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UN reform negotiations continue as summit deadline nears

[JURIST] Last-minute talks continued Sunday at the UN as an intergovernmental negotiating group [JURIST report] struggled to finalize a text to be submitted to the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website], scheduled to begin Wednesday. The group is working to prepare a platform of agreed UN reforms [UN materials], but UN diplomats have said that proposed amendments by the US [JURIST report; US mission to the UN materials] advanced several weeks ago have opened the door to other late requests from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Cuba and India. The world's heads of state are due to consider several key UN reforms at next week's summit, including expansion of the Security Council and reworking the UN structure to better address human rights and terrorism. Competing proposals on Security Council expansion [AFP report] have been circulated with no clear indication of which will be endorsed at the summit. Brazil, Germany, India and Japan have proposed [JURIST report] that the 15-member Security Council be expanded to include 25 countries; this would add six permanent seats, who would not have veto power, and four non-permanent seats. The African Union is pushing a different proposal [JURIST report] - one that would add two permanent seats with veto rights and five non-permanent seats. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that a deal on the Security Council will not be reached before next week's summit, but that he hopes there will be an agreement by the end of the year. Sunday's Boston Globe has more.

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