A group of former foreign ministers from Europe, Asia and North America on Friday published a letter urging Group of Eight countries to back reforms in the United Nations in four key areas

The group also said there was "a growing consensus that sovereignty cannot be allowed to shield mass atrocities (as in Sudan) and that the international community, through the UN, has a responsibility to protect people who are in grave danger because their government lacks the ability or will to protect them."

"At this historic moment, we agree with Mr. Annan's package approach, but within that we believe that these four areas are the place to start.