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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nepal backs Japan UNSC bid, but not G4

Staff writer

Nepal backs Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council but has yet to decide whether to support a resolution on UNSC expansion Tokyo jointly submitted with Germany, Brazil and India, visiting Nepalese Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey said.

News photo
Ramesh Nath Pandey

In an interview Monday with The Japan Times, the minister stressed the need to reform the U.N. — now 60 years old — to "face the challenges and responsibilities of the 21st century."

He also expressed support for Japan's effort to gain a permanent seat in the UNSC, saying Katmandu wants Tokyo to play a more decisive role in the international community.

"But we should not reform (the organization) in a way that, instead of strengthening the U.N., will weaken the U.N.," he said. "When to reform and how to reform . . . these are the matters we have not decided yet."

Nepal's position is widely viewed as an attempt to appease both India and China — two emerging Asian nations with which it shares borders. While New Delhi wants a permanent seat on the Security Council, Beijing opposes Japan's ascension to permanent membership.

Japan, Brazil, India and Germany — the so-called Group of Four — all aspire to become permanent UNSC members. Their resolution, formally introduced before the General Assembly in New York on Monday, aims to add six new permanent seats and four rotating seats to the Security Council.

Pandey, a veteran politician and royalist, strongly condemned last week's bombings in London but also called attention to the fact that his country has been suffering from similar terrorist attacks by Maoist guerrillas for nearly 15 years.

"I'm sure that the international community will understand this threat and support Nepal" in its fight against terrorism, he said.

Pandey was in Japan to attend Nepal's national day event at the World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture on Thursday with Crown Prince Paras Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Crown Princess Himani Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah. They are to leave Tokyo on Thursday.

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