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In the U.S. we have been lately hearing strong and justified criticism of the effectiveness of the United Nations in fulfilling its mission and management of the vast funds generously provided by member nations. Even with a mixed report card of its success in coordinating and implementing humanitarian programs and projects, we can hardly dismiss UN contribution to our education, inspiring compassion, conscience, and concerns about our world in last 60 years. Even with all its imperfections, the UN provides an important forum to resolve differences among nations, attempts at world stability, and peace.

To stay relevant, the UN needs major reform; its important Security Council with fifteen members including the five permanent members needs expansion to reflect the changing global realities and a fair representation of Asia, South America, and Africa. The addition of often mentioned countries - Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan as permanent members, with or without veto powers, would add a much-needed balance to this prestigious body.

These "candidates" represent a combined population of 1.5 billion; robust economies - an estimated $10 trillion of GDP; literacy rate ranging from 59.5% for India; 86.4% for Brazil; and 99% for Japan and Germany. These emerging global players, each Federal Republic/Parliamentary style, send an important message to member states; inspiration to nations struggling with undemocratic and antiquated form of governance in an increasingly interdependent world.

By making room and sharing burden of critical decisions at the Security Council with additional responsible partners with regional strengths, the United Nations may be better able to serve the cause of peaceful coexistence among nations.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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