• Kyodo News


Japan may submit a new resolution for Security Council expansion to the United Nations General Assembly in September in the hope of having it adopted by the end of the year, according to government sources.

The move comes amid dim adoption prospects for a previous resolution submitted jointly by Japan, Brazil, Germany and India, the so-called Group of Four.

Japan is expected to consult with the other three members in compiling the new draft and submit it around Sept. 14, when the U.N. special summit is scheduled to start in New York, the sources said.

The sources expect the new document to contain a concession to the African Union — likely the addition of an extra nonpermanent seat — in order to gain its crucial support.

The prospects for the G4’s original resolution being adopted by the General Assembly evaporated in early August after the 53-member African Union decided not to pursue a joint proposal with the four nations.

The AU, the largest grouping in the United Nations, holds the key to whether a new resolution is approved, but the sources said it is difficult to estimate how many AU members would agree to support it.

Even if the G4 comes up with a new resolution, it may not be able to bring it up for adoption, depending on the outcome of general elections in Japan and Germany, its leading countries.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi dissolved the House of Representatives last week and called a snap election for Sept. 11 after dozens of members of the Liberal Democratic Party, which he heads, revolted against his postal privatization bills.

In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats are trailing the conservative Christian Democratic Union in opinion polls as the Sept. 18 parliamentary election draws near.

The G4 plans to continue soliciting votes to secure a majority until Sept. 12, when resolutions that have not been adopted are scrapped with the end of the General Assembly session, the sources said.

If they fail, they will probably give up on the current resolution and submit a new draft for consideration in the new session, they said.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed hope last week that the issue of U.N. Security Council reform will resolved by December, although he would still like to see a solution reached by the time of the special U.N. summit in September.

Although the G4 and AU both want to alter the current composition of the Security Council and agree on adding six new permanent seats, which would include the G4 and two African countries, they have differing views on veto rights and the number of nonpermanent members to add.

While the Africans are pushing for veto rights for the new permanent members, the G4 is calling for a 15-year freeze.

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