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Germany lays out goals for Security Council tenure

Germany's ambassador to the United Nations said Monday his country hopes to use its two-year tenure on the influential Security Council to focus on fighting terrorism, peace-building and bringing climate-related threats to the forefront.

Peter Wittig also stressed Germany's aim of working together with fellow two-year Security Council member India to push for reforms that would include expanding the number of permanent council members, with hopes of securing a seat itself. Germany and India, along with Brazil and Japan are all seeking permanent seats, so far held only by the five veto-wielding powers of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

"We are seeking reform of the Security Council, as we support concerns from the wider U.N. membership that the council is no longer accepted because it does not reflect all areas" of the globe, Wittig said.

President Barack Obama has expressed support for India's bid for permanent membership on the council, but the process remains deadlocked amid conflicting views of how to better bring the body to reflect the world of the 21st century.

The push for reform featured high on the agenda over the weekend meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Membership in the Security Council is highly coveted as it is responsible for maintaining international peace and security and can authorize military action and impose sanctions.

Germany has come under criticism for seeking a permanent seat, given that — with Britain and France on already board — many argue Western Europe is already well represented. Wittig, however, insisted that as the U.N.'s third-largest donor Germany's quest is justified.

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