Italy seeks Security Council expansion

May 12, 2011 - 1:43 PM

ROME (AP) — Italy is making a major diplomatic push to expand the U.N. Security Council, seeking consensus for the idea of adding new members to the powerful world body on a rotating basis, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Some 100 delegations are expected for a meeting Monday in Rome, including from China and the United States, two of the five permanent members with veto power.

The Italian proposal clashes with efforts by four regional powers — India, Germany, Brazil and Japan — to obtain permanent seats.

The so-called Group of Four has expressed optimism that such a reform can be achieved during the current session of the General Assembly ending in September.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari said Italy is opposed to any new permanent seats.

Efforts to reform the council have gone on for some 30 years. Massari said there is no deadline for any changes.

In 2009, Italy floated a proposal with Colombia seeking a compromise with various positions to make the Security Council "more democratic, representative, transparent, effective and accountable."