of the United Nations and its Security Council is essential. It is just impossible... that we should still remain attached to institutional arrangements that were built in the post-war period," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told reporters on Thursday.

Besides Hu, Medvedev and Rousseff, the wide-ranging morning talks were attended by South African President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

During a joint media appearance after their talks, Zuma said: "We agreed on the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council system to make it more representative and effective."

China and Russia lent their support to those calls in a joint statement issued by the five nations - which together represent more than 40 per cent of the world's population.

"China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of India, Brazil and South Africa in international affairs, and understand and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN," it said.

India and Brazil would like their own permanent seats on the Security Council - moves backed by Russia but not yet formally endorsed by China.

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, the so-called Group of Four (G4), renewed their longstanding campaign to get permanent Council seats last year.

African nations believe they should have up to two permanent seats on the council, with South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt all considered contenders. Arab and Latin American nations are also demanding stronger representation.

The BRICS summit statement, issued after the talks, also said the use of force in strife-torn Libya and the Arab world should be avoided.

South Africa was the only BRICS nation to approve a UN Security Council resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorising "all necessary measures" to protect civilians, opening the door to coalition air strikes.

The other four countries have expressed concern that the NATO-led campaign - which aims to thwart Muammar Gaddafi's assault on rebels seeking to end his 41-year rule - is causing civilian casualties.

China and Russia, who could have vetoed the resolution, both abstained.

October 13, 2012
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Wednesday 2 May 2012


Statement by H.E. Gary Quinlan
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of Australia to the United Nations

Mr Chairman,

Thank you for your tenacity and determination to see a comprehensive debate on these important initiatives take place. And thank you to the S-5 for their work and explanation of their draft resolution today.

Australia is not, as everyone knows, not a member of any of the established groups on Security Council reform. Not because we don’t value their efforts, or support many of their ideas – to the contrary in fact. We support many of their important proposals. But our overarching approach has been to retain flexibility, to encourage flexibility on the part of others, and to support ideas that we assess as sensible, and achievable. And which might open the door to actually achieving change rather than continue the longstanding stalemate on this issue in the UN trenches. The S5 initiative, to our mind, falls into that category, and that is why we support it.

We have heard some concerns about the resolution’s procedural implications. But we do not believe that this resolution would preclude, or undermine, prospects for broader reform. As a country in favour of expansion of both categories of membership of the Council – as soon as possible – we simply wouldn’t support anything that jeopardised this objective.

But at this stage of our deliberations, we believes a resolution such as this would send a clear, and very necessary message from the UN membership, that we all have a genuine interest in Security Council reform, and a clear view on what direction that reform should take.

Of course, we are all committed to the Inter-Governmental Negotiations. But for our part, we are also committed to considering, where we think it would take us forward, other ideas for shifting the ground a little, and for making progress where we can.

On the substance of the S5 draft resolution, the measures outlined in this draft resolution are logical and sensible. They are consistent with our own ambitions for a more transparent and accessible Security Council. Transparency and accessibility equal legitimacy, and the legitimacy of the Council is in all of our interests, given that it remains – and must remain - the body with primary responsibility for peace and security.

And it is that very responsibility that creates an obligation on Council members to work to enhance the transparency of Council deliberations, which we believe the proposals in this draft resolution would do.

It is also important to note that the resolution presents a series of measures and “invites the Security Council to consider the measures” – thereby acknowledging the respective competencies of the Council and the General Assembly, and making clear the understanding that the Council is indeed master of its own decisions.

In short we believe that we ought to continue to work to achieve meaningful reform in this forum under your stewardship, but that we should also seize opportunities to make improvements that will enhance the way the Council operates, and the perceptions of its legitimacy. These objectives are not incompatible.

To conclude - we understand those who maintain that pursuing efforts outside the intergovernmental negotiations – negotiations which we strongly support - will divert the pressure we need to bring about consensus on a broader package. We don’t want that pressure to dissipate either, but whether it does or not is also in our hands. We are supporting the S5 initiative partly out of frustration that so little progress has been made on the five key issues set out in Decision 62/557, and that the obstacles in our way – defined by the geopolitics – appear firm. But also because we believe we need to keep trying to open the door to more comprehensive reform – including deep structural reform - and this initiative may help us to do so.

October 13, 2012
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Security Council reform gains traction
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Sep 28, 2012

NEW YORK - At this week's parade of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, old and hitherto fruitless talk of reforming the Security Council received a timely revival.

In contrast to past decades of inaction on the issue, the chance of reform appears better now than ever due to several interrelated factors. These include the dissatisfaction of emerging powers with the status quo, the council's occasional paralysis and the growing influence of developing nations via outlets such as the Non-Aligned Movement.

There is also growing consensus in the UN community that reform focused on expansion of and other changes to the Security Council is an important requisite for restructuring the body so it

can better address world problems. In his opening speech at the assembly, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon sounded an "alarm" about the condition of turmoil the international community finds itself in today.

