[JURIST] The US government Thursday publicly expressed support for expanding the UN Security Council [offcial website] by "two or so" permanent members, saying that a larger expansion could hinder the effectiveness of the group. Review the State Department briefing [transcript] by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed expansion in his March Larger Freedom [text] report to the UN, and the so-called G-4 group - Japan, Brazil, India and Germany - presented a draft resolution for Council expansion last month, although the US has not specifically endorsed that proposal or the candidacy of all of those states. There are currently five permanent members of the Security Council - the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia - all of which have veto power. The US does not support veto power for new permanent members. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official website] has expressed US support for Japan, the second largest financial contributor to the UN behind the US, as a permanent Council member. AP has more.