December 28, 2014 / 10:34 PM / 3 years ago

Mexico calls for larger, more diverse U.N. Security Council

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Sunday called for an overhaul of the United Nations Security Council, envisaging more member countries across a wider geographical swathe, as the government steps up efforts to raise its profile on the global stage.

Tasked with maintaining global peace, the U.N. Security Council meets when war looms and cooperates in efforts to solve international disputes, with measures ranging from sanctions to military action.

The Council has five permanent members - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - and 10 temporary members elected by the U.N. General Assembly for two-year terms.

In a statement, Mexico’s foreign ministry said it wanted the 10 temporary members to grow to 26, with six members coming from Africa, five from Asia, four from Latin America and the Caribbean, five from both Western and Eastern Europe, and one from small developing nations.

However, Mexico said it was against changing the five permanent members of the Council.

“The final aim of this process would be to have a more representative Council, that is more efficient, more transparent and that would be accountable ... to the U.N. General Assembly,” the foreign ministry office statement said.

The proposal comes just a few months after Mexico said it was ready to take part in United Nations peace-keeping missions, after years of staying out of the world’s conflicts.

Mexico has traditionally pursued a low-key foreign policy. But since taking office in 2012, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has sought to raise Mexico’s international standing.

In his very first speech as president, Pena Nieto said making Mexico “an actor with global responsibility” was one of his key priorities.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Eric Walsh

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