Office of the President of the Millennium Assembly
55th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Opening remarks by
President of the General Assembly

At the Fourth Meeting of theOpen-ended Working Group
on the Question of Equitable Representation on
and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council
and Other Matters Related to the Security Council
13 March 2001

The fourth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and other Matters related to the Security Council is called to order.

At the outset, I should like to thank delegations for their contributions yesterday, showing that there is a willingness by the membership to move forward on this issue. I also need to clarify some points concerning the Conference Room Papers (CRPs).

The Bureau intends to submit several papers on issues to be discussed under both Clusters to facilitate discussion in the working group. The CRP.2 was first of these papers. Delegations will also have noticed that the CRP.3 concerning the working methods is now available at the document counter and it will be discussed at our meeting tomorrow afternoon.

The Conference Room Paper 2 entitled "Decision-making in the Security Council; the veto as a voting instrument in the Security Council" was submitted by the Bureau in accordance with our Programme of Work where the first item under Cluster I deals with the issue of veto. The paper has been prepared solely to facilitate and focus discussions in the Open-ended Working Group.

In order to build on the work done during the previous sessions in a focused manner the CRP.2 is based only on the first part of Annex XI part A (a) of A/54/47. As some of you have noted it did not deal with the proposals requiring Charter amendment as presented in part (b) of the above mentioned annex XI. The Bureau stressed that this did not in any way preclude - or rule out - their being discussed at a later stage. It is in fact the intention of the Bureau to circulate another CRP based on part (b) of Annex XI later on this week as an addendum.

Yesterday delegations stressed that giving separate and focused discussion on the issue of veto does not mean that an agreement should or could be sought separately on this issue. At the same time delegations have welcomed a focused discussion on the issue of veto as a voting instrument as one of the questions we need to address in order to facilitate process of reaching general agreement.

I hope that I can count on the active participation of all members in the discussion. While I note that Delegations are of course free to speak on all aspects related to the veto I should like to stress that we need to continue our efforts to attain results. Therefore, I should like to invite delegations to make specific comments and suggestions in particular on Part III of the CRP.2.