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Adding New Members to the United Nations Security Council: The United States

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The US envoy to the world body said on Wednesday that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council cannot be amended but additional permanent members can be added.

Speaking at a hearing in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Country, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield said it began a discussion in the Security Council in September during the 77th session of the United Nations. The General Assembly noted US President Joe Biden’s call for reform.

“We have to make this council more inclusive and representative,” she said.

But she stressed that the “Permanent Five” were included in the UN Charter, adding: “I can’t change that.”

“But we can change and add additional permanent members as well as other elected members of the council,” she said.

She said she had engaged with countries in all regions in the past few months with “the idea of ​​moving forward with some kind of reform that would allow us to bring new countries into the Security Council.”

“Japan is currently an elected member. India has been an elected member for the past two years and both have expressed their desire to be permanent members,” she said.

The effectiveness of the UN Security Council has been called into question, especially after Russia’s war against Ukraine. Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, is accused of using its veto power to block resolutions related to Ukraine.

The other permanent members of the UN Security Council are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and China.

During the General Assembly in September, Biden, among other leaders, raised the issue, calling for an expansion of the council’s membership, saying permanent seats should be given to countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long called for the restructuring of the United Nations’ highest decision-making body with his slogan: “The world is bigger than five”.

Erdogan said earlier, “The UN General Assembly where all member states are represented on an equal footing and which reflects the common will of the international community should definitely be strengthened.”

He added that a Security Council that is “more democratic, transparent, active and accountable” is an expectation shared by the international community.

“It is clear that the United Nations must play a more active role in resolving the crises that claim the lives of thousands of innocent people every day, and in ensuring sustainable development,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan has long been critical of the unrepresentative nature of the five permanent members of the Security Council, urging reform under the slogan: “The world is bigger than five.” He said that because the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia – wield veto power for their own interests, disadvantaged nations pay an “unfair price”.

Erdogan has often expressed his belief that “the United Nations Security Council, which operates by considering the priorities of the five permanent member states only, cannot prevent conflicts and establish peace, stability and security.”

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