China on Tuesday urged greater representation of developing countries, especially African ones, in the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
"The reform should give priority to the increasing of the representation of the developing countries, especially the African countries," Liu Zhenmin, China's deputy representative to the UN, told a debate on the equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council. "Only by so doing can the long-time structural defect of the Security Council be corrected."
Liu reiterated that "any reform plan that does not have the extensive support from the African countries will not have the support of China."
"China firmly supports the carrying out of necessary and reasonable reforms to the Security Council," he said. "The primary issue of the reform of the Security Council is to once again, balance the representation including the geographic representation of the Council through increasing its membership."
Liu stressed that a reformed Security Council must "reflect the democratization and the rule of law in international relations."
"The reform should ensure that the smaller countries will have more opportunities to participate in the Council's decision-making in a more substantive way, to make the smaller countries to really feel that the Security Council is an institution committed to help them to solve problems," he said.
Liu also called for an enhancement of the accountability of the Security Council to the member states, and to ensure that the work of the Security Council always gives expression to the common desire of the vast majority of the member states.
"The reform of the Council is a major event involving the common interest of the 192 member states," Liu said, noting that intergovernmental negotiation on the issue will be launched next February and provide an important opportunity for the reform.
He warned that the reform of the Security Council is not a simple game of numbers, nor can it be completed overnight.
"It is necessary for the member states to reach the widest possible agreement through in-depth consultation," Liu said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2008)