Reform needed for Security Council: Egyptian Foreign Minister
Permanent membership of the Security Council remains subject to "obsolete rules of an era that is long gone," so the UN body needs to be reformed, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in New York on Saturday.
"It is unacceptable that the work of the Council remain characterized by a lack of transparency or balance," Gheit said when addressing the 65th high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly, calling for a more responsible and balanced management of the Council, Xinhua reported.
Gheit also said that the UN is no longer leading "the hot files of the international economy," and referred to the Group of 20 that has declared itself the forum to coordinate global economic policy last year.
The Egyptian minister stressed that international peace and security, disarmament and combating nuclear proliferation are priorities on Egypt's agenda.
"We can no longer accept pretexts to consecrate practices against Islam and its followers," he said.
Touching on the renewed peace talks between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, "chances for success remain slim. Despite the agony of the road to the negotiations, Egypt believes that their re- launch may represent an important opportunity which should not be wasted," he said, noting that a serious approach must be the basis and the distinguishing mark of the negotiating process.
"If Israel fails in its commitment to continue freezing its settlement activities, then it would expose the negotiation process to collapse and it will shoulder the full responsibility before the regional and world public opinion, as well as the American sponsor for wasting this valuable opportunity," he said.
Egypt looks forward to a quick resolution by both parties on the question of borders between them, Gheit said.
Referring to the current situation in Sudan, Gheit said that Egypt's interest is not only based on the close brotherly relations between the two peoples, but also on anticipation of any possible consequence of the referendum.
The minister of foreign affairs also affirmed the "urgent need to reach a political settlement in the Iran nuclear file."
Egypt continues efforts and contact to further raise international interest in Somalia to achieve a cease-fire and proceeding to a comprehensive political settlement, he said. "This will be conditional on the availability of political will to achieve peace among Somali parties, a commitment by external parties to refrain from interfering in Somali Affairs and to seriously participate in the efforts leading to a settlement."