Blair calls for wider UN security council

DAVOS - British Prime Minister Tony Blair called today for the United Nations Security Council to include Germany, Japan, Brazil and India as well as African and Muslim nations for it to be effective.

He urged a change in the present system and said one option was to have a bridging mechanism which would allow semi-permanent status without a veto in Security Council votes.

A Security Council "without Germany, Japan, Brazil or India, to say nothing of any African or Muslim nation, will, in time, not merely lose legitimacy in the eyes of the world, but seriously inhibit effective action," Blair said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

There was a case for overhauling two other world organisations, he said, suggesting the merger of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and involving developing nations more.

Blair called for changes to the rules for the European Union and also warned that if conflicts in Sudan and Somalia were not resolved the effects would be felt further afield.

"I believe if we let Somalia or Sudan slip further into the abyss, the effect of their fall will not stay within their region, never mind their nation," he said.

Blair also said he would argue for a peace settlement for the Palestinian territories. "There is no question that its absence has consequences on the streets of cities in Britain amongst people who have never been near Gaza or the West Bank," he said.

- REUTERS

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