AT THE SECOND 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
United Nations Headquarters
New York, 10 April 2008
As you may recall, on November 12 to 14 of last year, I introduced seven principles in the General Assembly to guide the Security Council reform process. Member States accepted them. Today, I reaffirm these principles to steer us into the next phase of the process and I would like to emphasize on this occasion that they should not be approached a la carte.
In my statement on 14 December at the first meeting of the OEWG of the sixty-second session of the General Assembly, I further asserted that my intention was to move forward by focusing on the framework and modalities, by identifying and reaching agreement on various elements of the negotiables and entering intergovernmental negotiations.
I am pleased to inform you that I have received inputs in writing on the framework, modalities and negotiables from delegations as well as regional and interest groups that I distributed to Member States in recent days. I would like to use this opportunity to commend Member States for the intensive consultations carried out in various formats. In addition, one regional group and some individual Member-States have further elaborated their views on the subject of Security Council reform at the highest political level.
These papers and positions should be useful for the next phase of consultations, in the understanding that, though they help us to narrow down the discussions, the contributions received do not exhaust all existing positions and that we should take into account the agreements on the subject that constitute “assets” to move forward, including the decision and report of the OEWG and its annexes contained in report A/61/47.
Readiness to advance toward intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform has been expressed by all Member States. In fact, the efforts made so far indicate a willingness to move the process forward.
I would like to inform you that I have decided to add to my Task Force Ambassador Roble Olhaye of Djibouti. Within the next few weeks my Task Force, constituted by Ambassadors Ismat Jahan of Bangladesh, João Salgueiro of Portugal, Heraldo Muñoz of Chile and Roble Olhaye of Djibouti, will initiate rounds of consultations with all Member States on the inputs that I have received in writing so far and on any other ideas in order to take the process of Security Council forward. After that, I will call for another meeting of the OEWG. My purpose is to present a report with agreed recommendations to the General Assembly before the end of its sixty-second session.
Member States have clearly requested that my Task Force play an active role in this new phase. A combination of formal and informal settings should be the best way to move forward, based on transparency at every step of the process. Member States must allow the Task Force to function effectively, so that it can be a true vehicle for Security Council reform.
I envision the next stage as a growing joint venture between the President of the General Assembly and Member States, in the understanding that primary ownership and responsibility for the process of Security Council reform rests with Member States.
As reflected in the third pillar that guides this process, the way forward will be “accomplished through an objective and transparent process.” Hence, as I stated in my concluding remarks on our meeting of December 14, the OEWG will continue its work until the beginning of the intergovernmental negotiations.
We should remind ourselves that any successful reform “must accommodate the interests and concerns of all sides, especially those who are currently underrepresented,” and consequently requires compromise by all. Member States should reflect at this stage that, without prejudice to their expressed positions, as indicated in the Facilitators’ reports of April and June 2007 “the positions of the major interest groups are unlikely to be fully realized at this stage.”
The essence of the desired intergovernmental negotiations is precisely to reconcile the various preferred positions towards a compromise. Without a compromise, there will be no Security Council reform.
To that end, I reiterate the contents of my seventh pillar in the sense that “Member States should refrain from steps which could serve to undermine the current momentum and consensus to continue a process with the intention of achieving result oriented solutions”.
Let me make a couple of additional reflections. As we move along, successful Security Council reform will require a commitment by Member States at the highest level. Also, as we are making progress on different tracks of United Nations reform, such as management reform and mandate review, I reiterate my first principle that Security Council reform is an integral part of the overall strengthening of the United Nations. In short, the transformation of the wider United Nations System requires the reform of the Security Council too.
Effective flexibility by all concerned parties is needed to maintain momentum. Let us take advantage of this “window of opportunity,” so as to advance, building on the Facilitator’s reports and the progress achieved so far, to the needed enlargement of the Security Council and to the improvement of its working methods. You can count on my continued leadership in this process. I count on your support and your proactive cooperation in this common endeavor.