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 8th 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
7 May 2001

The eighth 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.

I am happy to welcome delegates to our May session and I trust you have followed the notes in the Journal. The Bureau has prepared a series of Conference Room Papers (CRPs) to facilitate discussions in the Working Group. These documents were distributed to all delegations two weeks ago and are also available, as well as some additions, at the document officer's booth today.

As the Bureau had noted at the outset of our deliberations, we intend to take up Cluster I and Cluster II issues in tandem. This morning, and as announced in the Journal, we shall begin our discussions with consideration of Cluster I issues. We shall also consider Cluster I issues tomorrow afternoon and on Friday morning. Cluster II issues wil be discussed on Wednesday and Thursday mornings based on CRP.3 which was issued in March 2001.

In connection with our discussion of Cluster I issues this morning and as noted above, the Bureau has prepared CRP 2/Adds 2 to 5 as well as CRP.4 and CRP.5.

As delegates are aware, Annex XI of this Working Group's report to the Assembly last year (A/54/47) lists various suggestions with reference to: decision making in the Security Council, including the veto; expansion of the Security Council; and periodic review of an enlarged Security Council. As to decision making in the Council, including the veto, the Bureau had issued to CRPs in March - CRP2 and CRP2/Add.1 which
(a) listed the various suggestions that had been made;
(b) grouped them according to their similarities; and
(c) listed the principal elements of the suggestions made.

In order to facilitate discussions in the Working Group during its May session, the Bureau has produced a summary of principal elements contained in Conference Room Paper 5/Rev 1. As noted in the introduction to that paper it deals only with the newly published Conference Room Papers.

The new documents the Bureau has prepared for the consideration of the Working Group at this session include:

A/AC.247/2001/CRP.2/Adds. 2 to 5 which cover issues such as:

Explanatory note by the Bureau on the conference room papers submitted to this session (CRP. 4);
Expansion of the Security Council: total size of an enlarged Security Council (CRP.2/Add.2);
Increase in the permanent membership of an enlarged Security Council (including issues of extension of the veto to a new permanent membership and permanent regional representation) (CRP.2/Add.3 and Corr 1);
Increase in the non-permanent membership of an enlarged Security Council (including the possibility of an increase, for the time being, only in this category of membership (CRP.2/Add.4).

Another paper, prepared along the same lines on the periodic review of an enlarged Security Council (CRP.2/Add.5) was published this morning and is now available in the document officer's booth.

Delegations will note that each of the recently published conference room papers also falls into three parts: part I listing the various suggestions made; part II grouping the suggestions made according to their similarities; and part III listing the "principal elements" of the suggestions made.

In order to facilitate discussion in the Working Group, a summary of all the principal elements is provided in an additional paper CRP.5/Rev 1 the Bureau decided to prepare a revised version of CRP 5 in order to make it more complete by taking into account the suggestions relating to the veto that are to be found in Section II (Expansion of the Security Council ) of Annex XI. The Bureau would suggest that Working Group focus its discussions on that paper.

Before I give the floor to the first speaker I should like to stress once again a few points:

In the Summit Declaration the Member States resolved to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects.

In my view the Summit Declaration implies that there is a renewed willingness to move forward on this issue.

The Reform of the Council has now been discussed for seven years. While there have been some improvements in the working methods of the Security Council , the main issues are still open. This is the second substantive discussion of the Working Group this year. The issues before us are on the center of the general agreement we are all aiming at.

My intention has been all along to guide the discussions in such a manner that we can work in a focused and productive manner. But ultimately the outcome is up to the Member States. I hope to count on the active participation I look forward to a fruitful and productive discussion.