Assembly President names two diplomats to guide Security Council reform talks

23 May 2007 –

General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa has appointed the ambassadors of Chile and Liechtenstein to conduct consultations with United Nations Member States on how to move forward on reform of the 15-member Security Council.

Heraldo Muñoz of Chile and Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein will be expected to report back to Sheikha Haya on the outcome of their consultations by the end of next month, the President said in a letter sent to UN Member States yesterday.

Sheikha Haya has asked Mr. Muñoz and Mr. Wenaweser to use last month’s report of the five facilitators on Council reform she appointed in January as the basis for their consultations.

That report found that even though there is overwhelming support for Council reform, the world’s countries remain so divided on the details – from the question of expansion to the use of the veto to the categories of membership – that a transitional stage of reform may be necessary to break the deadlock.

The report stated that a “significant number of Member States tend to agree that their ideal solution may not be possible at this stage, and believe that it may be more reasonable to consider the best possible solution for now.”

It called on nations to “explore new and emerging ideas concerning a transitional approach” to Council reform, in which there would be an intermediate arrangement ending with a mandatory review at a pre-determined date to decide if that arrangement should continue.

Member States would not have to give up their original position pending the mandatory review, according to the report, which proposed four possibilities for an intermediate category of Council seats.

Mr. Muñoz is one of five facilitators who presented that report, with the others being the permanent representatives of Tunisia (Ali Hachani), Cyprus (Andreas D. Mavroyiannis), Croatia (Mirjana Mladineo) and the Netherlands (Frank Majoor).

Sheikha Haya said in her letter that those facilitators would continue to advise her on the issue.

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