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G-8 Foreign Ministers to Discuss UNSC Reform

Yomiuri Shimbun
July 7, 2000

The importance of reforming the U.N. Security Council is to be included on the summary of the agenda that the foreign ministers of the Group of Eight major nations are expected to adopt during their two-day meeting starting Wednesday in Miyazaki, it was learned Thursday. This will be the first G-8 summit document to deal with the issue of U.N. Security Council reform.

The summary of the agenda urges the international community to conclude international treaties for terrorism prevention quickly. The foreign ministers will meet to discuss political issues in preparation for the July 21-23 G-8 summit in Okinawa Prefecture. The main issues on the foreign ministers' meeting agenda are to be included in the declaration adopted by the leaders of the G-8 nations during the Okinawa summit.

The agenda summary, whose outline was obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun Thursday, contains seven themes. The other items on the agenda are prevention of conflicts, regional issues, disarmament and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, prevention of international organized crime, and the environment.

The summary regards the U.N. millennium summit of the leaders of member countries to be held in New York on Sept. 6-8 as a critical point for U.N. reform. The importance of strengthening U.N. functions with special emphasis on U.N. Security council reform will be pointed out in the summary. This item in the summary reflects consideration toward Japan, which hopes to become a permanent member of the council.

Regarding the prevention of conflicts, the document points out the need for a comprehensive approach using a wide range of measures, including U.N. peacekeeping operations and regulations on providing funds for armed forces. The measures to be taken also are categorized according to different phases of conflict development, from normal conditions to the preconflict and postconflict phases, and the phase after peace is built. A document describing such measures in more detail is attached to the summary.

The attached document stresses the G-8 nations' intention of focusing on the following points:

-- Measures against the illegal diamond trade, which is a main source of funds for antigovernment armed forces in civil wars in countries such as Angola.
-- Measures to eliminate small weapons, including automatic rifles and hand grenades.
-- Provision of economic assistance for developing nations to eliminate causes for conflicts.
-- Application of international pressure on parties that involve children in conflicts.
-- Cooperation in training and mobilization of civilian police.

Regarding terrorism prevention, the summary urges the early conclusion of 13 international conventions, including treaties to prevent the provision of funds for terrorism and to prevent the use of bombs for terrorist attacks.

The summary touches on regional issues, saying that the G-8 nations will support further dialogue between North and South Korea following the two nations' mid-June summit. The document also urges India and Pakistan, whose relationship continues to be tense after the nuclear tests in 1998, to participate in international frameworks for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament. The summary also mentions the Middle East peace process, regional conflicts in Africa, stabilization of eastern Europe, including Yugoslavia and Kosovo, and problems in Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Colombia, Cyprus and Afghanistan.

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