UNITED NATIONS - The UN General Assembly is set to begin next month the process aimed at expanding the membership of the Security Council to transform it into a more representative and effective body. The 192-member assembly will begin inter-governmental negotiations on the unresolved issue on Nov. 21, it was officially announced Friday. In a letter to member States, General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto said prior to beginning of the intergovernmental negotiations, the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on the issue will meet on Nov 17. D'Escoto has appointed Afghanistan's UN Ambassador Zahir Tanin as his point man to hold consultations with member States on the issue, his spokesman Enrique Yeves said, adding that the president plans to move aggressively on the democratization of the Council. Ambassador Tanin will chair the informal meeting of the General Assembly and of the working group in an effort to find a resolution of the long pending enlargement of the Council. Before closing it's 62nd session, the assembly decided to begin intergovernmental negotiations on reforming the 15-member council not later than next February 28. In taking that the decision, a compromise resolution was approved to accomplish the objective through a dual-track approach. By it's terms, the assembly decided, building on the progress achieved thus far, in particular during its 2006 and 2007 sessions, as well as the positions of and proposals made by member states, to "continue immediately to address, within the (Open-Ended) Working Group, the framework and modalities in order to prepare and facilitate intergovernmental negotiations" on reforming the Security Council. The Assembly further decided "to commence intergovernmental negotiations in informal plenary of the Assembly during its 63rd session, but not later than 28 February 2009, based on proposals by Member States, in good faith, with mutual respect and in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, on the question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council, seeking a solution that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by the membership". Diplomats from the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, which strongly opposes the induction of new permanent members and seeks expansion of the council in the non-permanent category only, were not entirely satisfied over the outcome. But they said that the resolution had validated the position they had taken in 2005 when the process began that the council's expansion should come through a negotiated solution, not by voting which would only divide the membership. Another UfC point upheld by the assembly was that any decision should have the widest possible support of the membership. At the same time, they do have reservations over some aspects of the text. The thorny issue of how to enlarge the 15-member Security Council to make it more representative and reflective of today's global realities has for years divided the UN membership. Last year a report by five "facilitators" stated that most UN members support council reform but could not agree on how to bring it about. In July 2005, the aspirants for permanent membership -- India, Brazil, Germany and Japan --  called the Group of Four -- proposed the boosting the council's  membership from 15 members to 25, with six new permanent seats without veto power and two for the African region as well as four non-permanent seats. The UfC sought enlargement of the council to 25 seats, with 10 new non-permanent members who would be elected for two-year terms, with the possibility of immediate re-election. The African Union's called for the Council to be enlarged to 26 seats, one more permanent seat than the G-4 proposal. Its proposal for six new permanent seats was the same as the G-4's, except that it would give the new members veto privileges. The council has five permanent, veto-wielding members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. An additional 10 non-permanent members serve two-year term. The "facilitators" gave no suggestion for a final solution, but noted that many members seemed willing to look for compromise. Their report suggested moving forward in steps, with an "interim arrangement" that includes a "mandatory review to take place at a predetermined date." During the transitional period a number of configurations, including a repartitioning of seats on a regional basis and the most delicate, the veto-wielding power of the five permanent members, could be considered.