What's different about this year's treatment of this issue at the UN annual summit is that so many leaders cited the need for Security Council reform, and not just from the Global South.

French President Francois Hollande may have surprised his Western audience with the centrality he placed on the subject in his UN speech on Tuesday. He stated France's support for an enlargement of the council, a proposal forwarded by Germany, Japan, India and Brazil, and favored an increasing the presence of African nations, including among the body’s permanent members. Being on the Security Council was not "a privilege handed down through time," Hollande said, rather it entailed "the duty to act in situations that required joint responses".

Unfortunately, there was not even an indirect hint of support for this in US President Barack Obama's speech, which was largely a sermon on democratic values to "new democracies", as if the US was a firm custodian of free speech. The simple fact is that there are serious limitations in the US on the right to criticize the state of Israel, as this author has repeatedly experienced.

Clearly, at the moment France and Germany seem the only members of UN Security Council with a genuine interest in expansion of the council. The prevailing sentiment among the other veto holders - US, Russia, England, and China - is to maintain the status quo with perhaps only cosmetic changes in the foreseeable future.

Yet, these powers are now facing fresh pressures that may be impossible to ignore, particularly if the General Assembly turns into a global coalition for Security Council transformation. In that case, the momentum would generate a major credibility problem for the Security Council, as it is basically out of tune with the will of majority of member states.

This much is clear by scrutinizing speeches delivered at the UN that indicated a new willingness to treat Security Council reform as a top priority. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono referred to this issue in the context of his discourse on a post-Cold War "warm peace" that is inherently unstable and demands a serious effort to restructure by the UN.

The sentiment was echoed by, among others, Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, who in his much-anticipated speech delivered a damning condemnation of Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons without any attempt to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while reiterating his peace initiative on Syria and calling for reform of the UN and other global financial institutions.

Although his speech was more moderate in tone than that of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an analysis of Morsi's address shows a great deal of synergy between the two leaders, reflecting a new "twin pillar". (See Egypt and Iran, new twin pillars, Asia Times Online, September 1, 2012).

As of Wednesday, the most powerful attack on the UN's defunct power structure was delivered by Ahmadinejad, who lambasted the Security Council as dictatorial and dominated by a few powers. This was Ahmadinejad's eighth and final speech at the assembly as the Iranian president. He had raised the theme of UN reform in previous speeches but the difference this year was that Ahmadinejad was also speaking as leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), representing 120 UN member states.

This meant Western states could no longer simply ignore him or walk out of his talks. However, the US representative did just that, despite Ahmadinejad alluding to the tragedy of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden as the "culprit", and refraining from any mention of Holocaust issues.

Of course, there is no guarantee that a bigger or more democratic UN Security Council would be more effective in tackling the world's growing list of peace and security issues, in light of big power discord between the US and China and a host of other rivalries inviting council inaction or paralysis, as is the case with Syria today, despite growing calls for immediate Security Council action to end the violence in Syria.

Irrespective, the countries advocating Security Council expansion and / or change remain adamant that the council's present structure is outdated and unfit for the 21st century - that the UN must evolve both organizationally and otherwise.

Several key proposals on how to reform the Security Council are on the table, but it may require a new initiative by the secretary general, such as appointing a new "high-level" group to give recommendations on how to proceed, to give the issue real momentum. However, without receiving a green light from the US and other permanent members this is unlikely to happen and it would be unrealistic to expect Ban Ki-moon to unilaterally take on the entire big powers at the Security Council.

Still, Ban is the leader of the entire UN organization and must deal with the growing disquiet of so many members regarding the Security Council's outdated power structure. Even France's gestures are not taken seriously by many Third World diplomats, and some from African nations have told this author that they believe France's "half-hearted" embrace of Security Council reform is merely "tactical".

Perhaps France is simply ahead of its time and - unlike the US and other big powers - realizes that a point of "no return" is approaching.

October 22, 2012
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October 20, 2012

Australia wins seat on UN Security Council.

Australia has won a seat on the United Nations Security Council, & will hold the position for two years from 2013 as one of the 10 non-permanent members of the Council.

With 129 votes required, Australia secured 140 in the first round of the ballot at UN headquarters in New York overnight.

Australia was a founding member of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 and has been actively engaged in the organisation since its formation.

Australia has been an elected member of the United Nations Security Council on four occasions in the past (1946-7, 1956-7, 1973-4, and 1985-6), and is currently elected to serve a term in 2013-14.

H. V. Evatt, a former Opposition Leader of Australia and prominent figure in the Australian Labor Party, was President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

In fact, an Australian, Dr H. V. Evatt, who was a justice of the High Court of Australia in the 1930s, played a principal role in the formation of the United Nations. In the 1940s Evatt resigned from the High Court to return to politics, and when Labor came to power under John Curtin in 1941, Evatt became Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs.
He was high up in the diplomatic service during the Second World War, and in 1945 Evatt played a leading role in the founding of the UN. He served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1948 to 1949, and played a prominent role in the negotiations which led to the creation of Israel as a sovereign nation.

