- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2006

NEW YORK — India is seeking an expanded role for the General Assembly in the selection of the next U.N. secretary-general, potentially curbing the power of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council.

Under the U.N. Charter, the council has the responsibility to chose a candidate and then send the name to the General Assembly, where all 191 member nations are represented.

In practice, the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia — do most of the deciding, and the remaining nations accept the choice.

India proposed earlier this week that the General Assembly consider its own candidates for secretary-general, and then refer the names to the Security Council.

The council also would be invited to send at least two names to the assembly.

“The General Assembly shall initiate the process of selection through consultations among member states and with the candidates of the post for secretary-general, and request the Security Council to hold similar consultations,” says an outline of a draft resolution circulated Wednesday to members of the Non-Aligned Movement.

With 114 votes, the non-aligned group has an easy majority in the General Assembly. The next secretary-general is expected to be from Asia and would succeed Kofi Annan, whose term expires later this year.

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