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BRICS nations call for UN Security Council reform

by Staff Writers
Sanya, China (AFP) April 14, 2011
The leaders of five of the world's major emerging powers called Thursday 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 currently 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.

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 percent 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.

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

The 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 Moamer Kadhafi'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.

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World's major emerging powers meet in China
Sanya, China (AFP) April 14, 2011
Leaders of the world's major emerging powers are set to meet Thursday in China at a summit expected to tackle the conflict in Libya and reform of the international financial system. The summit of the five-member BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - in Sanya on the southern tropical island of Hainan will also look at how developing nations can exercise more clout on ... read more

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