18 February 2009 The President of the General Assembly will be leaving later this week to visit a number of cities around the world to inform heads of State about ongoing efforts to reform the United Nations.
The three-week trip for Miguel d’Escoto will include stops in Damascus, Helsinki, Beijing, Manama, Geneva, Tehran and London, his spokesperson told reporters in New York today.
Last week Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Zahir Tanin, reported that efforts towards reshaping the size and membership of the Security Council is finally heading for serious negotiations.
Mr. Tanin, who was selected by Mr. d’Escoto to jump start the stalled Council reform process that has been underway for some 16 years, said that competition over different reform proposals has ended and intergovernmental negotiations towards compromises are on the agenda of the 192-member Assembly.
Mr. d’Escoto has circulated a letter to Member States providing a road map for the intergovernmental negotiations ahead of an informal meeting of the Assembly slated for tomorrow.
He has put forward five key issues for the negotiations, namely categories of membership; the question of the veto; regional representation; the size of an enlarged Council and working methods; and relations between the Council and the Assembly.
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