Outdated United Nations 'must reform', warns Nick Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg: "The UN does not adequately reflect the world we live in today"

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The UN faces becoming a "relic of a different time", Nick Clegg has warned.

Calling for permanent seats on the UN Security Council for Japan, Germany, Brazil and India, the deputy prime minister said the international body does not reflect the modern world.

He said Africa should also have permanent representation.

Mr Clegg was addressing the UN General Assembly in New York. Earlier this week he used his visit to announce a further £100m of UK aid to Syria.

He said the United Nations, formed in the wake of WWII, had "many virtues".

'Obsolete'

But he repeated Britain's call for the number of permanent Security Council members - currently China, France, Russia, the UK and US - to be expanded.

Start Quote

Unless more room is made at the top table, it will become an anachronism”

End Quote Nick Clegg on the UN

"The UN has no greater friend than the UK, but it does not adequately reflect the world we live in today.

"The Security Council must be reformed. Unless more room is made at the top table, it will become an anachronism - a relic of a different time.

"That is why the UK continues to support permanent seats for Brazil, India, Germany and Japan, and permanent African representation too."

He used the speech to draw a dividing line between what he called "open" and "closed" societies.

"It is not surprising to hear some argue that liberal democracy has had its day and our multilateral system is becoming obsolete," he said.

"But those who make these claims are wrong. They are drawing the wrong conclusions from recent events."

He said the "real lesson" from the financial crash was the "acute need" for international co-operation.

Iran

Turning to Iran, the deputy prime minister said the UK was ready to improve relations with the Islamic republic on a "step-by-step and reciprocal basis".

He welcomed President Rouhani's commitment to reaching a deal over the country's nuclear programme within six months.

His comments came as former PM, now Middle East peace envoy, Tony Blair said the UK's "credibility is on the line" over Iran.

"Syria, Iran - all these issues now are a question of credibility, he told the BBC.

"There's been a major change in tone and possibility. We've got to translate it into reality."

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  90.  
    06:53: The morning papers

    A bit more on how the 100 days to go point is being marked in the papers. With David Cameron and Ed Miliband appearing face-to-face on its front page, the i asks "where are the parties, what are the hot issues?". It also carries a poll suggesting the Tories have taken the lead over Labour.

    I front page
     
  91.  
    @ChrisMasonBBC Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: David Cameron is on @bbcbreakfast at 0710 and @BBCR4Today at 0810. Ed Miliband is on @bbc5live at 0750 and @bbcbreakfast at 0810.

     
  92.  
    06:42: Breakfast briefing
    Chris Mason on Breakfast

    The two main parties "will be playing their hits today - what they think works with voters", BBC political correspondent Chris Mason tells BBC Breakfast. So Labour's focus is on the NHS and integrating social care. The Conservatives are talking about the economy and the benefits cap - they want to lower the cap and use the money to create more apprenticeships. The Lib Dems and UKIP are both focusing on what impact they might have in partnership with larger parties.

     
  93.  
    06:35: The morning papers

    The Daily Telegraph has an interview with David Cameron in which the prime minister pledges to reduce the annual benefits cap to £23,000 as the first act of a new Conservative government - a theme that also features in the Daily Mail.

    Telegraph front page
     
  94.  
    06:29: The morning papers

    Most of the papers mark the 100 days to go, with the Sun featuring the faces of readers on its front page and setting out its "Sunifesto" in a special edition, saying there are "100 days to save Britain".

    Sun front page
     
  95.  
    06:27: The morning ahead Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    It's an early start for the party leaders with David Cameron and Ed Miliband both appearing on BBC Breakfast and BBC radio between 07:10 GMT and 08:30 GMT. Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are also launching an election poster. The economy will take centre stage at 09:30 GMT when the GDP figures are out.

     
  96.  
    06:21: Good morning Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Hello and welcome to a fresh day's coverage of political developments ahead of the 7 May General Election - yes there's just 100 days to go now. You'll be able to listen or watch all the BBC's political output today on this page and we'll be bringing you all the best clips, quotes, analysis, reaction and breaking political news throughout the day. If you want to see what to expect, here's yesterday's campaign countdown.

     

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