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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AT THE 48TH PLENARY MEETING: SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT [29]; QUESTION OF EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION ON AND INCREASE IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND RELATED MATTERS [119]: JOINT DEBATE

New York, 11 November 2010

Your excellencies
Distinguished delegates 

The two important items on the agenda for our joint debate concern the Security Council.

I am happy to salute the President of the Security Council, His Excellency Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who will shortly present to us Security Council report A/65/2.

That report is one of the important instruments of the interaction between the Council and the Assembly. It is therefore essential that the report should serve as the basis for a substantial debate.

Our meeting today is an opportunity for us to study the progress made and the challenges that confront the Council, as well as to reflect on the strengthening of cooperation between the General Assembly and the Security Council, with a view to ensuring that, together, those two bodies are even better able to promote the values and principles of the United Nations.

The regular, close contact between the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council comprise another instrument. Since taking office, I have met all the Presidents of the Security Council, and shall continue to do so. I am grateful to them for the substantial discussions we have had. The recent adoption by both bodies of a resolution concerning the review of the Peacebuilding Commission has also shown us the benefits of such cooperation.

In recent years there has been positive movement towards greater transparency in the Security Council, and it is important that those efforts should continue.

That leads me to make a few remarks on the second item that we will discuss today: Security Council reform.

That is an essential part of reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in global governance. I would like to stress, in that regard, that there is almost complete consensus throughout the world with respect to the need to adapt to the changes that have taken place since 1945.

That is why I convened a preliminary, informal meeting on 21 October, once I had confirmed His Excellency Ambassador Tanin in his role of chairman of intergovernmental negotiations.

It is essential to build on existing convergences, and narrow differences of viewpoint, in order to reach more tangible results. I have therefore asked Ambassador Tanin to continue his work on the text that has emerged from the second revision, by holding open and transparent consultations. I call on all Member States to support him in his work. At the beginning of the year, we will take stock and consult you on the follow-up to the intergovernmental negotiation process.

It must be very clear that the solution is in your hands, Member States. It is your determination to make something of this process that will lead to progress being made. It is therefore essential to demonstrate flexibility, willingness to compromise, good faith, creativity and mutual respect in an atmosphere that is both transparent and inclusive.

Both Ambassador Tanin and I are at your service to support you in your effort to find a solution that enjoys widespread support. However, that effort is your responsibility.

I welcome your views on the agenda items and hope that our discussion today will allow us to make progress.

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