23 November 1998


Press Release
GA/9509/



LEGAL IMPLICATION OF DRAFT ON SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM COULD DAMAGE CHARTER, GERMANY TELLS ASSEMBLY DEBATE FOCUSING ON ENLARGING COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP ADDENDUM

19981123

On page 6 of Press Release GA/9509 of 20 November, following the statement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the statement of China was inadvertently omitted. It should read as follows:

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said his country favoured necessary and appropriate reform of the Security Council. It believed that a proper enlargement of the Council, to make it more representative and to improve its working method, would enable it to better carry out its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. The core issue was how to enlarge it. The primary task was to solve the problem of the under-representation of developing countries, in accordance with the principle of equitable geographical distribution.

Since 1963, when the General Assembly adopted a resolution to enlarge the Council, the membership of the United Nations had increased dramatically and most of the new Members were developing countries, he continued. The Council should reflect that change. In addition, there had been a common understanding that the representation of developing countries should be strengthened. In a sense, developed countries were overrepresented in the Council and the so-called "quick fix" proposal did not have majority support and would not work.

The Council was a political, rather than an economic, organ, he said. That being the case, the wealth of a country should not be a criterion in considering the issue of enlargement and the Council should not be turned into "a club of the rich or a board of directors of a company". The reform process would not be considered a success and would be rejected by the majority of Member States, including China, if an enlarged Council failed to enhance the representation of developing countries and redress the imbalance between developing and developed countries.

He said another key aspect of reform that should be considered was the issue of sanctions. Ongoing sanctions had not achieved the expected results. Rather, they had inflicted untold suffering on the people of the countries concerned.

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