In March 2008, senior United Nations officials travelled to Canberra to meet Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The aim was to "repair relations". Hilde Johnson, deputy director of UNICEF, stated.

Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard promised her government would ''take an Australian voice, an Australian accent'' to the council.

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Tanin told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York that the competition over different reform proposals had ended and intergovernmental negotiations towards compromises are on the agenda of the General Assembly, which comprises of all 192 member states.

The ambassador's optimism was highlighted during the annual debate at the UN headquarters in New York in September. Several government leaders pleaded for revamping the Security Council.

But considering the divergent views among member states, “decisive progress” in restructuring and making the world body's vital organ more democratic still seemed far off as the debate concluded on Sept. 30.

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November 21, 2009
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Howard seeks to demote France in UN

April 15 2003

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard wants to reform the United Nations, saying the presence of France as a permanent member of the Security Council "distorts" the council.

He wants Japan, a South American country and India to be represented on the Security Council. France was there only because it was a global power at the end of World War II, he said.

Asking France or any other permanent member of the Security Council to voluntarily surrender their seat was "a major undertaking", he conceded.

His comments risk the ire of France before the first visit to Australia by President Jacques Chirac, who is due in the country in July.

France angered the war coalition nations with its strong opposition to a second UN resolution backing military action. Once the troops went into Iraq, President Chirac was a vocal opponent of the war.

Mr Howard offered a compromise, which he said would make the UN more representative of the modern world - three levels of Security Council members, the permanent members, the rotating members and a new group of permanent members that had no veto. It would be "a far better expression of world opinion", he said.

Despite his criticism of the Security Council, Mr Howard said the UN had a complementary role to play in the reconstruction of Iraq. But the interim authority would be run by the US with help from Britain, Australia and others.

Mr Howard cautioned against moving too fast to a new Iraqi-controlled government, because the model had to be right. He suggested a federal system similar to Australia's could be suitable for Iraq. "When you reflect upon the strong Kurdish component in the north, the Shiite preponderance in the south and the Sunni preponderance in the middle, perhaps there is some merit in a federal experiment in Iraq," Mr Howard told the 13th Commonwealth Law Conference in Melbourne.

He mentioned the possible model with "some trepidation" in case he was accused of trying to impose an alien Australian solution on another country.

"But when you have strong ethnic and regional differences, it is only a federal system of government that perhaps might provide the means of holding the nation together."

Government officials said Australia's views on the shape of a postwar Iraqi government had been made known to the US and included two main principles - that it be determined by the Iraqi people and that it should allow for representatives of the three main groups and some further tribal groupings.

The Kurds should have a strong degree of autonomy, the officials said.

Australia has sent a number of officials to be part of the transitional authority headed by US retired general Jay Garner. The Department of Foreign Affairs official is Andrew Goledzinowski, an assistant secretary who has worked as a career diplomat and as the chief of staff to Mary Robinson, the former UN high commissioner for refugees.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said Mr Howard should focus his intention on more immediate issues, such as the crisis at Baghdad's hospitals.

"The primary concern is to make sure the hospitals are no longer looted and medical supplies and services are being dispensed to the Iraqi people," Mr Rudd said.

Also yesterday, Mr Howard attacked "armchair generals" who criticised the conduct of the war, while it had run largely according to plan. "Of all the doomsday scenarios that were predicted, not one of them has been realised," he said.

June 27, 2010
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Britain, France support India's bid for permanent UNSC membership


India's bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council received a boost after Britain and France voiced their support.

British premier David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh late Saturday night ahead of the G-20 Summit and supported India's bid during their bilateral meetings.

"The British Prime Minister supported India's case for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council," said External Affairs Ministry spokesman.

Cameron and Dr. Singh also shared their views on G-20 developments, expressing satisfaction over the performance of Indo-British ties.

Briefing media persons, Vishnu Prakash said the meeting between Dr. Singh and Cameron was conducted in an atmosphere of cordiality.

He said that Dr. Singh congratulated Prime Minister Cameron on his electoral victory on May 6, and said that he looked forward to the latter's visit to India in July.

Prakash further said that both leaders expressed satisfaction over the positive "trajectory" that this bilateral relationship was taking.

He further revealed that the United Kingdom is the largest investor in India, and added that Indo-British trade is worth over 13 billion dollars.

French President Sarkozy described India as one of his country's most important partners, and urged it to play a more critical role on the international stage, including in the ongoing Group of Twenty (G-20) deliberations.

He told Dr. Singh with France taking over the G-20 presidentship later this year, he was looking to India for greater cooperation in G-20. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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