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"Constructive" atmosphere reported in talks on Security Council reform

"Constructive" atmosphere reported in talks on Security Council reform

Discussions on the contentious issue of how to reform the United Nations Security Council are being conducted in a positive environment, according to a spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, who is chairing the talks.

"The President considers the discussions this week to have been constructive - delegations actively participated and there was a good working atmosphere," spokesperson Susan Markham told reporters in New York today.

Ms. Markham said that General Assembly President Harri Holkeri of Finland stressed the responsibility borne by participants in the group. "He has reminded delegations that in the Millennium Summit Declaration, Member States resolved to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects," she said, referring to the outcome of last year's historic gathering of heads of State and government. "In his view, this implies that there is a renewed willingness to move forward on this issue," Ms. Markham added.

Recent discussions on the issue have focused on proposals to expand the Security Council and reform its working methods, she said.

The group, officially called the Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council, will resume its deliberations on 11 June.