The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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G4 rolls up sleeves for seat battle

New York, July 7: India, along with Japan, Germany and Brazil, last evening formally handed over a copy of their resolution calling for expansion of the Security Council to the secretariat of the UN General Assembly, setting the stage for its tabling on Monday.

The permanent missions to the UN here of the Group of Four (G4) countries ' which includes India ' was a beehive of activity today even as the General Assembly’s secretariat was translating the resolution, drafted in English, into the various UN languages, hoping to complete its distribution among the UN’s 191 members by Friday.

“The G4 intends to request that debate begin on this framework resolution in the UN General Assembly as early as next week,” Japan’s permanent mission to the UN said in a statement.

Germanys ambassador to the UN, Gunter Pleuger, confirmed that the debate would begin early next week, but other diplomats at the UN said the historic vote on the resolution may be called by the G4 for Wednesday.

A final decision on the matter will be taken on Friday when G4 foreign ministers, including India’s K. Natwar Singh, meet in England.

At the time of writing, their meeting was on schedule notwithstanding the terrorist attacks in London.

As of last night, 23 countries, including many US allies, such as Denmark, Poland, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Portugal and Georgia, were co-sponsoring the resolution. One permanent member of the Security Council ' France ' is also a co-sponsor.

The UK has told G4 ambassadors that it would vote for the resolution, but China said today that it would oppose it in the General Assembly.

According to the final version of the resolution, now before the General Assembly secretariat, six new permanent members to the Security Council will be chosen through secret ballot in the General Assembly no later than 12 weeks after this resolution is adopted by two-thirds majority.

A 15-member committee of African states, headed by Ghana and Nigeria, is to talk to G4 ambassadors ahead of the vote to harmonise the position of the African Union and the G4 on the resolution.

Africa has 53 crucial votes at the UN. The German ambassador said the resolution “gives Africans 95 per cent of what they asked for” and in the latest sign of hope for the G4, Algeria, one of the African states in the “Coffee Club” opposing G4, said it would support any collective decision by the Africans.

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